Prerequisite: Biology

Biotechnologies use living systems to solve problems. These technologies are often associated with ethical dilemmas related to whether and to what extent we should employ them. This course will explore ethical issues related to the use of biotechnology. After an introductory unit on ethical perspectives and frameworks for analyzing dilemmas, the course is organized around units based on current biotechnologies. Example units include genetic modification, gene therapies, manipulation of stem cells and embryos, uses of genetic information, and creation of synthetic life and organs. Each unit will explore a central question with an embedded ethical dilemma. To address the question, we will analyze case studies, conduct research, discuss and share viewpoints, and perform laboratory exercises when applicable. Assessment of student learning may include quizzes, presentations, writings, discussions and projects.