Special Reports on "
Click on a title below to access the article in this Special Report.
The Ethics of BiotechnologyIs the alteration of plant and animal genes to increase their growth or fertility a triumph of technological progress or the assumption by humans of godlike powers?
Illustration by Marcia Klioze Hughes/The World & I |
While the media spotlight has focused largely on the pharmaceutical and genetic-testing field of biotechnology, a quiet revolution has ...
Ecological Brinkmanship: The Genetic Engineering of Microbes and Plants
Today we are exposed to a continuous stream of scientific
discoveries that are unveiling all kinds of secrets regarding
the structure of matter and the basic mechanisms of life. One
of these "breakthroughs" has given us the Flavr Savr tomato.
This and other genetic engineering feats are the subject of
this essay. What else can genetic engineering do? Do we need
it? Are there any side effects? Can the same ends be
accomplished in other ways? These questions need to be
answered before we commit an important segment of the economy
to a pathway that could lead to a fiasco from which, like
nuclear power, it is hard to escape. ...
Biotechnology Applied to Microbes: Taking Agricultural Sustainability a Step Forward
Major investments have been made in the United States and
elsewhere in a genetics and breeding approach to develop and
improve crop plants and domestic animals. This sustained
effort, through a network of public and private research
programs over the past seventy to eighty years, has been made
for the benefit of both consumers and producers. ...
The Benefits and Ethics of Creating Transgenic Food Animals
One of the most powerful tools for the improvement of human
and animal well-being is the use of recombinant DNA
technology. This tool can be used in many ways; however, this
presentation will be limited to that portion of recombinant
DNA technology that involves the production of transgenic
Brave New Food
The human imagination has never been limited by species boundaries. The Greeks imagined a mythological creature, the Chimera, a hideous, ...
Prometheus Unbound: The Dangers of Biotechnology
On balance, I agree with R. James Cook and Duane C. Kraemer
and disagree with Andrew Kimbrell in their clash over the
genetic engineering of plants and animals, although the
article by Liebe F. Cavalieri on the genetic engineering of
plants has shaken some of my convictions. Still, as Cook
points out, the genetic engineering of plants has many
similarities with long-standing genetic selection and
hybridization, and it is likely to produce many superior food
products. Eventually, the genetic engineering of animals,
including humans, will enable us to compensate for serious
genetic defects in humans and to reverse crippling and
defects in those already alive. Surely these are highly
valuable objectives. Only those insensitive to the
overwhelming pain that some defects produce in those
would be so hard-hearted as to deny to them the potential
rescue that genetic engineering promises. ...