|dc.description.abstract||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.||en