The Study of Socioethical Issues in Systems Biology

American Journal of Bioethics 7 (4):67-78 (2007)
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Abstract

Systems biology is the rapidly growing and heavily funded successor science to genomics. Its mission is to integrate extensive bodies of molecular data into a detailed mathematical understanding of all life processes, with an ultimate view to their prediction and control. Despite its high profile and widespread practice, there has so far been almost no bioethical attention paid to systems biology and its potential social consequences. We outline some of systems biology's most important socioethical issues by contrasting the concept of systems as dynamic processes against the common static interpretation of genomes. New issues arise around systems biology's capacities for in silico testing, changing cultural understandings of life, synthetic biology, and commercialization. We advocate an interdisciplinary and interactive approach that integrates social and philosophical analysis and engages closely with the science. Overall, we argue that systems biology socioethics could stimulate new ways of thinking about socioethical studies of life sciences

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Author Profiles

John Dupre
University of Exeter
Jane Calvert
University of Edinburgh

Citations of this work

Validation and Variability: Dual Challenges on the Path From Systems Biology to Systems Medicine.Annamaria Carusi - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 48:28-37.
Systems Bioethics.Jason Scott Robert - 2007 - American Journal of Bioethics 7 (4):80-82.

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References found in this work

How Biologists Conceptualize Genes: An Empirical Study.Karola Stotz, Paul E. Griffiths & Rob Knight - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 35 (4):647-673.

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