The report shows how developments in the four fields of bio-engineering are shaped by two megatrends: “biology becoming technology” and “technology becoming biology”. These developments result in a broadening of the bio-engineering debate in our society.
The report addresses the long term views that are inspiring this debate and discusses a multitude of ethical, legal and social issues that arise from bioengineering developments in the fields described. Against this background four specific developments are studied in more detail: the rise of human genome sequencing, the market introduction of neurodevices, the capturing by information technology of the psychological and physiological states of users, and the pursuit of standardisation in synthetic biology. These developments are taken in this report as a starting point for an analysis of some of the main European governance challenges in 21st century bio-engineering.
This document is also available on the Internet at:http://www.europarl.europa.eu/stoa/