Synthetic Biology? Essay

1511 Words Dec 2nd, 2011 7 Pages
Impacts on the Environmental Movement
David Park, Expos 101, Prassack, 11/15/2011 The environmental movement, addressed in "Rewilding North America" by Caroline Fraser, focuses on the negative outcomes of human activities in the environment. It is a movement that restores the environment that humans have damaged. Scientists have addressed the idea, in "A life of its own" by Michael Specter, of using synthetic biology to mend environmental issues. Synthetic biology combines the "elements of engineering, chemistry, computer science, and molecular biology…to assemble the biological tools necessary to redesign the living world" (Specter 364). There are both positive and negative impacts of a synthetic world on the environment movement.
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However, synthetic biology goes against this movement. One of the main purposes for synthetic biology will be to manipulate nature so that humans can obtain the necessities that nature fails to give and is explained by Keasling, C.E.O. of the Department of Energy's new Joint BioEnergy Institute, of how "we have got to the point in human history where we simply do not have to accept what nature has given us," and through synthetic biology we can "construct a new metabolic pathway, one that did not exist in the natural world" (Specter 366). Synthetic biology is essentially opposing the process of the environmental movement for nature, by trying to control nature instead of assisting the process of nature. But even though the process of synthetic biology and the environmental movements are different, the goals of both are them is the same: to create a better world for humans to live in. However, synthetic biology has the possibility to fix many environmental issues. Consider the issue for pollution. The current environmental movement urges us to reduce the amount of fossil fuel. This does not actually ramify the problem of pollution; it only decreases pollution. But, synthetic biology can essentially stop pollution by creating cleaner fuel. Even though synthetic biology hurts the current environmental movement, synthetic biology ultimately fixes the problem that the current environmental movement could not fix. Because humans have

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