Advances in the field of synthetic biology are creating many new practical applications. These new applications raise novel regulatory challenges. Biotechnological innovation was first addressed by the United States (US) National Institutes of Health (NIH) at the advent of recombinant DNA research.1 Today, synthetic biology requires consideration of the ethics and risks involved in the governance of an applied technology that spans national borders and has applications in a wide variety of sectors. Because approaches to governance vary by nation and sector, and can range from precautionary to prudent, it is necessary to consider the context from which different approaches arise if there is to be any successful move towards universal governance.
Chakraborty, S and Caplan, A.
May 6, 2013