In recent years, the rapid expansion of knowledge in the field of molecular genetics resulting from the use of recombinant DNA (rDNA) techniques has been unprecedented. The expanded knowledge scientists have acquired through rDNA techniques has precipitated conspicuous breakthroughs in biomedical research involving the manipulation of human genetic material to diagnose and treat human disorders. Application of this research may soon affect all aspects of our lives. However, this newly-acquired ability to manipulate human genes raises broad ethical and legal questions. The issues raised by rDNA research are dissimilar to earlier questions regarding the use of genetically-engineered microorganisms in the laboratory and current questions related to the regulation of biotechnology. Despite this dissimilarity, the rapidity with which biomedical developments have been achieved makes the resolution of these ethical and legal questions regarding rDNA techniques all the more urgent.
Robert L. Gully & Stephanie J. Bird,
Regulation of the Biomedical Applications of Recombinant DNA Research,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
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