Educational resources

May 162013
Principles for the Oversight of Synthetic Biology

 Download the complete pdf The undersigned, a broad coalition of civil society groups, social movements, local and indigenous communities, public interest, environmental, scientific, human rights, religious and labor organizations concerned about various aspects of synthetic biology’s human health, environmental , social , economic, ethical and other impacts, offer the following declaration, “The Principles for the Oversight of Synthetic Biology.” (For a current list of signatories please visit Friends of the Earth/ Executive Summary Synthetic biology, [More]

May 152013
Synthetic Biology 101 Fact Sheets from Friends of the Earth

Download PDF: Synthetic Biology Fact Sheets In May 2010 J. Craig Venter’s company Synthetic Genomics announced that it had made the world’s first organism with a completely synthetic genome. According to Venter, this organism was the first self-replicating species on the planet whose entire biological makeup was created by a computer.1 While the field of synthetic biology has been growing at a tremendous rate, few in the public or policy spheres had ever heard of [More]

May 062013

In advance of his conversation with Milton Reynolds at East Bay Conversations on June 6, 2013, Stuart Newman shares selected articles he has written over the past 10 years on human genetics and synthetic biology. Stuart Newman received an A.B. from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in chemical physics from the University of Chicago.  He has been a visiting professor at the Pasteur Institute, Paris, the Centre à l’Energie Atomique-Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette, the Indian Institute of [More]

Apr 272013
Posters and Flyers on Synthetic Biology

This page contains a number of posters, flyers, and packets of educational material on the synthetic biology industry and its implications for social, economic, and ecological justice. Simply scroll down to sift through and find what you want, and then follow the links to download. ———————————— To download this poster, click here. _______________________________________ To download this poster, click here.  _____________________________________________ To download this poster, click here.  _______________________________________ To download this poster, click here.  ________________________________________ Art by Doug [More]

Apr 272013

Published in American Ethnologist  Volume 32 Number 2 May 2005 Globalizing_Clinical_Trials (download pdf) The rapid growth of pharmaceutical markets has led to increased demands for human subjects for drug research, particularly in low-income countries. For regulatory, economic, and even biological reasons, new populations are being pursued as human subjects for pharmaceutical trials. In this article I consider the evolution of commercialized clinical trials and ethical and regulatory environments as they contribute to a dramatic growth [More]

Mar 292013

Reposted from GENEWATCH March 29, 2013″ “Agriculture as we know it needs to disappear. …We can design better and healthier proteins than we get from nature.”   – J. Craig Venter1 A (very) short history of agriculture For ten thousand years humans have been manipulating plants for food production. This began at a very basic level, saving slips or seeds from the fastest growing, highest yielding, best tasting and most nutritious plants for the following season. [More]

Nov 072012

NOTE:  Back in 2004, we were not following synthetic biology, and have just come upon one of the most comprehensive and critical notes on the emerging industry that we know of, which was wriiten back then, and which we post below. The article was written by former Nature editor Phillip Ball. After reading a current article of his which poses the question, ‘Is the scientific endeavour always a bold and noble quest for truth?’ and [More]

Jul 182012

Lower level biological laboratories are proliferating across the world, regularly working with new biological materials, genetically engineered viruses, nanomaterials and other biological materials. The current regulatory framework governing laboratory safety largely excludes such hazards. As this research rapidly expands, a broader scrutiny of human and environmental health and safety issues is necessary to ensure necessary research doesn’t impose unnecessary risks. Watch this new video from the Center for Resonsible Genetics:

Jul 172012
Synthetic Collaborations and Experimental Human Science

This review of Dr. Paul Rabinow’s new book appeared on Biopolitical Times Synthetic Collaborations and Experimental Human Science, by Daniel Sharp Through what modes of engagement might the human sciences and the life sciences achieve a productive, collaborative relationship? The question might sound theoretical, but it isn’t- at least not necessarily. Answering it is an eminently practical task, one that requires empirical and experimental work. And the potential consequences have enormous implications for who gets to [More]