978-0-87477-909-7 / 9780874779097

The Biotech Century: Harnessing the Gene and Remaking the World





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About the book:

When two Scottish scientists successfully cloned a sheep in July 1996, the news sparked fierce scientific, ethical, theological, and philosophical debate, momentarily pulling biotechnology from the laboratories and thrusting it onto the front pages. With living proof that such advancements are no longer the stuff of science fiction, a whole new world of possibilities--and dangers--presented itself. Jeremy Rifkin is more concerned with the dangers of this technology, and in The Biotech Century , he presents numerous compelling reasons why we should be, too. Many of these dangers revolve around the seemingly inevitable commercialization of genetically engineered life forms that would come if corporations battled for the rights to patents on new or modified species of plants, animals, or even human beings. Rifkin warns that "designer" babies and genetically perfect humans, along with any other artificial creations, would wreak havoc with the gene pool and the natural environment. While he concedes that there are benefits to biotechnology, he makes it clear that the risks far outweigh the rewards at this time, urging for greater restraint and responsibility before opening what could be a Pandora's box.

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