Issues and Dilemmas of Biotechnology: A Reference Guide

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999 - 205 pages

Recent advances in biotechnology in areas as diverse as agriculture, the environment, food, and healthcare have led to much debate and media attention. This unique reference resource for advanced high school students and teachers explores the science behind these new technologies and examines the stakeholders and their stakes in the various debates. The author presents views of scientists, doctors, insurance companies, and big businesses, among others, on such issues as genetic testing, patenting of human gene sequences, cloning, and genetically engineered food.

Each chapter addresses a specific issue with the goals of helping readers understand all the different ways biotechnology is being explored and implemented in our lives today, as well as to critically perceive the arguments being made concerning these issues. Students will learn there is more to biotechnology than cloning sheep, that it is also used for such purposes as making cheese and beer. Each topic is presented as a Case Study describing of a range of technologies and a diversity of stakeholders that will allow users to draw their own conclusions. This introduction to the technologies and the debates surrounding them also encourages students to take advantage of the many available sources for further research, particularly on the Internet.

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The Origins of Biotechnology A Primer on the Science and Beginnings of Its Regulations
The Asilomar Conference of 1975
Patenting of Life Chakrabarty General Electric the Patent Office and the Supreme Court
The Release of a Genetically Engineered Microorganism
Corn Genetically Engineered with an Insecticide
Bovine Growth Hormone a Dairy Farmer and Ice Cream Suits
The Human Genome Project
Genetic Testing for Risk Assessment for Disease
Gene Therapy Magic Bullet or Hype?
Forensic DNA Testing and Databanking Basics of DNA Fingerprinting
Cloning of a Mammal
Internet Sites for Issues and Dilemmas of Biotechnology
Selected Bibliography

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Page 18 - Each. . .Party. ..undertakes never in any circumstance to develop, produce, stockpile, or otherwise acquire or retain: (1) Microbial or other biological agents or toxins, whatever their origin or method of production, of types and in quantities that have no justification for prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes...
Page 6 - It has not escaped our notice that the specific pairing we have postulated immediately suggests a possible copying mechanism for the genetic material.
Page 157 - Court moeten bij de beoordeling van deskundigenbewijs de volgende factoren in aanmerking worden genomen: '1. whether the theory or technique can be (and has been) tested; 2. whether the theory or technique has been subjected to peer review and publication; 3. the known or potential rate of error and the existence and maintenance of standards controlling the technique's operation; and 4.
Page 139 - Overselling of the results of laboratory and clinical studies by investigators and their sponsors — be they academic, federal, or industrial — has led to the mistaken and widespread perception that gene therapy is further developed and more successful than it actually is.
Page 176 - Commission concludes that at this time it is morally unacceptable for anyone in the public or private sector, whether in a research or clinical setting, to attempt to create a child using somatic cell nucjear transfer cloning. We have reached a consensus on this point because current scientific information indicates that this technique is not safe to use in humans at this time.
Page 185 - Gearhart, JD (1998). Derivation of pluripotent stem cells from cultured human primordial germ cells.

About the author (1999)

BERNICE SCHACTER is a biotechnology consultant and visiting professor at Wesleyan University.

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