Blogging in Berkeley. Notes on news, politics, law, and technology in the US and China. [This blog is inactive. I am now staying busy and having a great time at UVA Law.]
Thursday, December 09, 2004

We all need to start thinking seriously about our vision of the future of human civilization. If we resign ourselves to the fact that we cannot predict what will come then we will give up any chance of shaping the future that is to come. In considering what is possible and what is desirable we may still hope to influence the world of tomorrow. Perhaps more importantly though, we must think about the future so that we can anticipate and prepare for those developments that may be inevitable. Biotechnology is an area in which we do not want to be caught off guard, the stakes are too high. Biotech is becoming so powerful that it may change everything we know down to what we are as a species. The power of biotech can work for the good of mankind or for our detriment and it is up to us to guide the development in a way that conforms to our beliefs and values.

There are so many fundamental philosophical questions that we must consider in the development of biotech. This MSNBC article might help us consider: how much human material can we put in to a research animal before we must consider that animal a human?

MSNBC - Of mice, men and in-between:
"In Minnesota, pigs are being born with human blood in their veins.

In Nevada, there are sheep whose livers and hearts are largely human.

In California, mice peer from their cages with human brain cells firing inside their skulls."
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