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Chapter 13 : Epilogue

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Abstract:

This chapter contains an epilogue of “The Recombinant DNA Controversy”. Molecular biologists, assiduously following the rules, progressively crafted and carefully tested the safety, range, and power of new tools based on recombinant techniques and thereby added steadily to the knowledge of their safety. Recombinant DNA allowed scientists to obtain genes and begin to understand their structure, location, and mode of regulation in normal development and in disease. Specific human genes could be linked to transcriptional initiators and to translational promoters to force production of large amounts of desired human gene products, such as human insulin. Any cloned gene could be located on its chromosome, an important step toward identification of genetic polymorphisms, greatly expanding the power to follow different phenotypes in family studies. The first proposals for gene therapy were submitted by NIH scientists Steven Rosenberg, R. Michael Blaese, and W. French Anderson, and the first experiment was performed at NIH in 1990. The RAC discusses novel gene transfer experiments, regularly convenes gene therapy policy conferences, and maintains public access to information about human gene transfer clinical trials. The chapter describes in detail one of the most serious endeavors in the author's time to address together the social compact between basic science, the government sponsor, commerce, and the public good.

Citation: Fredrickson D. 2001. Epilogue, p 281-288. In The Recombinant DNA Controversy. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818029.ch13

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