JayVay

We Will Replicate You Wholesale: 
Envisioning the Human Genome Project, Part 2

By Guest Blogger,

Tyler Kokjohn, Ph.D.

Frankenstein at work in his laboratory

Leading scientists, biotechnology entrepreneurs and influencers met last week to discuss a possible second phase of the Human Genome Project (1).  The first phase involved the physical mapping and determination of the DNA nucleotide base sequence of the entire human genome.  The possible second phase would involve improving the capacity to synthesize DNA.

The New York Times reported the meeting was private and attendees were requested to refrain from contacting the news media or posting on Twitter during the event.  These restrictions produced sharp criticism from scientists objecting to holding discussions with such enormous ramifications behind closed doors (2).  However, Dr. George Church suggested that the critics were inaccurately representing the aims of the conference and organizers, including Dr. Church, consider the ethical issues already addressed sufficiently.  In addition, Dr. Church explained…

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