History and Ethics of Biotechnology HSCI E137 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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History and Ethics of Biotechnology HSCI E137

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  1. History and Ethics of BiotechnologyHSCI E137 Course website: http://isites.harvard.edu/k78554

  2. Agenda for Jan 26 • The challenge of defining biotechnology • Its areas of application: agriculture and medicine • What ethical issues does biotech raise? • Syllabus and course requirements • In class reading: “The Birthmark”

  3. Areas of application-- agriculture • Herbicide-resistant and pesticide-containing crops • Golden Rice (to remedy Vitamin A deficiency) • Corn genetically modified for ethanol production

  4. Hybrid ethanol corn from DuPont (not genetically modified)

  5. Areas of application-- agriculture • Herbicide-resistant and pesticide-containing crops • Golden Rice • Corn genetically modified for ethanol production • Transgenic trees-- low in lignin content

  6. Eucalyptus trees genetically modified for low lignin content as well as higher-than- normal carbon dioxide absorptive capacity, Developed by Taiwan National Sci Council and NCSU (Biopact website) Low lignin poplars (NY Times)

  7. Areas of application-- agriculture • Herbicide-resistant and pesticide-containing crops • Golden Rice • Corn genetically modified for ethanol production • Transgenic trees • Pharma-crops • Food from cloned animals

  8. The calf Priscilla was cloned by ViaGen from a slab of beef. Thomas Terry, Associated Press

  9. Areas of application--medicine • Gene therapy • Therapeutic cloning-- regenerative medicine

  10. NY Times diagram Aug 2010: Following FDA approval (and a year’s delay), Geron runs first clinical trial of a therapy for people with severe spinal cord injury, using human embryonic stem cells

  11. Areas of application--medicine • Gene therapy • Therapeutic cloning-- regenerative medicine • Genetic testing; pharmacogenomics

  12. Some of the ethical issues: • The biotech industry and its subjects • Biobanks • Use of indigenous knowledge • Genetically modified crops

  13. Supai, Arizona: home of Havasupai Tribe photo credit: fostertribe.org

  14. Farmers in Girona, Spain, burned their corn harvest after learning that it contained genetically modified plants. (Greenpeace photo)

  15. Ethical issues, continued: • Genes as intellectual property • Controlling genetically modified organisms • Screening/testing outpacing treatment • Treatment vs. enhancement • Playing God http://video.nytimes.com/video/2006/09/01/science/1194817115689/embryo-screening.html (the Kingsbury case, narrated by Amy Harmon)

  16. HSCI E137 course website http://isites.harvard.edu/k78554