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MEDIA ADVISORY: 07.01.10 Greg Kaebnick to Speak on Synthetic Biology at First Meeting of The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues

(Garrison, NY) Synthetic biology is the topic of the first meeting of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, which will be held on July 8-9 in Washington, D.C.  Gregory Kaebnick, PhD, will be one of the speakers. Kaebnick, a research scholar at The Hastings Center and editor of the Hastings Center Report, is also managing the Center’s two-year project on ethical issues in synthetic biology, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.Following last May’s announcement that scientists had created a self-replicating cell containing an entirely synthetic genome, President Obama asked the Bioethics Commission to study the implications of this technology. He asked the Commission to issue a report within six months and to recommend any actions it thinks the federal government should take to maximize benefits and minimize risks associated with this technology, while identifying appropriate ethical boundaries.

Scientists Craig Venter, PhD; Drew Endy, PhD; George Church, PhD, and other leaders in synthetic biology will be presenting, as well as experts in ethics, policy, regulation, and government. Among the speakers are Hastings Center Fellows Nancy King, JD, of Wake Forest University School of Medicine; Allen Buchanan, PhD, of Duke University; and Paul Root Wolpe, PhD, of Emory University. A speakers roundtable on Thursday will be moderated by Amy Gutmann, PhD, chairperson of the Commission and also a Hastings Center Fellow. Please see agenda for full list of speakers: http://www.bioethics.gov/meetings/070810/

All Commission meetings are free and open to the public.  The meeting will be live-streamed and archived on the Commission website at www.bioethics.gov. Transcripts will be posted on the Web site after the meeting.

Contact: Michael Turton,Communications Associate, turtonm@thehastingscenter.org, 845 424 4040 ext. 242