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British Public to Scientists: Artificial Life Needs Regulation

Science & Tech  (tags: artificial lifeforms, gene splicing, cloning, cloning technologies, human-created species, biomedical industry, profit, bioresearch ethics )

- 3290 days ago -
The public wants a say in how research in to the manufacture of synthetic life is conducted, according to a report.


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Carole Riley (2)
Wednesday June 16, 2010, 5:40 pm
This science is one that terrifies me the most. Monsanto are trying to patent the pig gene because of what they have done with it, I just don't know how to fight something like this. Where do we 'draw the line in the sand'. If scientists use genetic modification to build body parts, that could save children with Cystic Fibrosis, (a cause close to my heart), could I say that it's wrong? But that same science could make babies with blue eyes, or blond hair, see where I'm going - someone already tried that and my father spent 4 years of his young life fight that megalomaniac Hitler. I think Pandora's box has been opened, and I don't believe there is anyone in charge of what we do with the contents.

IE R (237)
Wednesday June 16, 2010, 6:59 pm
When I was a teen, years ago, I stayed up very late one night and watched a movie called "Parts: A Clonus Horror." The basic plot was that humans had developed cloning technology, and created a clone colony that was separated from the outside world. When a rich person - who had paid to get a clone created as those were the people who could afford to "use" this new technology - needed a new organ or a skin graft or whatever, the clone was told it was their "birthday" and they were getting to go on a "special trip." The "medical staff" then killed the clone, harvested what was wanted, and then disposed of the "medical waste" that remained. One clone escaped and found out the truth: that he was basically just livestock - a slave.

This is what actually worries *me* the most. It's bad enough that humans still practice slavery without remorse or ethics on the other creatures of this planet, and on one another when they can get away with it.

But now, we tout ourselves "the creators of life" and claim the sole right to control that life and patent it to profit from its existence. My worry is that we are merely creating another slave class to contend with before we have morally untangled repaired our relationship with EXISTING species...and here we go trying to meddle with biology so we can control even more life forms.

As a species, we have not evolved psychologicallly in parody with our tool-making abilities, and that is the central problem: we think that anything we do and "create" is good and acceptable because we can do it (circular reasoning, anyone?).

As a species, we have not developed in such a manner as to recognize how NOT to use the tools we invent, or when it is wiser NOT to invent a tool at all. We don't have the foresight we think we do and are still motivated chiefly by self-gain first, for the most part, thinking little of later consequences. While this isn't the case for every single human in existence, it is true of us collectively as a species.

I fear that genetic manipulation will simply mean more slave classes, more classism and prejudices and interference with biological processes for profit instead of for true enlightenment and betterment of all species and the planet...not *just* humans.

In short, I do not trust my own species to do the right thing merely because it's the right thing to do in this case.

sue M (184)
Wednesday June 16, 2010, 8:20 pm
Its wrong - period! People are going too far. By all means save a life but do it ethically. This is not ethical but insane.
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