By Larry V. McIntire, Frederick B. Rudolph

Biotechnology - the manipulation of the elemental development blocks of lifestyles - is quickly advancing in laboratories, elevating severe matters for scientists and nonscientists alike. Who will come to a decision what's secure? Who can have entry to our own genetic details? What are the dangers? "Biotechnology" deals ordinary causes of the elemental technological know-how and offers perception into those questions.

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Rudolph and Larry V. C. W. C. 20418 The Joseph Henry Press, an imprint of the National Academy Press, was created with the goal of making books on science, technology, and health more widely available to profes- sionals and the public. Joseph Henry was one of the founders of the National Academy of Sciences and a leader of early American science. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Biotechnology: science, engineering, and ethical challenges for the 21st century / Frederick B. Rudolph and Larry V.

S. public policy in the 1990s; the proper role and responsibilities of government. Scientists, the biotechnology industry, and the public all have different and often conflicting expectations of government. Can government simultaneously promote scientific research and innovation (as scientists want), encourage the growth of an industry that benefits the economy (as the biotechnology industry wants), and protect public health and individual privacy (as the public wants)? This thorny set of complex and interrelated concerns formed the backdrop to a conference organized by Rice University's Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering in the spring of 1994.

Scientists have succeeded in identifying genes associated with cystic fibrosis, Huntington's disease, breast and colon cancer, and other disorders, making it possible to identify people at high risk for these conditions years before they develop any symptoms. This capability raises enormous questions: Who has access to an individual's genetic information? How might prospective parents react when told that the fetus the woman is carrying has the gene for a devastating illness? Are all the discoveries and techniques of biotechnology necessarily beneficial to society?

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