This project will explain how the actions taken and decisions made by researchers, policy makers and others, resulted in a variety of recent controversies that have arisen over new technologies and techniques dependent on our knowledge of genetics. It will illustrate how decisions made in the laboratory, clinical, industrial or journalistic settings, can become controversial. This will be done by focusing on the currently active controversies over gene modified foods, gene therapy and the collection and storage of human DNA for future use by privately funded research interests. It will consider the scientific evidence, decisions taken in all facets of the research and data communication processes, and unusual circumstances that the involvement of human test subjects and consumers impose on the researcher, and how all of these factors combine to make scientific activity that would normally be considered appropriate or at least justifiable, a spark for scientific, political and social debate. Its' ultimate goal is the reduction of the frequency of controversy over data, results and technologies dependent on our growing knowledge of genetics. This will be done by offering alternatives for organizing and overseeing research, communicating results and regulating the application of new scientific technology in the laboratory, clinic and industrial research setting, thereby allowing the development of new (knowledge while protecting the freedom and creativity of those involved in generating it.
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