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The Ethics of ProtocellsMoral and Social Implications of Creating Life in the Laboratory$
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Mark A. Bedau and Emily C. Parke

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780262012621

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262012621.001.0001

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Toward a Critical Evaluation of Protocell Research

Toward a Critical Evaluation of Protocell Research

Chapter:
(p.307) 16 Toward a Critical Evaluation of Protocell Research
Source:
The Ethics of Protocells
Author(s):

Christine Hauskeller

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262012621.003.0016

This chapter reviews some product-directed aims of protocell research and describes which ethical issues are likely to be the most salient to the governance of protocell science. It argues that the most significant issues are the risk of destroying natural environments and threats to human lives from medical and weaponry use, familiar problems of bioscience that are already on the agenda of ethical and regulatory discourses. It then analyzes the epistemic aims of the field and the socially controversial questions to which protocell research is expected to deliver answers. This chapter suggests that serious ethical problems accompany bioscientific invention. It shows that protocell science opens the door for discussion among science, philosophy, and the general public.

Keywords:   protocell research, ethical problems, protocell science, natural environments, bioscience, bioscientific invention, human lives

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