Ethical Debates on Synthetic Biology

As an emerging interdisciplinary area of science with a multitude of potential facilities and applications, synthetic biology integrates different disciplines with one another ranging from basic science to engineering. This interdisciplinary branch therefore encompasses sciences that require specific development and ethical approaches.

Materials and Methods

Science management principles were used to design the framework of discrete ethical issues of synthetic biology in terms of the creation, storage, distribution and application of synthetic biology.


There is a debate over whether or not the artificial organisms created as living machines deserve ethical considerations. The free storage of knowledge as open libraries about manufacturing the parts, devices and biological systems is another issue. In this respect, technological gap and justice could also be debated. Biosafety and biosecurity are also important in applying synthetic biology, as this science is increasingly facing the community of garage biologists. In biosecurity, creating organisms with dual applications raises ethical issues regarding bioterrorism.


The complexity and broad scope of ethical issues regarding the application of synthetic biology products require that distinct ethical principles be developed in collaboration with experts in ethics and law and futurists in discourse with the civil community.

Article Type:
Research/Original Article
Iranian South Medical Journal, Volume:22 Issue:5, 2019
347 - 363  
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