Dr. Timothy Malloy's Bio Timothy Malloy is a Professor in the Law School. His research focuses, in part, on the governance of emerging enabling technologies such as nanotechnology and synthetic
Dr. Timothy Malloy’s Bio
Timothy Malloy is a Professor in the Law School. His research focuses, in part, on the governance of emerging enabling technologies such as nanotechnology and synthetic biology.
Dr. Siobhan A. Braybrook’s Bio
Siobhan is an Assistant Professor in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology. She is part of the Plant & Algal Mechanics Lab which researches how the physical reality of having a cell wall influences growth and survival.
Synthetic biology enables the intentional, direct engineering of organisms to create novel or altered traits. The Braybrook lab at UCLA is currently developing practical methods to alter kelp’s genetic code using CRISPR technology. Synthetic seaweed is within our grasp but what should be done with it? And who should decide? Historically the development and deployment of emerging technologies have outpaced society’s capacity to consider and respond to its ethical, legal, and social impacts.
This project lays the groundwork for comprehensive research and development of an anticipatory governance framework covering the genetic engineering of seaweed for habitat restoration, aquaculture, and biofuels production. Anticipatory governance is an emerging approach to responsible innovation. Anticipation means that consideration of risks and concerns is front-loaded and integrated contemporaneously with the basic and applied research efforts and subsequent deployment of the technology. Governance refers to social, legal, and institutional processes used by public and private entities and organizations in deciding whether and how to develop and use the technologies. Collaboration lies at the heart of anticipatory governance, bringing scientists and policy experts together with stakeholders who may be impacted by the technology to map out potential futures and build proactive governance strategies. Although the need for responsible application of genetically engineered organisms, including kelp, has been acknowledged, suitable anticipatory governance methods are only now being explored. Our project will be the first to develop an anticipatory governance framework for genome editing in kelp.
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