Caister Academic Press

CIMB Abstract

Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. (1999) 1: 1-12.

The Application of Molecular Biology

Robert C. Tait

Molecular biology methods have tremendous value not only in the investigation of basic scientific questions, but also in application to a wide variety of problems affecting the overall human condition. Disease prevention and treatment, generation of new protein products, and manipulation of plants and animals for desired phenotypic traits are all applications that are routinely addressed by the application of molecular biology methods. Because of the wide applicability of these methods, they are rapidly becoming a pervasive - some would argue invasive - aspect of our technologically based society. The public concerns that address the application of these methods should be addressed by informed public discussion and debate. While scientists can be extremely critical of the quality, interpretation, and significance of experimental results, they have a rather remarkable tendency to be non-judgmental of the relative social merits of many applications of scientific research. It remains a public responsibility to be sufficiently well-informed to critically assess the merits of applied science research and participate in a communal decision-making process regarding the extent to which a new technology will be allowed to affect society.

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