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Argument: Artificial life risky if released into environment

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Laura Hake, professor of biology, Boston College, Jesuit Research University, said on BBC: "I think that the synthetic cell that has just been created is a very exciting basic science breakthrough. I have concerns though that there will be a rush to release it into a natural environment. [...] There are many disturbing examples of other types of artificial constructions, like GEO crops and over-use of pesticides, that are leading to very significant problems in the balance that needs to be maintained in our ecosystem - for maintaining a healthy planet."[1]


Steve Connor. "Environmentalists try to ban release of synthetic life forms into the wild." The Independent. May 24th, 2010: "Environmentalists have begun a concerted campaign to ensure that new forms of "artificial life" are never released into the wider environment because of fears that the life-forms will hasten the extinction of wild species.

A Canadian environmental group has already claimed partial victory in trying to impose a global moratorium on scientists such as Craig Venter, the controversial genome entrepreneur who last week claimed that he had made a synthetic cell in at test-tube controlled by a chromosome created from scratch."


Mundita Lim, a delegate to the Convention on Biological Diversity from the Philippines, said: "We believe that there should be no field release of synthetic life, cell or genome into the environment until thorough scientific assessments have been conducted in a transparent, open and participatory process, involving all parties."[2]


Jennifer Miller, founder of Bioethics International: "We don't know what will happen with these novel organisms, or even novel species in the future, once they're released into nature. So, we don't know the effects on overall ecology or even the health of man as we continue to move forward in these scientific developments."[3]

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