p. 92 in Bioethics in Asia

Editors: Norio Fujiki and Darryl R. J. Macer, Ph.D.
Eubios Ethics Institute

Copyright 2000, Eubios Ethics Institute All commercial rights reserved. This publication may be reproduced for limited educational or academic use, however please enquire with the author.

2.7. Biotechnology and Society

Dr. Amit Krishna De.

Indian Science Congress Association, Calcutta, India

With the advancement of science, genes are becoming the centre of attraction for scientists. New methods have evolved that introduce recombinant DNA technology or biotechnology for the upliftment of society. Applications are in progrss in agriculture where more nutritious and higher yielding crops are now produced that are resistant to environmental stress such as insects, pests, diseases, cold and drought. Use of biofertilisers to maintain the biological flora and combat pollution through microbes are the latest applications of Biotechnology. Moreover, recombinant DNA products in medicine that are widely acceptable include the like of anticoagulants, erythropoietin,growth factors, human insulin, vaccines, etc. Recently, DNA fingerprinting has become a new identification technique for identification of suspects in crime, sexual assault and murder. This technique is more powerful than any other used and has found wide application in the area of Forensic Science. Human gene therapy is now a reality. The human genome project has been able to identify most of the chromosomes that are linked with genetic diseases.

However, the scientists should look before they leap for more sophisticated applications of this new technique. It is also time for society to alert itself and take measures to stop misuse of this potential genetic timebomb.

(Abstract only)

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