Freedom and responsibility in synthetic genomics: The synthetic yeast project

Anna Sliva, Huanming Yang, Jef D. Boeke, Debra J.H. Mathews

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    First introduced in 2011, the Synthetic Yeast Genome (Sc2.0) Project is a large international synthetic genomics project that will culminate in the first eukaryotic cell (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) with a fully synthetic genome. With collaborators from across the globe and from a range of institutions spanning from do-it-yourself biology (DIYbio) to commercial enterprises, it is important that all scientists working on this project are cognizant of the ethical and policy issues associated with this field of research and operate under a common set of principles. In this commentary, we survey the current ethics and regulatory landscape of synthetic biology and present the Sc2.0 Statement of Ethics and Governance to which all members of the project adhere. This statement focuses on four aspects of the Sc2.0 Project: societal benefit, intellectual property, safety, and self-governance. We propose that such project-level agreements are an important, valuable, and flexible model of self-regulation for similar global, large-scale synthetic biology projects in order to maximize the benefits and minimize potential harms.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1021-1028
    Number of pages8
    JournalGenetics
    Volume200
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Aug 1 2015

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    Keywords

    • Ethics
    • Governance
    • Oversight
    • Synthetic biology
    • Yeast

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Genetics

    Cite this

    Sliva, A., Yang, H., Boeke, J. D., & Mathews, D. J. H. (2015). Freedom and responsibility in synthetic genomics: The synthetic yeast project. Genetics, 200(4), 1021-1028. https://doi.org/10.1534/genetics.115.176370