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Man-made life can proceed, thanks to White House

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Let's play with a bit more of stuff that we shouldn't be playing with, says DC.... More scary isht.

Source: AFP

Science of man-made life can proceed: White House

By Kerry Sheridan (AFP) – 11 hours ago

WASHINGTON — The White House on Thursday said the controversial field of synthetic biology, or manipulating the DNA of organisms to forge new life forms, poses limited risks and should be allowed to proceed.

An expert panel convened by President Barack Obama advised vigilance and self-regulation as scientists seek ways to create new organisms that could spark useful innovations in clean energy, pollution control and medicine.

The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues "concluded that synthetic biology is capable of significant but limited achievements posing limited risks," it said in its first report.

"Future developments may raise further objections, but the Commission found no reason to endorse additional federal regulations or a moratorium on work in this field at this time."

The 13-member panel of scientists, ethicists and public policy experts was created by Obama last year.

Its first order of business was to consider the issue of synthetic biology after the J. Craig Venter Institute announced in May it had developed the first self-replicating bacteria cell controlled by a synthetic genome.

Critics said the discovery was tantamount to "playing God," creating organisms without adequate understanding the ramifications, and upsetting the natural order.

Announcing the creation of the "first synthetic cell," lead researcher Craig Venter said at the time it "certainly changed my views of the definitions of life and how life works."

But the commission said Venter's team had not actually created life, since the work mainly involved altering an already existing life form.

"Thoughtful deliberation about the meaning of this achievement was impossible in the hours that elapsed between the breaking news and the initial round of commentaries that ensued," it said in its report.

"Of note, many scientists observe that this achievement is not tantamount to 'creating life' in a scientific sense because the research required a functioning, naturally occurring host cell to accept the synthesized genome."

Commission chair Amy Gutmann said the panel considered a range of approaches to regulating the new scientific field, from allowing unbridled freedom to imposing strict government regulation on experiments.

"We chose a middle course to maximize public benefits while also safeguarding against risks," she said.

"Prudent vigilance suggests that federal oversight is needed and can be exercised in a way that is consistent with scientific progress."

As to the risk of releasing modified organisms into nature, a scenario some have warned could spark biological threats or damage to the ecosystem, "scientists and ethicists advised careful monitoring and review of the research," the panel said.

The panel also urged greater cooperation among federal agencies that oversee product licensing and funding of synthetic biology, and collaboration with world governments and global groups like the World Health Organization.

"Educational classes on the ethical dilemmas raised by synthetic biology should be a mandatory part of training for young researchers, engineers, and others who work in this emerging field," it added.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gXnL625V9KN022E7m0vwbS0REzuA?docId=CNG.a03843bc6289f00ba74faca28ff52cf9.1e1

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Posted · Report post

Electricity is created by God and sent from Heaven to smite poo! It's not for us to meddle with!

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as long as i can order me up a Cherry 2000 in the near future i'm all for it..

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Why is "playing God" some sort of acceptable argument. It flys in the face of logic. Stunting our scientific advancement and the advancement of the species through science for an illogical reason is well... stupid.

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I like the argument that this upsets the "natural order," haha.

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I like the argument that this upsets the "natural order," haha.

ever wonder how a French Poodle did in the wild?

oh, thats right... dogs are the victims in the worlds longest eugenics experiment.

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Posted · Report post

No problems, but man always use science for good and as much evil. Evil always wins out...

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No problems, but man always use science for good and as much evil. Evil always wins out...

Liar....

/sarcasm. had to add it because some dense leftist will believe I'm saying nukes = good.

Hiroshima.jpg

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Posted · Report post

What's "evil"?

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eugenics for one.

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How does one become a professional "ethicists"?

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Hopefully we'll do a better job creating life than God did...

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