General Article Emerging biotechnologies

Topic Selected: Cloning and Stem Cells
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To describe a technology as ‘emerging’ might simply be to imply that it is relatively new and not, as yet, accepted into routine use. However, the term ‘emerging technology’ has acquired a more complex meaning that, despite its increasingly widespread use, is difficult to define precisely.
‘Emerging technologies’ have been described as ones that:

  • arise from new knowledge, or the innovative application of existing knowledge;
  • lead to the rapid development of new capabilities;
  • are projected to have significant systemic and long-lasting economic, social and political impacts;
  • create new opportunities for and challenges to addressing global issues; and
  • have the potential to disrupt or create entire industries.

While this is only one possible description and different perspectives will draw attention to different features, it shows how most references to emerging technologies imply something more than merely the incremental development of a new invention, technique or process fro...

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