Asilomar Conference On Recombinant DNA

The Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA was an influential conference organized by Paul Berg to discuss the potential biohazards and regulation of biotechnology, held in February 1975 at a conference center at Asilomar State Beach. A group of about 140 professionals (primarily biologists, but also including lawyers and physicians) participated in the conference to draw up voluntary guidelines to ensure the safety of recombinant DNA technology. The conference also placed scientific research more into the public domain, and can be seen as applying a version of the precautionary principle.

The effects of these guidelines are still being felt through the biotechnology industry and the participation of the general public in scientific discourse. Due to potential safety hazards, scientists worldwide had halted experiments using recombinant DNA technology, which entailed combining DNAs from different organisms. After the establishment of the guidelines during the conference, scientists continued with their research, which increased fundamental knowledge about biology and the public’s interest in biomedical research.

Read more about Asilomar Conference On Recombinant DNABackground: Recombinant DNA Technology, Significance of The Conference

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Asilomar Conference On Recombinant DNA - Significance of The Conference
... Years after the conference, people ascribed a large amount of significance to it ... Singer in 1995, the conference marked the beginning of an exceptional era for both science and the public discussion of science policy ... The guidelines devised by the conference enabled scientists to conduct experiments with recombinant DNA technology, which by 1995 dominated biological research ...

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