Ethics, Biotechnology And Bioethics - The Future of Life
Biotechnology has surpassed the limits of human
endeavour and enterprise. Life is no longer in God's domain. Man is entering the territory
of the Almighty - rvp
Biotechnology and Bioethics, Eugenics, Biotechnology Institutes, Biotechnology Companies, Biotechnology Bibliography, Biotechnology Journals
'Female sperm' and 'male eggs' from skin
cells may be possible
Katsuhiko Hayashi of Kyoto University in Japan and professor Mitinori Saitou used skin
cells from mice to create primordial germ cells or PGCs.
These cells were then developed into both
sperm and eggs. Scientists used these to create live-births via in vitro fertilisation.
The technique may allow infertile women to have babies by creating eggs from their skin
cells, and also make it possible for sperm and eggs cells to be created from either males
or females, 'The Independent' reported.
World's first 'designer baby' soon.
Los Angeles (IANS): A fertility clinic here
has fulfilled Adolf Hitler's dream of creating a "dream race.''
The Los Angeles Fertility Institutes, run by Dr Jeff
Steinberg who played a key role in the birth of the world's first test-tube baby Louise
Brown in Britain in 1978, says it is ready to deliver the first 'designer baby' next year.
Using a technique called pre-implantation genetic
diagnosis (PGD), the clinic says it will allow would-be parents to choose the gender,
skin, eye and hair colour and other physical traits of their babies. This service will be
available only to couples seeking in-vitro fertilization (IVF), according to the clinic
which has branches in New York and Mexico.
Many couples have queued up for this service, the clinic
says. The institute, which claims to be already using the PGD technique for selection of
gender with a success rate of more than 99 percent, says it will now extend it to choose
genetic traits of offspring.
The impact of biotechnology on the life,
environment, food and culture is bound to be enormous, encompassing the physical and the
metaphysical world. Though biotechnology will help improve the quality of life, the
ethical issues are bound to raise a lot of debate and opposition.
While some political leaders of the world
are able to appreciate the biotechnological developments, all the religious pigheads are
hell-bent on obstructing everything that seems to take away the given powers of God.
The cultural debates raging over
biotechnology are purely because of the fears and longings embedded deep within the
society's psyche. The media whips up the frenzy over surrogacy, stem cell research,
cloning and organ transplantation, raising unintelligent and troubling questions like, can
a child have two mothers?
Because detection of genetic predispositions
has become more predictable, an individual's prospects in life can be figured out at
birth. The ethical questions then arise as to privacy, access to genetic information and
the impact of such knowledge on the individual's life.
Biotechnology has made it possible to detect
and even treat, diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, sickle-cell anemia, Tay-Sachs
disease, diabetes, and cystic fibrosis. But concerns were raised that genetic engineering
could give rise to infectious organisms. Because of this stringent guidelines have been
drawn up by the government with the help of leading scientists to regulate research in
biotechnology. Experience of research has shown that the chances of constructing a
disease-producing organism by accident are very remote. The fact that such pathogens
require an extremely complex set of distinct characteristics, and are effective only when
all are present, is not convincing enough for the paranoid lot. What is required is
vigilance not paranoia.
It is important that we define ethics afresh
before we talk about ethical issues.
have addressed the concerns and safe issues about biotechnology and genetic engineering. A
special committee of the National Academy of Sciences specifically reviewed the issues on
the introduction into the environment of organisms genetically engineered using
recombinant DNA technology. They concluded that "there is no evidence that unique
hazards exist either in the use of R-DNA technique or in the transfer of genes between
unrelated organisms," and that "the risks associated with the introduction of
R-DNA engineered organisms are the same kind as those associated with the introduction of
unmodified organisms." They also concluded that rDNA techniques constitute a powerful
and safe new means for the modification of organisms for the benefit of animals and
humans. They also stated that there is adequate scientific knowledge to guide the safe and
prudent use of such organisms outside research laboratories.
Critics are against diagnosing a genetic
disorder before any treatment is available because it creates anxiety and frustration.
Geneticists have isolated several disease-causing gene mutations and have even studied
them in great detail without developing a treatment. Though scientists will eventually
develop successful therapies, criticism is will remain.
Some General Benefits
Genetic counseling can provide advice on
heritable diseases, and genetic screening of workers in possible risk industries is being
considered. DNA probes are providing breakthroughs in early diagnosis of disease.
Biotechnological advances can even be used
to track down criminals in assault cases based on the uniqueness of their DNA.
Improved preconceptual analysis of the
parents' genotypes can provide couples with a broader range of options for family
Some General Criticism
Critics of the HGP maintain that social and
political mechanisms to regulate the ultimate outcomes are insufficient.
Critics argue that there never will be one
definitive human sequence, because of the genetic variation between individuals,
This creates uncertainty about the appropriate definition of "normal," making
the discussion of public policy issues difficult.
Many argue that controlling the manipulation
of human genetic materials will not be easy.
Council for Responsible Genetics Located in
Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Council for Responsible Genetics (CRG), is a
non-governmental, non-profit organization that fosters public debate and discussion about
the social, ethical and environmental qualities that relate to genetics and genetic
technology. The website features organizational insights and points to background
materials and articles on various program topics, affords access to its' bimonthly
magazine, GeneWatch, and points to books that are germane to the topic.
International Plant Genetic Resources Institute IPGRI is
an international research institute with a mandate to advance the conservation and use of
genetic diversity for the well-being of present and future generations. It is a Centre of
the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). Details are
furnished on IPGRI's regional offices and networks, along with specific guides to programs
and services from each.
Genetically Engineered Organisms: Public Issues Education
Project Cornell Cooperative Extension explains the GEO-PIE Project (Genetically Engineered
Organisms: Public Issues Education Project) from this web site. The project offers up
educational materials on the environmental-ecological, social and health related issues
associated with genetic engineering. The site includes discussions about risks and
rewards; U.S. regulatory oversight; media and opinion; and is a source for fact sheets.
Cornell Extension also identifies specific areas where genetic traits are being modified
to certain crops.
Center for Genomics and Proteomics. The homepage link for
Brown University's Center for Genomics and Proteomics. The website is primarily
descriptive, indicating the Center's mission statement, and research areas; includes an
events calendar and offers relevant links.
International Centre for Genetic Engineering and
Biotechnology. The International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology conducts
innovative research in the life sciences for the benefit of developing countries. It is
dedicated to advanced research and training in molecular biology and biotechnology and
holds out the prospect of advancing knowledge and applying the latest techniques in the
fields of public health, energy production, industrial production of high added-value
commodities, nutrition and environmental protection/remediation.
Information System on Genetic Resources. The Information
System on Genetic Resources (GENRES) is maintained by the Information Centre for
Biological Diversity (IBV) at the German Centre for Documentation and Information in
Agriculture (ZADI). ZADI is an Information Service Provider operating under the auspices
of the German Federal Ministry for Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture (BMVEL).
GENRES provides information about national, european and international activities on
conservation and sustainable utilization of genetic resources for food, agriculture and
Unified States Regulatory Agencies: Unified Biotechnology
Websites. This link, which connects to a service of the National Biological Information
Infrastructure (NBII), concentrates on those agricultural products that have emerged from
biotechnology efforts and the various oversight systems that are currently in place. The
website identifies the role of specific federal agencies, key laws and regulations
influencing modern biotechnology, specific government contacts and capacity-building
initiatives. A searchable database, the "Database of Completed Regulatory Agency
Reviews" identifies genetically engineered crop plants intended for food, or feed,
that have completed all the recommended or required reviews for use within the United
Biotechnology in Food and Agriculture. This site gives
conference listings; a link to the FAO. Moderated discussions (forums) are held by
registered participants on varied topics. Objectives of the Forum: To provide an open
forum that will allow a wide range of parties, including governmental and non-governmental
organizations, policy makers and the general public, to discuss and exchange views and
experiences about specific issues concerning biotechnology in food and agriculture for
developing countries. This will be done through a series of e-mail conferences, each
lasting two months, on specific topics. Background and summary documents for these will be
produced. Farmers and specialist breeders have developed and used many biotechnologies to
improve plants and animals within agriculture, or to make food and agricultural products.
Now, improvements in molecular science and in reproductive biology and a radical new
understanding of genetics have resulted in the development of a range of new cutting-edge
techniques. These allow us to directly modify genetic material, better study the
extent/pattern of genetic variation, and they may greatly speed up progress. They may also
help to tackle so far intractable problems. The Forum will focus on such techniques.
The Institute for Genomic Research Home Page link for The
Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR), a bioinformatics-based non-profit institute
involved in the structural, functional and comparative analyis of numerous genomes and
gene-based products. Operating since 1992, TIGR studies specific viruses; pathogenic and
non-pathogenic eubacteria; arachea and eukaryotes. There are a variety of ways to
negotiate the website - the home page emphsizes news; the site offers background on the
Insitute and the various databanks accessible from this location. The Institute has
completed study on a few genome sequences but is also involved in many collaborations;
hypertext pointers provide links to: software, a calendar of conferences, full text links
to publications involving the Institute's research; background on educational resources,
external links and external links - including a link to the "Genome News
Biotechnology in Food and Agriculture - FAO. The Food and
Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations addresses topics involving
biotechnology from this link. The center of the page is devoted to news. Links exist on
the left top side of the page. Website resources include FAO's Statement on Biotechnology.
FAO Documents, in full text. Access and details to the "FAO Electronic Forum on
Biotechnology in Food and Agriculture". Sectoral overviews (devoted to biotechnology
matters and: agroforestry, crops, fisheries and livestock. An events calendar. An
extensive glossary - providing short definitions, corresponding terms and related terms,
contact listings, a link to various "country policy documents", a link to the
FAO-BioDeC database (BIOtechnologies in DEveloping Countries) and to external links.
Human Genome News - Human Genome News is a newsletter of
the U.S. Human Genome Project sponsored by the genome program of the Department of Energy
Office of Environmental Research. HGN is intended to facilitate communication among genome
researchers and to inform persons interested in genome research.
Food Safety Topic - Agricultural Biotechnology. This page
offers information about agricultural biotechnology in food safety research. Included is a
general description of the uses of agricultural biotechnology, as well as links to other
useful online resources. The links direct users to helpful fact sheets, reports,
conference information, organizations, databases/listserves, educational tools, and
journals and other printed materials. This page is maintained by the Food Safety Research
Information Office at the National Agricultural Library. The page was created in June,
Transgenic Crops : An Introduction and Resource Guide.
This web site aims to provide balanced information and links to other resources on the
technology and issues surrounding transgenic crops (also known as genetically modified or
GM crops). Includes links to related web sites (including regulatory agencies and advocacy
groups) and documents.
Biotechnology Regulatory Services - USDA-APHIS APHIS.
(Animal and Plant Health and Inspection Services) regulates the movement, importation, and
field testing of genetically engineered organisms (GEOs) through permitting and
notification procedures. In addition, APHIS Veterinary Biologics inspects biologics
production establishments and licenses genetically engineered products. Other
responsibilities are listed under "Local Subjects".
GenomeNet - Bioinformatics Center - Kyoto University.
Founded in 1991, GenomeNet is a Japanese network of database and computational services
for genomic research into molecular and cellular biology. The Bioinformatics Center of the
Institute for Chemical Research, Kyoto University, on the other hand, was established in
April 2001. The Center promotes basic and applied research in bioinformatics, to
facilitate education and training in bioinformatics, and integrates genomic information
and biomedical knowledge.
Feeding the World / A Look at Biotechnology & World
Hunger - Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology. This document, a full-text issue brief
formatted as a pdf-formatted file, has been prepared by the Pew Initiative on Food and
Biotechnology. The publication analyzes global food production issues and its relationship
with hunger throughout the world. It offers insights into both the cost and benefits of
innovation and relates these concerns to risk management.
University of Wisconsin : Biotechnology Center
A homepage link to the University of Wisconsin Biotechnology Center (UWBC). The Center
offers both general and specific details about its' history and research activities. A key
feature is a series of online lectures which can be accessed using an Apple Quicktime
plugin. A staff directory and an events calendar complements the home page and each of
UWBC's facilities offers web services.
Office of Biotechnology Activities : National Institutes of Health
The Office of Biotechnology Activites at the National Institute of Health is principally
engaged with human genetics but also broadly examines biotechnology, particularly with
regard to recombinant DNA. This Home Page link also points to three Advisory Committees
and offers descriptive explantions of the Office's work and activity.
Partnership for Plant Genomics Education
The Partnership for Genomics Education (PPGE) is dedicated to improving educational
opportunities in the fields of plant genomics and biotechnology. With support from the
National Science Foundation, and others, site visitors can monitor PPGE's work in
professional development; student internships; curriculum and course material development;
educational software development. The partnership efforts are directed at enhancing
experiences for high school and college students; the site is maintained at the University
of California (Davis).
The BioPortfolio Home Page is an interactive service of BioPortfolio Limited, based in
Cambridge, United Kingdom. This link affords information/networking and promotional
insights into industries associated with the biosciences, life sciences and biotechnology
industries. BioPortfolio seeks to meet the demand for intelligence in these areas through
a host of services. The website is presently indexing thousands of press relaeses through
a newsfeed that is updated every thirty minutes. The "BioCorporate Directory"
identfies bio/phramecutical companies; "BioJournal" identifies recent news,
scientific articles and reports; "BioWeb" and "BioNews" are
interactive resources for WWW sites and news.
Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology
Perceiving the need for informed public dialogue, the Pew Initiative on Food and
Biotechnology seeks to offer independent, objective and credible information on
transformative technologies affecting agriculture. Funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts and
working with the University of Richmond, the Initiative offers its' serves through this
Home Page. The website features full-text reports; details on workshops and conferences;
an opportunity to register with the newsroom and converse with the Initiative; or to
subscribe to an e-mail list. The Initiative offers background on its' mission and
organization and is currently working on a consensus project, The Stakeholder Forum. The
Home Page features a subject index, news reports and items of interests.
International Society for Plant Molecular Biology
The International Society for Plant Molecular Biology (ISPMB) was formed in response to
developments occuring in the displines of plant biochemistry and genetics. This Home Page
explains ISPMB's function; has a Membership Directory (with contact information); has
announcements (events); provides full text content (the Society's publication "Plant
Molecular Biology Reporter" is online from 1996); and has external links of interest.
ISPMB survey's patents and patent publications in the field of plant transformation and
regeneration and communicates this to it's membership in patent tables.
Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics
Home Page link for the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics (SIB). A banner at the top of
this website will allow site visitors to access details about the Institute, it's research
groups and course offers. SIB was established in 1998 and it seeks to promote research,
enhance the development of data banks and computer, and assist the bioinformatics
community. The Home Page places emphasis on relevant news items, points to SIB servers,
databases, software tools, employment opportunities and meetings and events. SIB
identifies its' partners and provides links to their sites.
Bioinformatics Laboratory -- Idaho State University
A link describing the Evolutionary, Ecological, and Environmental Genomics Group (EGG) at
Idaho State University's Bioinformatics Laboratory. EEG is affiliated with ISU's Molecular
Research Core Facility (MRCF); all of whom are concerned with management data and analysis
related to molecular level research and engineering. EEG engagements also includes
bioinformatic support for evolutionary and ecological research, including work into
genomics and proteomics.
Biotechnology : Food & Agriculture -- Pennsylvania State University
Penn State University's Cooperative Extension, working with the College of Agricultural
Sciences, has created this website to blend both educational and research-based
information on biotechnology matters which touch on agriculture and food. The website is a
source for articles, editorials and fact sheets. It also includes a glossary of
terminology. Includes an intranet service.
Agricultural Biotechnology - Fact Sheet
Plant Biotechnology Institute -- National Reserach Council Canada
Canada's Plant Biotechnology Institute (PBI), working in alliance with National Research
Council Canada, is a center of excellence for plant biotechnology. Particularly noteworthy
is PBI's efforts involving the metabolic modification of oilseeds. The Institute is
pursuing the development of platform technologies, examining the genomics and proteomic
aspects of canola. Focus also is placed on Brassica, cereal and grain legumes.
Technologies have been developed involving transgenic wheat and barley. Stable
transformations are taking place with legumes. All of PBI's research groups are described;
the website has a glossary to aid in plant biotechnology terminology and most issues of
PBI Buletin are online.
AGBIOS is a Canadian company engaged in public policy, regulatory studies and risk
assessment as it relates to biotechnology developments. Consultants within AGBIOS provide
advice on these matters and promote biosafety capacity development. The website includes
the "GM Crop Database" which generates safety-related information. An online
module discusses livestock feeds derived from genetically modified crops. A bibiographic
database identifies citations relevant to environmental, human food, and livestock feed.
Food safety assessment is addressed through a case study and a module on Canadian-U.S.
regulation of biotechnology products. Full text articles and a news service are online.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Features the online version of "Applied and Environmental Microbiology." Applied
and Environmental Microbiology publishes a substantial share of the most significant
current research in the areas of biotechnology, microbial ecology, food microbiology, and
industrial microbiology. Highlighting research findings applicable to the development of
new processes or products, AEM is a broad-based journal that is indispensable to those
whose basic work has implications of near-term practical benefit. Sections include:
Genetics and Molecular Biology, Enzymology and Protein Engineering, Physiology and
Biotechnology, Food Microbiology, Mycology, Environmental and Public Health Microbiology,
General Microbial Ecology, Plant Microbiology, Invertebrate Microbiology, Methods,
Animal Biotechnology Center -- University of Minnesota
A home page link for the Animal Biotechnology Center at the University of Minnesota.
Although much of the website is under development [mid April 2005], the Center describes
its work and efforts. These include: improved animal well-being; improved food safety;
exploring animal contribution to human health; fulfillment in microbial genetics;
comparative and functional animal genomics; modulation and enhancement of animal growth
and health; improving upon disease resistance; seeking improvement and sustainabilty for
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition - Biotechnology
Articles on biotechnology issues including, "Policy for Food Developed by
Biotechnology, Food and Drug Administration's(FDA) 1995; Statement of Policy: Foods
Derived From New Plant Varieties (PDF) Federal Register(1992); Are Bioengineered Foods
Safe? FDA Consumer, January-February 2000. Links to government and non-government sources.
The Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute
Affiliated with the University of Pretoria in South Africa, the Forestry and Agricultural
Biotechnology Institute (FABI) is a University-based research institute directed in a way
that builds on on the University's base of human resources - infusing skills with forestry
to improve South Africa's knowledgebase. This homepage provides background on the
Institute's work and activities.
Electronic Journal of Biotechnology
A source for full-text information, the Electronic Journal of Biotechnology is published
three times yearly and has been in publication since 1998. This Home Page links to the
publication; which is a copyrighted document that is supported by UNESCO and the MIRCEN
network. The journal covers a wide array of topics involving biotechnology, pointers on
the page identify the Journal's editorial board, there is FAQ and information for authors.
The journal has a feature appealing to broad public interest, which are shorter versions
of other papers. The web site also points to a wide array of external web sites designed
to appeal to site visitors.
Biotechnology -- Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration
This site concerns itself with the biotechnological aspects of grain and stockyard
inspection, with links and full text news articles dealing with specific instances.
Biotechnology in agriculture is coordinated by three federal agencies: the USDA, the EPA,
and the FDA, with links provided here.
Biotechnology and Globalization -- Center for International Development
A link to Harvard University's Center for International Development; devoted to the role
of agricultural biotechnology on the economies throughout the world. Particular focus is
placed on developing coutries.
UCMP Glossary -- University of California - Berkeley
A multi-volume multimedia virtual glossary of biological terms used on the UCMP server is
divided into volumes: phylogenetics; geology; biochemistry; cell biology; ecology;
zoology; and botany.The definitions themselves contain hypertext links to others defined
terms and occur within them. Other links reference in-depth elucidations of the materials
New Agriculturist On-Line Magazine
A full-text, on-line magazine, New Agiculturist is an online service of WRENmedia, a
specialized media company. The publication provides updates, news and developments,
concentrating on international agriculture - particularly on matters involving tropical
agriculture. Directed primarily for global audiences, the New Agriculturist began
publication in January 1998 and archives all past issues on the website. There are
numerous pointers from the home page, all designed to aid site navigation. An external
link points to the WRENmedia photo and slide library.
BioTech Life Science Dictionary
An illustrated glossary developed by staff members and contributors contains over 6300
life science terms. Most of our terms are associated with biochemistry biotechnology
botany cellular biology and genetics but the dictionary also contains chemistry ecology
medicine pharmacology and toxicology terms.Users may search for a keyword occurring in the
term itself or occuring as part of the definition. Search hints are provided. The
dictionary is continually updated.
Global Forum on Agricultural Research
The Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) is a stakeholder-led initiative that
serves as a neutral forum for the discussion of strategic issues in agricultural research
for development (ARD). It facilitates and promotes cost-effective partnerships and
strategic alliances among ARD stakeholders in their efforts to alleviate poverty, increase
food security and promote the sustainable use of natural resources. GFAR stakeholders work
together to define and develop the GFAR Programme of Work and activities in a consultative
manner. The seven GFAR stakeholders are: National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS),
international agricultural research centres of the CGIAR, advanced research institutes,
farmers' organisations, NGOs, private sector, and donors and development agencies.
UK CropNet (through the UK Plant Bioinformatics Network) was established in 1996 to apply
a bioinformatics approach to the study of genome evolution in crop plants. UK CropNet also
has specific aims with regard to developing software and databases that will facilitate
the querying of genomic information from different crop species. Particular emphasis has
been placed on developing software tools for comparative mapping. This Home Page describes
the network; network projects; allows access to various databases; highlights news items
and furnishes links to associated agencies. Crops undergoing analysis include:
arabidopsis, barley, brassicas, forage grasses and millet. There are also projects
involving crop sequencing, comapartaive mapping and display.
The Proteome BioKnowledge Library (BKL) is a web-based service of Incyte Corporation and
is available to acadademic or commercial subscribers over a secure Internet connection.
The BioKnowledge Library contains over 60,000 scientific references on more than 80,000
proteins. This link, to the Library's home page, has tabs of the top of the page; these
access details on Incyte Corporation, and features drug discovery, research products, and
investor relations information. The Library is described on this page and there are links
at the bottom of the page - pointing to a site map.
Pennington Biomedical Research Center
The Pennington Biomedical Research Center (affiliated with Louisiana State University) is
engaged in efforts that "promote healthier lives through nutritional research and
preventive medicine". The Center conducts studies in five major research areas:
functional foods; experimental obesity; clinical obesity and metabolic syndrome;
nutritional and chronic diseases; and health and performance enhancement. The web site
features: news, press releases, expert directories (staff/laboratory/faculty), and
scientific reports. Featured links include: the "Obesity Gene Map Database"; the
"Genomic Core Facility", the "Women's Nutritional Research Program"
(both located within the Center) and a link to the Pennington Biomedical Research
International Service for the Acquistion of Agri-biotech Applications
As a not-for-profit organization, the International Service for the Acquisition of
Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), seeks to deliver specific benefits for developing
countries. ISAAA is involved with the transfer of appropriate biotechnology applications;
is building on existing partnerships and is strengthening its' current programs and
projects. This website furnishes details on work now underway within ISAAA, particularly
those involving improved crop productivity, biosafety, sustainable technology, plant
genomics food safety and technology transfer. Explanations are furnished on: ISAAA's
governance and contact information is provided on the regional centers. The website has a
news service and ISAAA Briefs are online as PDF-formatted documents.
Institute of Food Science and Engineering
Texas A&M University, through the Institute of Food Science & Engineering, is
addressing food safety concerns. By combining the talents and expertise of individuals
from six seperate colleges and two governmental laboratories, site visitors to this
website can obtain background on the Institute and its' six Centers. Historical and
organizational information is also supplied on efforts involving biotechnology and the
Texas Science Partnership. This Home Page link is a also a source for news and activity.
Vermont Agricultural Experiment Station
Established in 1886, this link accesses the website of the Vermont Agricultural Experiment
Station, University of Vermont. Highlights of the website include insights into the
Station's research projects, the Annual Report and "Impact Newsletter" - UVM
Extension and the Stations' quarterly publication. Includes relevant external links.
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) is a nonprofit
scientific and educational organization with over 11,900 members. Most members teach and
conduct research at colleges and universities. Others conduct research in various
government laboratories, nonprofit research institutions and industry. An archive of
Society publications is now online; ASBMB alao offers details on it's meetings and
educational outreach programs.
Agricultural Biotechnology - Advisory Committee
This link accesses the Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture
("AC21") at the United States Department of Agriculture's web site. AC21's
charter, bylaws, membership and details on its' meetings are a part of the site. The web
page also has an archives, related to USDA's Committee on Agricultural Biotechnology
(ACAB). The site generates a number of links - both internal and external of USDA; these
relate to biotechnology and: laws and regulations; permitting, notification and
deregulation and trade.
Turku Centre for Biotechnology
Located in Finland and established in 1992, the Turku Centre is a seperate institute
within both the Univeristy of Turku and Abo Akademi University. The Centre serves both the
academic community and is engaged in industry. Programs and projects undertaken often
involve aspects of molecular and cellular biology. Considerable attention centers on
molecular modelling and aspects biocomputing, mass spectrometry, work with cell culture,
bioinformatics. The site offers organizational information.
Agricultural Biotechnology Support Project II
The need to make bio-engineered products available to farmers is generally acknowledged.
The demand is particularly great in specific regions of the world. The Agricultural
Biotechnology Support Project II is a USAID funded effort to bring public and sector
institutions so that all involved can make more informed decisions on the utilization of
agricultural biotechnology as a complement to development. The website is made available
on a server at Cornell University; details are furnished about ABSPII, this is
complemented by news items and an events calendar.
With a membership in excess of 7,000 this is a link to the Home Page for the Biophysical
Society. The Society advances its' causes and is a general source of news for the study of
biophysics. The "Biophysical Society Newsletter" is an online resource and
searches can be conducted within the Society's Membership Directory. The latter is a
resource for identifying: biochemists, cell biologists, molecular biologists,
neuroscientists, animal and plant physiologists, structural biologists, as well as
scientists working in the physical scientists. Bioenergetics, contractility, membrane
biophysics, structure and assembly, molecular biophysics, and photobiology are among the
fields represented in the Society.
Biotechnology Dictionary / Susan Allender-Hagedorn and Charles Hagedorn
This link, available through a server at the Virginia Tech University, is an annotated
listing of agricultural and biotechnology-based terms. Home base for this link is
entitled: Public Perception Issues in Biotechnology.
Institute of Scientific and Technical Information for Agriculture
English languge version website for the Institute of Scientific and Technical Information
for Agriculture, located in the Slovak Republic. Details are furnished about the Slovak
National AGRIS/CARIS FAO Centre. Biotechnology-based web resources are identified; these
includes internet-wide resources and projects within the Slovak Republic. The site also
furnishes background on the Institutes activities, projects and library.
United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Knowledge of law and regulations; intellectual property rights; plant variety protection;
trademarks; patents; trade agreements; biotechnology is a must for any field of research.
The Home Page to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) affords details on
the Office and its' programs, activities, policies and procedures. The site features news,
guides, and information about all the major areas in which it is engaged. The site map
provides pointers to obvious areas of concern related to: trade; agriculture and
information technology. These include: biotechnology/chemical/pharmaceutical customer
partnership conferences; the GATT Uraguay Round Patent Law Changes; and Plant Patents:
General Information About 35 U.S.C. 161 Plant Patents. The site offers educational
outreach through it's kids pages and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Museum. The museum
strives to educate the public about the patent and trademark systems, and the important
role intellectual property protection plays in America's social and economic health.
Agricultural Biotechnology Intellectual Property Database -- USDA-ERS
Available through USDA's Economic Research Service, the Agricultural Biotechnology
Intellectual Property Database identifies and describes U.S. utility patents for
inventions that involve biological processes affecting food agriculture with issue dates
between 1976-2000. The system provides information about ownership of these patents,
tracks changes in patents due to mergers, acquisitions, spin-offs and similar changes.
Aspects include a system technology classification, and forms (plant plant variety
protection certificates, regulatory approvals for release genetically modified organisms).