With Great Scientific Power Comes Great Responsibility

If Synthetic Biology Allows Us to Play God, What are the Rules?

With Great Scientific Power Comes Great Responsibility

Synthetic biology has been called “genetic engineering on steroids.” It’s also been described as so difficult to pin down that five scientists would give you six different definitions. No matter how this emerging field is characterized, one thing is clear: the ability to synthesize and sequence DNA is driving scientific research in brand-new and exciting directions.

In California, scientists have created a breakthrough antimalarial drug—baker’s yeast made in a lab that contains the genetic material of the opium poppy. The drug has the potential to save millions of lives—and to ensure …

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