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Synthetic Biology and MoralityArtificial Life and the Bounds of Nature$
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Gregory E. Kaebnick and Thomas H. Murray

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780262019392

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262019392.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Synthetic Biology and Morality

Gregory E. Kaebnick

Thomas H. Murray

The MIT Press

The Introduction contextualizes the purpose of the book, which is to discuss the ethical questions and concerns that arise in synthetic biology about the idea of creating a “synthetic cell.” Synthetic biology has wider implications for the human relationship to the natural world, because discoveries like the M. mycoides cell at the J. Craig Venter Institute show a degree of human control over the basic mechanisms of life that humans have never attained before. Ideas that will be addressed in the book about the potential for synthetic biology and the moral and ethical debates around it are introduced.

Keywords:   synthetic biology, ethical questions, synthetic cell, J. Craig Venter Institute, M. mycoides, moral debate, humans

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