Synthetic Biology and Conservation of Nature: Wicked Problems and Wicked Solutions

Author(s): Kent H. Redford, William Adams, Georgina M. Mace

Publication: PLOS Biology

Publication Date: 2013

Abstract: Extinction might not be forever if synthetic biologists and others pursue their proposals to use advanced genetic engineering techniques to save endangered species and return extinct ones [1]. This is only the most eye-catching example of a broad engagement that will soon take place between the synthetic biology community and the biodiversity conservation community that may change the relationship between humans and the natural world. Though these communities are strangers to each other now, the work they do and the goals they pursue are in places complementary and in others conflicting but uninformed by each other. A respectful and open discussion between these two communities and society at large is urgent to determine how to proceed on issues that overlap.

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