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Opening of the discussion: “How to address the relationship between synthetic biology and biological diversity” [#6764]
Dear participants of the online forum on synthetic biology,

It is great pleasure for me to take this opportunity to join this online forum and please accept my sincere gratitude to Secretariats and other participants on this forum.

I am Dr. Hideyuki Shirae belongings in Japan Bioindustry Association.
We have a challenging issue ahead of us, and it is expected that the discussion must be tough things, but I would like to give the opinion that I consider now from the view point of a scientist.

The scientific field of “Synthetic Biology” have not established yet, and it still remains in concept.  Each person draws his own picture about “Synthetic Biology” with imagination freely on the white campus.  In the COP12, there was some discussion regarding the synthetic biology although the definition of the scientific field have not determined yet. In the COP12, it seems to be the “synthetic biology” to let some past genetic engineering techniques complicate, and to build a metabolic pathway.  However, the technology has already been passing for more than 40 years since it was reported in 1973, but there are no any bad effects on the biodiversity in nature. In other words, the technology which currently argued in COP does not affect the biodiversity, and the technique targeted for the argument can be regulated by Cartagena Protocol.

Meanwhile, if the “Synthetic Biology” means the quite a new scientific field which designs unidentified (or unnatural) genetic parts, devices or genetic circuits, for example genetic materials combining with some unnatural genetic sources, but not ACGT which is used in the ordinary recombinant DNA technology, and building up molecules which there are not in nature, nobody have seen them yet because there have not been reported about them yet.  In such case, it seems to be difficult to argue how to address the relationship between synthetic biology and biological diversity.

This is a grand start to our work and I look forward to other comments.

Hideyuki
posted on 2015-04-27 01:35 UTC by Mr. HIDEYUKI SHIRAE, Japan
This is a reply to 6764 RE: Opening of the discussion: “How to address the relationship between synthetic biology and biological diversity” [#6765]
Hello,

My name is Bruce Dannenberg and I am the founder and CEO of Phytonix Corporation. Phytonix is an industrial biotechnology company developing and commercializing a technology and process that photobiologically (photosynthetically) directly converts waste carbon dioxide "feedstock"streams  to produce low cost, renewable and sustainable chemicals and fuels, such as n-butanol, with oxygen as a co-product. We utilize synthetic biology to engineer bio-safe photosynthetic bacteria (cyanobacteria) that directly secrete the target chemical within enclosed photobioreactors.

I will start the discussion with this:

Synthetic biology is transforming the chemical industry by enabling manufacturers to accomplish “synthetic organic chemistry” (the purposeful execution of chemical reactions to obtain a product) using biological catalysts that convert renewable raw materials into products.

One of Phytonix's top priorities and core values focuses on the utilization of both natural and/or engineered bio-safety guards to prevent proliferation of its engineered organisms outside of their enclosed growing systems to prevent negative impacts on critically important global biodiversity.

It appears that The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is looking at synthetic biology from several angles. One is the potential of compensating provider countries for strains that have an origin in that country. This will affect U.S. researchers working in the field of synthetic biology and other nations using sources of strains (Convention on Biological Diversity: http://www.cbd.int/)


Kind regards,

Bruce
(edited on 2015-04-27 02:26 UTC by Mr. Bruce Dannenberg)
posted on 2015-04-27 02:04 UTC by Mr. Bruce Dannenberg, Phytonix Corporation
This is a reply to 6765 RE: Opening of the discussion: “How to address the relationship between synthetic biology and biological diversity” [#6768]
Thank you  Hideyuki san and Bruce for responding and starting the discussions.

From different time zones, I expect more experts shall be joining us for sharing their views in due course .

Ryo K
posted on 2015-04-27 04:32 UTC by Mr. Ryo Kohsaka, Japan
This is a reply to 6768 RE: Opening of the discussion: “How to address the relationship between synthetic biology and biological diversity” [#6770]
Greetings to all:

This is Prof. Kazuo Watanabe, Gene Research Center,  Univ. of Tsukuba, Japan

Recalling that Synthetic biology was listed as one of potential candidate subjects for discussion at RA&RM AHTEG under COPMOP of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety at the beginning, but it was not included in the topics for the development of the guidance doc for RA(UNEP/CBD/BS/COP-MOP/5/INF/15 Page 41, ANNEX V. topics for the development of the guidance doc , in the list there is a sentence “the Risk assessment of living modified organisms produced through synthetic biology”). While COP-12 of CBD, made the mandates on the on-line forum, I yet feel that I wonder how it could be dealt, starting from the definition, and whether or not it could be really the subject for protection of and sustainable use biodiversity?

Now I see that discussion has started on what is synthetic biology based on information supplied from SCBD, and appreciating CBD Secretariat has developed CBD Technical Series # 82 on Synthetic Biology, yet I also feel that this Technical Series Doc itself shall have a peer-review with different scientific organizations to point discrepancy on their recognitions and likely some commonly acceptable components before use it as a reference.

Going into the starting topics on synthetic biology, If any technology is concerned, it is not technology itself, but it should be over “products” from the technology. An abstract framework may suffer more on protection and sustainable uses of biodiversity, and the specific cases may be raised for this forum for examining the elements for further elaboration of discussion after the set up of the foundation on what is the synthetic biology.


Kazuo Watanabe
posted on 2015-04-27 05:19 UTC by Mr. Kazuo Watanabe, Japan
This is a reply to 6764 RE: Opening of the discussion: “How to address the relationship between synthetic biology and biological diversity” [#6791]
Elibio Rech from EMBRAPA
Biodiversity as a source for synthetic domestication of useful specific traits.
I do propose the use of recombinant DNA as a foundation for the synthetic domestication of biodiversity traits. I suggest that this approach constitutes a sustainable and viable option for conservation and development of added value processes and products from biodiversity.
posted on 2015-04-27 18:57 UTC by Mr. Elibio Rech, Brazil
This is a reply to 6764 RE: Opening of the discussion: “How to address the relationship between synthetic biology and biological diversity” [#6792]
Elibio Rech from EMBRAPA

The discovery of the structure of DNA and the capacity to manipulate specific sequences have formed the foundation for a current proposal of synthetic domestication as an expanded concept of domestication. This may be defined as the capacity to prospect, isolate, manipulate and engineer specific traits found in non-domesticated species of biodiversity, aiming to mimic these traits and reproduce them in plant, animal and micro-organism bioreactors.
posted on 2015-04-27 18:58 UTC by Mr. Elibio Rech, Brazil
This is a reply to 6764 RE: Opening of the discussion: “How to address the relationship between synthetic biology and biological diversity” [#6793]
Elibio Rech from EMBRAPA

Currently, the manipulation and effective evaluation of countless organisms, metabolic pathways and molecules that exist as potential products of a large, biodiverse ecosystem can be achieved using a broad spectrum of technologies from genomics to synthetic biology. From the genome to the creation of novel biological systems, metabolic pathways and molecule engineering, it is still necessary to collect some other organisms (or parts of them) as a source of genetic raw material. This, in turn, will allow prospecting, characterisation, gene expression, new pathways and gene arrangements and the necessary proof-of-concept studies (research to demonstrate the functional efficacy of a trait or technology in the target organism, to reduce the risk of product failure), aiming for the sustainable use of biodiversity.
posted on 2015-04-27 18:59 UTC by Mr. Elibio Rech, Brazil
This is a reply to 6764 RE: Opening of the discussion: “How to address the relationship between synthetic biology and biological diversity” [#6830]
My name is Lúcia de Souza, my background is biology/biochemistry and I’m participating in this online forum for the Public Research and Regulation Initiative (PRRI http://www.prri.net/).

In my opinion, the definition of SynBio is an important starting and essential point to know if we are talking about the same things. The techniques and approaches that fall within the umbrella of SynBio are still under discussion, some are already being used and others are possible but haven’t been explored yet. That’s one of the reasons why finding an accepted definition has being difficult. While a broad definition would mostly tackle the challenge of covering present and future applications.  As already mentioned by Jim Louter and others, finding consensus will be difficult and take a very long time. A pragmatic approach to reach the goals of biodiversity conservation is prioritize and concentrate on present applications and the scope of CPB, considering the rest as it evolves.  To the extent that SynBio would make use of “living organisms” (as defined in article 3 of the CPB http://bch.cbd.int/protocol/text/article.shtml?a=cpb-03  ) that possess novel genetic combinations. Such organisms fall under the definition of LMO, as already mentioned by Paul Freemont and others. In addition, as mentioned by Hans Bergman, the definition of LMOs of the Cartagena protocol is sufficiently broad to include (almost) all organisms considered to be result of Synthetic biology at present. As such, these organisms would be covered by the existing biosafety systems (risk assessment and management) that are consistent with the Biosafety protocol.

Considering the question on how to address the relationship between synthetic biology and biological diversity. It’s crucial that SynBio should be used in a way that we can reap the benefits without causing more stress to biodiversity than other existing approaches. However, when considering possible adverse effects to biodiversity, the potential and significant benefits should not be overlooked. Among the applications of SynBio we will also find biodiversity conservation goals in a number of ways, such as: a) to address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss, b) Reduce the direct pressures on biodiversity and promote sustainable use  (Strategic plan for biodiversity – Aichi https://www.cbd.int/sp/targets/ ). SynBio can aim and help control pollution, alleviate pressure on ecosystems, save endangered species, etc.

I agree with Dr. Piet van der Meer, Borys Wrobel, Luciana Ambrozevicius and others that the modus operandi of having multiple topics in parallel is counterproductive.
(edited on 2015-04-29 03:09 UTC by Ms. Lúcia de Souza)
posted on 2015-04-29 03:08 UTC by Ms. Lúcia de Souza, PRRI - Public Research and Regulation Initiative/ANBio (Associação Nacional de Biossegurança - Brazilian Biosafety Association)
This is a reply to 6764 RE: Opening of the discussion: “How to address the relationship between synthetic biology and biological diversity” [#6858]
This is my pleasure to participate in this forum. My name is Dr J.Oyunbileg. I'm representing Mongolian National Biosafety Committee.
Now days this early to talk on danger of synthetic biology impact to biodiversity. Specially for the development countries like Mongolia.
I have two proposals:
1. Research on synthetic biology should be supported to understand the nature of life, to develop new technologies to have sufficient products. 
2. For the implementation of synthetic biology products regulation we should have strict regulation, expanding the Cartagena Protocol or establishing the new protocol on synthetic biology.
posted on 2015-04-30 05:21 UTC by Mr. Oyunbileg Janchiv, Mongolia
This is a reply to 6858 RE: Opening of the discussion: “How to address the relationship between synthetic biology and biological diversity” [#6895]
Thank you Ryo Kohsaka for being our moderator and laying down some initial points on what may be considered under this question. I am Elpidio Peria, from the Biodiversity Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources of the Philippines, a regulator that deals with the problems of biodiversity management, in a developing country setting.

Suggestions that we  start first on a  definition of what is synthetic biology as suggested by Piet van der Meer, and others, is already taken cared of since that will be our focus in topic 3.

We are fine with this question in topic  1 as our starting point since it lays down the how, not  the WHAT,  of the relationship between synthetic biology and biological diversity, and using the recently-released Technical Report of the CBD (Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity [2015], Synthetic Biology. Montreal. Technical Series N0. 82, 118 pages),  the said report indicates the various considerations that need to be taken into account when we deal with this new and emerging technology, synthetic biology.

These  various considerations – from social, economic and cultural considerations – which are further broken down by the said CBD Technical Report  into biosecurity, economic, human health, ethical and intellectual property rights considerations all relating to biodiversity, should all be taken into account when  answering the question on how to address the relationship between synthetic biology and biological diversity.   As such, this may not only mean that we confine our discussion to the Convention on Biological Diversity and its three objectives, but also to its other provisions as well, including, which will be dealt with in later questions in this online exchange, by other relevant international instruments or frameworks that touch on these various considerations.

As a developing country, I would  agree with, and ask that the AHTEG also give particular emphasis to, the concerns raised by Jim Thomas of ETC Group, Lazaro Regalado of Cuba, Jose Silva of Cuba, OA El-Kamy of Mauritania and Caroline Burgeff of Mexico on the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources. Indeed with the way the technology is evolving,  I agree with Jose Silva of Colombia that the 3rd objective of the CBD may lose its meaning.

I am also in sympathy with Oyunbileg Janchiv of Mongolia who said research on synthetic biology should be supported, I take it he means support for doing the technology,  in a developing country setting, since most of the researches going on are mainly done in  developed countries, with some major or big developing countries doing researches on this technology, and this means, also,  article 16 of the Convention, on access to and transfer of technology.

There are earlier suggestions that only the products of synthetic biology be the ones that should be considered and that it appears that the technology is off-limits for further discussion.  This should not be the case. There is an  emerging field of Responsible Innovation, being pioneered by Delft Technical  University, which looks at the interplay of ethics, society and technological innovations. 

Among the approaches of responsible innovation is the proposal for four prima facie  moral conditions (investigated by van de Poel I (2009), The introduction of nanotechnology as a societal experiment.  In : Arnaldi S, Lorenzet A, Russo F (eds) Technoscience in progress. Managing the uncertainty of nanotechnology. IOS Press, Amsterdam, pp 129-142)   that are helpful in judging the acceptability of a societal experiment in the light of uncertain risks (the absence of alternatives, the controllability of the experiment, informed consent and proportionality of risks and benefits) and  value sensitive design, a theoretically grounded approach to the design of technology that accounts for human values in a principled and comprehensive manner throughout the design process (Batya Friedman,  Peter H. Kahn, Jr. And Alan Borning, (2008),  Value Sensitive Design and Information Systems, forthcoming in P. Zhang and D. Galleta (Eds.), Human-Computer Interaction in Management Information Systems : Foundations. M.E. Sharpe, Inc: NY,  see http://faculty.washington.edu/pkahn/articles/c04_LR_2008-04-01-3.pdf, accessed 1 May 2015).

Finally, given that the technology is rapidly evolving, this examination of the relationship of synthetic biology and biological diversity should be constantly under review, including those socio-economic and cultural impacts cited.

Thank you.
posted on 2015-05-01 03:01 UTC by Mr. Elpidio Peria, Philippines
This is a reply to 6895 RE: Opening of the discussion: “How to address the relationship between synthetic biology and biological diversity” [#6904]
My name is Genya V. Dana, Senior Science Policy Officer in the Office of the Science & Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State, at the U.S. Department of State. My scientific training is in environmental risk assessment of biotechnology, and I serve as an adviser to the U.S. government on international policy considerations related to synthetic biology. I am pleased to join the discussion on the forum, and thank the moderators for their work and the thoughtful comments of the other participants in the forum.

From our point of view, biological diversity provides the building blocks for many fields of research. Advances in biotechnology and biological engineering often draw upon, and contribute to understanding of, biological diversity. The results of such research are generating scientific, technical and institutional capacities that provide the basic understanding on which to plan and implement measures to conserve and sustainably use biological diversity to meet the food, health and other needs of a growing world population, in line with the objectives of the Convention. We note that a great deal of the biological engineering research and development in the United States is aimed at reducing dependence on petroleum products, which often serve as the primary substrates for production of many important chemicals and fuels. 

Decision XII/24 noted that the Conference of the Parties (COP) was not able to agree to whether synthetic biology is a new and emerging issue related to conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, and that we are still awaiting the completion of a robust analysis using the criteria in paragraph 12 of decision IX/29. These criteria identify the questions that should be answered, including: evidence of unexpected and significant impacts on biodiversity; imminence of the risk caused by the issue to the effective implementation of the Convention as well as the magnitude of actual and potential impact on biodiversity; actual geographic coverage and potential spread, including rate of spread, of the identified issue relating to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity; and magnitude of actual and potential impact of the identified issue on productive sectors and economic well-being as related to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

A robust analysis of high quality, evidence-based information on these questions would help us understand more about the actual relationship between “synthetic biology” and biodiversity and the relevance of the topic to the objectives of the Convention.

I look forward to continuing to follow the discussion on this topic.

Genya
posted on 2015-05-01 15:46 UTC by Ms. Genya Dana, United States of America
This is a reply to 6764 RE: Opening of the discussion: “How to address the relationship between synthetic biology and biological diversity” [#6905]
Dear Participants,

This post is on the third bullet point of this topic, the relationship between synthetic biology and biodiversity in the context of fair and equitable sharing of benefits.

As participants from Colombia and the Philippines have noted, there are important emerging concerns about the challenges to access and benefit sharing (ABS) procedures that are posed by synthetic biology.

Synthetic biology potentially undermines ABS rules as it permits functional units of heredity to be transferred in non-physical form, principally digital, to be synthesized and used potentially without benefit sharing. Since many ABS approaches are predicated on physical access to biodiversity, for example implementing obligations through a Material Transfer Agreement, digital transfer of synthesizable sequence data may evade rules.

To put it simply, if yesterday's biopirate hid seeds in his luggage, tomorrow's biopirate may upload data at her hotel, or carry it onto her flight on a USB stick.

As mentioned in Topic #3, for some small microorganisms, it is now possible to create living organisms wholly from sequence data. This can be accomplished in a very short period - a few days or less - once that sequence information comes available online.  Presumably, this ability will get faster and involve larger organisms over time.

A real world example of this occurring is described by Dormitzer, et al in Sci Transl Med 15 May 2013, where an H7N9 influenza strain isolated in China was synthesized in the US and cultured in a vaccine facility within days of the sequence being posted on an internet database by Chinese researchers.  It is interesting to note, on the basis of discussions with persons involved in the incident, that this virus was synthesized because US companies and authorities did not wish to wait to receive a physical sample of the virus from China, which likely would have been sent under a Standard Material Transfer Agreement utilized under WHO's Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework.

In agriculture, the Diversity Seek program (http://www.divseek.org) is prompting similar ABS concerns.  That project aims to place large new swathes of crop gene sequence data in new and sophisticated databases.  The species of interest include both those covered by ITPGRFA Annex 1 and others that are not covered by a specialized instrument, particularly crop wild relatives.  Technologically, the point at which these gene sequences may be accessed, synthesized, and practically used by plant breeders in crop varieties may not be far from us.

Notably, at least one principal of Diversity Seek has asserted her belief that by transferring sequence data digitally, access and benefit sharing rules might be avoided: “Genotype information can move quickly and is not in fact subject to the same laws as a genetic resource itself,” Susan McCouch of Cornell University has asserted, adding “Information alone can be critical. There are many many different sources of the same alleles. Most alleles in the world are already distributed on many continents and in many genetic backgrounds.” (See: McCouch S (2014). “The Importance of Data Sharing and Germplasm Movement”, presentation at the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative Summit on Wheat for Food Security (conference), Ciudad Obregon, Mexico, 26 March.)

Of course, what applies for agricultural crops may also apply to digitally transferred  functional units of heredity related to medicinal plants and other biodiversity. Once synthesized, they may be used without proper ABS measures in place.

In sum, synthetic biology presents challenges to fair and equitable benefit sharing because it enables evasion of ABS systems that are built a presumption of physical transfer of materials. Digital movement across borders and subsequent synthesis and use of functional units of heredity - and even entire organisms - will thus need to be addressed in order to prevent biopiracy facilitated by gene synthesis.

Thank you,

Edward Hammond
posted on 2015-05-01 15:58 UTC by Mr. Edward Hammond, Third World Network
This is a reply to 6765 RE: Opening of the discussion: “How to address the relationship between synthetic biology and biological diversity” [#6981]
I am Rachel Smolker, codirector of Biofuelwatch. I have a Ph.D. in biology and background in evolutionary biology.  I offer some general comments from evolutionary/ecological perspective.

In assessing the relationship between synthetic biology and biodiversity it seems important to carefully consider that most applications involve engineering of microbes and microalgae.

We should seriously question and seek to honestly evaluate the potential impacts of an environmental release of synthetic microbes/microalgae as this would appear to be pretty much inevitable.  But in order to fully assess that, we need to understand 1) what are the roles of these organisms in nature? and 2) what do we know or not know towards answering these questions.

It is unreasonable to assume that microbes or microalgae, engineered and mass cultivated can be contained. Because they are very very small and easily become air or waterborne. Escape from containment is virtually certain.  Whether or not synthetic organisms can survive in nature is questionable, but not impossible.  Especially given that in some cases the characteristics engineered/synthesized parallel those associated with invasiveness, (hardiness,resistance to stressors etc.) which make these organisms tolerant of mass cultivation conditions.

Consider that a very recent study of airborne microbes found remarkeably that the average dust sample contained roughly 4700 different bacteria species and about 1400 different fungal species. Each sample. (Barberan et al 2015. PNAS. Continental Scale Distributions of Dust-Associated Bacteria and Fungi). Many of the species found were unknown to science. As we also know, microbes travel in airborne clouds of dust around the globe: hence Saharan dust impacts coral reef in the Caribbean, (for example).

The potential impact of an environmental release of a synthetic organism that survives in nature are simply not possible to assess with any acuity. We know that many microorganisms engage in horizontal gene transfer, gene recoding and various other "tricks" that make the long term consequences simply impossible to predict. How they will evolve over time? How will other organisms that come into direct or indirect contact with  "feral" synthetic organisms be affected? How will complex ecosystems respond? 

We cannot know.

What we do know is that organisms such as ecoli, yeasts, cyanobacteria etc. play key and fundamental roles in ecosystems, regulating many functions from digestion to fermentation and decomposition to producing oxygen and regulating plant nutrient uptake. And we know that changes in microbial communities can have vast and far reaching implications. A dramatic illustration of this was provided by recent analyses (Rothman et al 2014) indicating that the Late Permian Extinction event may have been caused in large part by an explosion of methanogenic microbe populations. This, along with many other important recent discoveries serve to illustrate the vast scope of what we do not know or understand about microbial biology and ecology.

What we are only beginning to appreciate is that microbes are essentially the fundamental determinants of very complex ecosystem properties. Treating them as "devices" to be "engineered" for the production of commercial and industrial products ignores the complexity and unpredictability of microbial genetics and of ecological systems. Assuming we can assess the risks or "manage" the consequences of environmental release of synthetic organisms is dangerously misguided.  Rather, a precautionary approach would require that we adopt a moratorium on commercial release of synthetic organisms, (and products derived from their cultivation).

Last, an evolutionary perspective on biodiversity, and synthetic biology could be worth considering, and I offer this perspective as a start: Life on earth - biodiversity - has evolved through ongoing processes stretching back over millions of years of common history and ongoing evolution. In simplistic terms (as I gather many engaged in this forum are unfamiliar), changes in an organism's genome may occur, and in some cases confer an advantage, i.e. those organisms are better "adapted" to their environment. Interactions with the environment (which includes others of the same species, as well as interactions with other genes in the genome) are key to determining what is or is not "adaptive".  Mutation, genetic drift, natural selection: these are parts of an ongoing process that results in evolutionary change over long periods of time and are the source of biodiversity.

Modern humans evolved only very very recently in the overall timescale of life history. The modification and synthetic construction of evolved organisms by modern human biotechnologists differs radically. 1) it involves entirely new processes and manipulations that have for all intents and purposes never occurred before in earth history, 2) those are done over an unprecedented very short time frame. 3) they are undertaken with the specific objective of designing organisms to fulfill human needs for fuels, chemicals, flavorings etc of commercial value in human economies rather than towards adaptation to the natural environment. 4) they result in creation of new organisms that have never existed before and have not come into existence as part of or product of the complex processes of evolving life on earth (unless all human manipulations are considered "natural" in the context of the "Anthropocene" era, a perspective that is highly debated and generally unhelpful in the context of seeking to protect biodiversity) 5) these organisms would not likely exist without human manipulation/creation.

Thus creations of biotechnology including LMOs, and synthetic organisms, however they are engineered or synthesized, are essentially increasingly removed from the history of life and from the processes that shape biodiversity. While they do not "fit", they are nonetheless "alive" (can reproduce, can share genetic material) and hence represent potential threats.
posted on 2015-05-04 14:38 UTC by Ms. Rachel Smolker, Biofuelwatch
This is a reply to 6764 RE: Opening of the discussion: “How to address the relationship between synthetic biology and biological diversity” [#7050]
Dear collegues,

My name is Katsiaryna Sidarenka and I am working at the National Co-ordination Biosafety Centre (NCBC) of Belarus.

I would agree with Frank Hartung (#6772), who wrote in Topic 2:
“If the end product is a living organisms build up out of new kinds of protocells or xenobiological components, I would discuss it as something unprecedented. In this case we have to discuss which kind of precaution has to be applied on such organisms and components and this discussion has to be focused regarding if such an organism will be just for contained use or for a release into the environment. “

If  to consider as SBO only de novo synthesised organisms or organisms with artifitially invented traits (those, which had not passed through natural evolutionary selection), then their impact on the environment and biological diversity could be regarded as unpredictable. So the questions of possible interaction of SBO with natural environment should be the subject of a great caution.
posted on 2015-05-06 08:32 UTC by Ms. Katsiaryna Sidarenka, Belarus