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20.12.2017 |

Synthetic Biology and Relevant International Law By Lim Li Ching

About the Book

SYNTHETIC biology has been operationally defined as “a further development and new dimension of modern biotechnology that combines science, technology and engineering to facilitate and accelerate the understanding, design, redesign, manufacture and/or modification of genetic materials, living organisms and biological systems”. The complexity and novelty of the technology present significant challenges in terms of its governance and regulation.

This booklet looks at the multilateral treaties that apply to various aspects of synthetic biology, including, most notably, the Convention on Biological Diversity and its Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. Nevertheless, gaps still exist in the international legal framework when it comes to addressing all the potential negative impacts resulting from the application of synthetic biology techniques. In view of this, the author sets out several elements and principles that could underpin a more holistic regulatory approach towards this emerging new technology.

Lim Li Ching has a B.Sc. in Ecology and an M.Phil. in Development Studies. She is a Researcher with the Third World Network and coordinates its biosafety programme. She is currently a member of the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Socio-economic Considerations, established by Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.

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