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Biotechnology is generally defined as the modification of biological materials and organisms for specific uses or purposes. Examples include genetic engineering, drug-delivery systems, and animal-human hybrid embryos. While some of these technologies hold the promise of improved treatments and therapies for disease, the ethics of manipulating biological organisms (especially human organisms) is called into question for certain biotechnologies.  Articles in this section examine the ethics surrounding biotechnology, including the ends for which these are pursued, the effects on our understanding of what it means to be human, and the subsequent impact on our common humanity. For biotech discussions particular to cloning and stem cell research, please see the respective pages addressing those issues.


  • Michael Sleasman, “Bioethics Past, Present, and Future: Important Signposts in Human Dignity” (An overview of bioethics and the breadth of issues it encompasses).
  • Edmund Pellegrino, “Biotechnology, Human Enhancement, and the Ends of Medicine.”
  • Paige Comstock Cunningham, “Ligers, Tigons, and Splice: Human-Animal Hybrids.”
  • Erwin Lutzer, “Biotechnology's Brave New World.”
  • C. Ben Mitchell and John Kilner, “Remaking Humans; The New Utopians Versus a Truly Human Future.”
  • Heather Zeiger, “A Quick Guide to Embryo-Like Things: Products and Processes.”
  • Heather Zeiger, “Embryoids: Unique Entities or Protected Like Human Embryos?”
  • Michael Sleasman, “Biotechnology Meets Primetime TV.”
  • Video resource from our Academy of Fellow Consultations on “Biotechnologies and Human Nature: What We Should Not Change in Who We Are


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