Laurie Garrett Biology's Brave New World Summary

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According to Laurie Garrett, author of “Biology’s Brave New World,” biology and politics are more related than you may think. Garrett’s article, originally published in Foreign Affairs, explores the world of synthetic genomics, a branch of bioengineering in which biologists code DNA sequences to create organisms born from computer code, instead of from earth’s natural evolutionary processes. This groundbreaking research marks the beginning of a new era in which biologists can tinker with living organisms in order to achieve desired effects. Though this opens the door for creating better immunizations and bacterial colonies that can glow in the presence of poison, this also opens the door for sophisticated bioweapons, targeted bioterrorism pathogens, and artificial superbugs capable of destroying the population. Called the “dual-use research of concern,” Garrett explains that synthetic genomics research has both beneficial and devastating implications. However, she asserts that the negative implications should not justify terminating this kind of research. Instead, Garrett advocates for …show more content…
Progress, which can be defined as making the world increasingly better, is a fundamental element of Garrett’s argument. She explains that synthetic genomic research marks the beginning of tapping biology’s full potential. The beginning of a biology revolution, bioengineering research mimics revolutions in physics that allow for clean energy and other advancements. But one cannot discount that progress in physics also led to the atomic bomb, and bioengineering’s atomic bomb could be an epidemiological catastrophe. If the government mitigates negative effects like this through the regulations that Garrett suggests, it is possible that bioengineering research could be a prime example of progress, making the world astoundingly better through tailored vaccinations and

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