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Title:Finding a Regulatory Balance for Genetic Biohacking
Author(s):Guerrini, Christi; Sherkow, Jacob S.; Zettler, Patricia J.
Abstract:“Biohacking” has emerged as a cultural and scientific phenomenon. Although there is no consensus on the precise definition of “biohacking,” the term generally describes biological investigations and interventions that are conducted outside of typical scientific settings by individuals who may not have traditional scientific training. Easier access to biological information and resources has enabled biohacking to flourish. Its participants often describe their activities as motivated by a belief in a right to “do science,” a high value placed on bodily autonomy, and a view that traditional scientific institutions and regulations have systematically failed to benefit society. At the same time, the November 2018 announcement that a scientist in China used CRISPR to genetically modify viable human embryos — allegedly resulting in the birth of the first “CRISPR babies” — has reinvigorated concerns about the distribution of genetic technologies. For genetic biohacking, these concerns may be heightened by a belief that mechanisms to regulate the activity are absent or inadequate to address its risks. But, as this chapter details, genetic biohacking is likely subject to numerous oversight mechanisms, both public and private. Before calling for additional regulations, these extant mechanisms should be evaluated.
Issue Date:2021-08-01
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
Citation Info:Christi Guerrini, Jacob S. Sherkow & Patricia J. Zettler, Finding a Regulatory Balance for Genetic Biohacking, in Consumer Genetic Technologies: Ethical & Legal Considerations (I. Glenn Cohen et al. eds. 2021)
Genre:Book Chapter
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-09-24

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