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Life Sciences, Society and Policy

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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/30006902/who-are-the-users-of-synthetic-dna-using-metaphors-to-activate-microorganisms-at-the-center-of-synthetic-biology
#1
Erika Amethyst Szymanski
Synthetic biology, a multidisciplinary field involving designing and building with DNA, often designs and builds in microorganisms. The role of these microorganisms tends to be understood through metaphors making the microbial cell like a machine and emphasizing its passivity: cells are described as platforms, chassis, and computers. Here, I point to the efficacy of such metaphors in enacting the microorganism as a particular kind of (non-)participant in the research process, and I suggest the utility of employing metaphors that make microorganisms a different kind of thing-active participants, contributors, and even collaborators in scientific research...
July 14, 2018: Life Sciences, Society and Policy
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29971516/disease-surveillance-data-sharing-for-public-health-the-next-ethical-frontiers
#2
Patty Kostkova
In the recent years, we have been witnessing a digital revolution in public and global health creating unprecedented opportunities for epidemic intelligence and public health emergencies. However, these opportunities created a double edge sword as access to data, quality monitoring and assurance, as well as governance and regulation frameworks for data privacy are lagging behind technological achievements.In this paper we identify three ethical challenges: sharing data across various early warning tools to support risk assessment...
July 4, 2018: Life Sciences, Society and Policy
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29936670/synthetic-biology-in-the-german-press-how-implications-of-metaphors-shape-representations-of-morality-and-responsibility
#3
Martin Döring
Synthetic biology (SynBio) represents a relatively young field of research which has developed into an important scientific endeavour. Characterised by a high degree of interdisciplinary work crossing disciplinary boundaries, such as biology, mathematics and engineering, SynBio has been, since its beginning, devoted to creating new biological functions, metabolic pathways or even minimal organisms. Although its often-articulated aim of developing new forms of life has so far not been archived, SynBio nowadays represents a well-established biotechnological approach and it has also attracted public concern, especially since Craig Venter's work on Mycoplasma Mycoides JCVI-syn1...
June 24, 2018: Life Sciences, Society and Policy
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29900518/individuals-on-alert-digital-epidemiology-and-the-individualization-of-surveillance
#4
Silja Samerski
This article examines how digital epidemiology and eHealth coalesce into a powerful health surveillance system that fundamentally changes present notions of body and health. In the age of Big Data and Quantified Self, the conceptual and practical distinctions between individual and population body, personal and public health, surveillance and health care are diminishing. Expanding on Armstrong's concept of "surveillance medicine" to "quantified self medicine" and drawing on my own research on the symbolic power of statistical constructs in medical encounters, this article explores the impact of digital health surveillance on people's perceptions, actions and subjectivities...
June 14, 2018: Life Sciences, Society and Policy
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29862436/machine-metaphors-and-ethics-in-synthetic-biology
#5
Joachim Boldt
The extent to which machine metaphors are used in synthetic biology is striking. These metaphors contain a specific perspective on organisms as well as on scientific and technological progress. Expressions such as "genetically engineered machine", "genetic circuit", and "platform organism", taken from the realms of electronic engineering, car manufacturing, and information technology, highlight specific aspects of the functioning of living beings while at the same time hiding others, such as evolutionary change and interdependencies in ecosystems...
June 4, 2018: Life Sciences, Society and Policy
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29770893/the-biogenetical-revolution-of-the-council-of-europe-twenty-years-of-the-convention-on-human-rights-and-biomedicine-oviedo-convention
#6
REVIEW
Oktawian Nawrot
The Council of Europe's legal regulation concerning development of biology and medicine undoubtedly form the most interesting, but certainly not perfect, over-national system of protection of human beings in prenatal stages of development. The strength of the mentioned system is that it based on well-known and common acceptable values and rules such as human dignity and its protection. The aim of the paper is to present the reasons behind adopting such a system, as well as the consequences of the latter.The author argues that in such a way a revolution within the human rights system of the Council of Europe took place...
May 16, 2018: Life Sciences, Society and Policy
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29761363/scientific-iconoclasm-and-active-imagination-synthetic-cells-as-techno-scientific-mandalas
#7
Hub Zwart
Metaphors allow us to come to terms with abstract and complex information, by comparing it to something which is structured, familiar and concrete. Although modern science is "iconoclastic", as Gaston Bachelard phrases it (i.e. bent on replacing living entities by symbolic data: e.g. biochemical and mathematical symbols and codes), scientists are at the same time prolific producers of metaphoric images themselves. Synthetic biology is an outstanding example of a technoscientific discourse replete with metaphors, including textual metaphors such as the "Morse code" of life, the "barcode" of life and the "book" of life...
May 14, 2018: Life Sciences, Society and Policy
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29744694/is-there-a-duty-to-participate-in-digital-epidemiology
#8
Brent Mittelstadt, Justus Benzler, Lukas Engelmann, Barbara Prainsack, Effy Vayena
This paper poses the question of whether people have a duty to participate in digital epidemiology. While an implied duty to participate has been argued for in relation to biomedical research in general, digital epidemiology involves processing of non-medical, granular and proprietary data types that pose different risks to participants. We first describe traditional justifications for epidemiology that imply a duty to participate for the general public, which take account of the immediacy and plausibility of threats, and the identifiability of data...
May 9, 2018: Life Sciences, Society and Policy
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29666975/genomics-that-is-probably-gm-the-impact-a-name-can-have-on-the-interpretation-of-a-technology
#9
Reginald Boersma, Bart Gremmen
We investigate how people form attitudes and make decisions without having extensive knowledge about a technology. We argue that it is impossible for people to carefully study all technologies they encounter and that they are forced to use inferences to make decisions. When people are confronted with an intangible abstract technology, the only visible attribute is the name. This name can determine which inferences a person will use. Considering these inferences is important: first, a name will reach consumers before detailed information, if any, will...
April 17, 2018: Life Sciences, Society and Policy
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29607463/disease-detection-epidemiology-and-outbreak-response-the-digital-future-of-public-health-practice
#10
Edward Velasco
Inequalities persist when it comes to the attention, resource allocation and political prioritization, and provision of appropriate, adequate, and timely health interventions to populations in need. Set against a complex socio-political backdrop, the pressure on public health science is significant: institutions and scientists are accountable for helping to find the origins of disease, and to prevent and respond effectively more rapidly than ever. In the field of infectious disease epidemiology, new digital methods are contributing to a new 'digital epidemiology' and are seen as a promising way to increase effectivity and speed of response to infectious disease and public health events...
April 1, 2018: Life Sciences, Society and Policy
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29468472/editors-introduction-biobanks-as-sites-of-bio-objectification
#11
EDITORIAL
Neil Stephens, Nik Brown, Conor Douglas
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
February 21, 2018: Life Sciences, Society and Policy
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29442207/i-m-shocked-informed-consent-in-ect-and-the-phenomenological-self
#12
Patrick Seniuk
This paper argues that phenomenological insights regarding selfhood are relevant to the informed consent process in the treatment of depression using electro-convulsive therapy (ECT). One of the most significant side-effects associated with ECT is retrograde amnesia. Unfortunately, the current informed consent model does not adequately appreciate the full extent in which memory loss disturbs lived-experience. Through the philosophy of Merleau-Ponty, it is possible to appreciate the way in which memory loss affects a person's self-experience, with emphasis given to one's pre-reflective and embodied, relationship with things in the world...
February 13, 2018: Life Sciences, Society and Policy
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29404722/crisis-communication-in-public-health-emergencies-the-limits-of-legal-control-and-the-risks-for-harmful-outcomes-in-a-digital-age
#13
Paul Quinn
Communication by public authorities during a crisis situation is an essential and indispensable part of any response to a situation that may threaten both life and property. In the online connected world possibilities for such communication have grown further, in particular with the opportunity that social media presents. As a consequence, communication strategies have become a key plank of responses to crises ranging from epidemics to terrorism to natural disaster. Such strategies involve a range of innovative practices on social media...
February 6, 2018: Life Sciences, Society and Policy
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29397458/how-medical-technologies-shape-the-experience-of-illness
#14
Bjørn Hofmann, Fredrik Svenaeus
In this article we explore how diagnostic and therapeutic technologies shape the lived experiences of illness for patients. By analysing a wide range of examples, we identify six ways that technology can (trans)form the experience of illness (and health). First, technology may create awareness of disease by revealing asymptomatic signs or markers (imaging techniques, blood tests). Second, the technology can reveal risk factors for developing diseases (e.g., high blood pressure or genetic tests that reveal risks of falling ill in the future)...
February 3, 2018: Life Sciences, Society and Policy
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29368092/unscripted-responsible-research-and-innovation-adaptive-space-creation-by-an-emerging-rri-practice-concerning-juvenile-justice-interventions
#15
Irja Marije de Jong, Frank Kupper, Jacqueline Broerse
Emerging RRI practices have goals with respect to learning, governance and achieving RRI outcomes (action). However, few practices actually achieve the action phase as actors lack room to manoeuvre, and lack guidance on how to move forward because of the inherent unscriptedness of the emerging RRI practice. In this explorative research an emerging RRI practice is studied to identify factors and barriers to the creation of adaptive space, in which actors can be responsive to the other and adapt, and a narrative can be created in the act of doing...
January 24, 2018: Life Sciences, Society and Policy
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29302758/digital-epidemiology-what-is-it-and-where-is-it-going
#16
Marcel Salathé
Digital Epidemiology is a new field that has been growing rapidly in the past few years, fueled by the increasing availability of data and computing power, as well as by breakthroughs in data analytics methods. In this short piece, I provide an outlook of where I see the field heading, and offer a broad and a narrow definition of the term.
January 4, 2018: Life Sciences, Society and Policy
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29264723/teilhard-de-chardin-s-oeuvre-within-an-ongoing-discussion-of-a-gene-drive-release-for-public-health-reasons
#17
Anto Čartolovni
Within the domain of public health, vector-borne diseases are among the most vehemently discussed issues. Recent scientific breakthroughs in genome editing technology provided a solution to this issue in the form of a gene drive that might decrease and even eradicate vector-borne diseases. Gene drives are engineered, and designed genes that can break typical inheritance rules and be passed to almost all of the carrier's offspring. This genome editing and gene drive technology has become a powerful tool for ecological and environmental engineering, through which man can manipulate his surroundings, adjusting it to himself and directly mastering evolution and the ecosystem...
December 20, 2017: Life Sciences, Society and Policy
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28766186/transformation-of-intimacy-and-its-impact-in-developing-countries
#18
M D Muniruzzaman
Nowadays intimacy or intimate relationship is very familiar and widely used term all over the world. The term 'Intimacy' generally denotes a close interpersonal relationship or feeling of being in a close personal association and belonging together from both physical and mental point of view. It also denotes very close and effective connection with one another which may exist for whole life or may not. This article has been prepared on the basis of secondary sources and it tries to explore how this intimacy or intimate relationship has been gradually transforming from pre-modern society to modern society and from modern society to post-modern society for over the eras...
December 2017: Life Sciences, Society and Policy
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28601979/young-people-s-awareness-on-biobanking-and-dna-profiling-results-of-a-questionnaire-administered-to-italian-university-students
#19
Pamela Tozzo, Antonio Fassina, Luciana Caenazzo
Current policy approaches to social and ethical issues surrounding biobanks manifest lack of public information given by researchers and government, despite the evidence that Italian citizens are well informed about technical and other public perspectives of biotechnologies. For this reason, the focus of our survey was to interview our University's students on these aspects. The sample consisted of Padua University students (N = 959), who were administered a questionnaire comprising eight questions covering their knowledge about biobanks, their perception of the related benefits and risks, their willingness to donate samples to a biobank for research purposes, their attitude to having their own DNA profile included in a forensic DNA database, and the reasons behind their answers...
December 2017: Life Sciences, Society and Policy
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28497354/farmer-suicide-in-india-debating-the-role-of-biotechnology
#20
Gigesh Thomas, Johan De Tavernier
Indian Biotech opponents have attributed the increase of suicides to the monopolization of GM seeds, centering on patent control, application of terminator technology, marketing strategy, and increased production costs. The contentions of the biotech opponents, however, have been criticized for a lack of transparency in their modus operandi i.e. the use of methodology in their argumentation. The fact is, however, that with the intention of getting the attention of those capable of determining the future of GM cotton in India, opponents resorted to generating controversies...
December 2017: Life Sciences, Society and Policy
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