From Genetically Modified Organisms To Synthetic Biology: Legislation in the European Union, in Six Member Countries and in Switzerland
This report is based on the assumption that in Europe and in its member countries—with the exception perhaps of Switzerland—“synthetic genomics” as a distinct policy domain does not yet exist. This conclusion is based on considerable empirical evidence. Since I was approached last October (2005) by the project leaders I have systematically been monitoring the use of this term in the news media around the (English speaking) world. I have done so in two ways: with the help of several Google search robots and by scanning various Lexis-Nexis news databases using the term “synthetic genomics” and its translation in German, Italian French, Spanish and Dutch. The search has produced very modest results. To date, there has been very few instances of news reporting focused on synthetic genomics. One of them was the founding by Dr. Craig Venter of Synthetic Genomics. Another one has been the launch of the project this review paper has been prepared for. And the third one was the appointment of Dr. Ari Patrinos to President of Synthetic Genomics. In addition, there has been sporadic report on the discipline itself, but rarely in connection with possible novel risks. With regard to Europe, no news stories have been found focusing on synthetic genomics per se or on possible new dangers stemming from its development.
Technical report in support of the Sloan Foundation study on DNA synthesis and governance options.
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