President Obama asks bioethics commission to study implications of synthetic biology

May 20, 2010
Following the announcement that the J. Craig Venter Institute had successfully engineered a synthetic cell, President Obama charged the Commission to consider the potential medical, environmental, security, and other benefits, as well as any related risks, of synthetic biology. Additionally, the President asked the Commission to develop ‘‘recommendations about any actions the Federal government should take to ensure that America reaps the benefits of this developing field of science while identifying appropriate ethical boundaries and minimizing identified risks.’’ The Commission will report its findings and recommendations later this year.

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