The Ethics of 21st Century Bioinformatics

Ethical Implications of the Vanishing Distinction between Biological Information and Other Information
  • Dick Holdsworth


The title of this paper was chosen to highlight the chronological perspective which is needed when considering current developments in genetics and related scientific areas, and the moral and ethical implications of these.1


Situation Awareness Combinatorial Chemistry Electronic Computing Complete Code Sequence Rational Drug Design 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Altschul, Stephen F. (1997): ‘Sequence comparison and alignment’, Bishop and Rawlings (eds.), 1997, pp. 137–167.Google Scholar
  2. Bishop, M.J. and Rawlings, C.J. (eds.) (1997), DNA and protein sequence analysis—A practical approach, IRL Press, OUP, Oxford.Google Scholar
  3. Burks, Christian (1997): ‘Molecular biology databases’, Bishop and Rawlings (eds.), 1997, pp. 1–30.Google Scholar
  4. Campbell-Kelly, Martin and Aspray, William (1996), Computer—A history of the information machine, BasicBooks, HarperCollins, New York.Google Scholar
  5. Cookson, Clive (1997), ‘R&D combining brainpower’, Chemical Week, 24 September 1997, supplement, pp. 11–12.Google Scholar
  6. Crosby, Jack L. (1973), Computer simulation in genetics, John Wiley & Sons, London.Google Scholar
  7. Dixon, Jill; Edwards, Sara J.; Anderson, Isobel; Brass, Andrew; Scambler, Peter J., and Dixon, Michael J. (1997): ‘Identification of the complete coding sequence and genomic organization of the Treacher Collins Syndrome gene’, Genome Research, 7, pp. 223–234.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fuchs, Rainer and Cameron, Graham N. (1997): ‘EBI databases and tools’, Bishop and Rawlings (eds.), 1997, pp. 45–58.Google Scholar
  9. Holdsworth, Dick (1994), ‘Accountability: The obligation to lay oneself open to criticism’, Chadwick, Ruth (ed.): Ethics and the professions, Avebury, Aldershot, pp. 42–57.Google Scholar
  10. Holdsworth, Dick (1995), ‘Ethical decision-making in science and technology’, Almond, Brenda (ed.), Introducing applied ethics, Blackwell, Oxford, pp. 130–147.Google Scholar
  11. Hughes, Samuel (1996), ‘Taken aback by ENIAC’, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Alumni Magazine of the University of Pennsylvania, March 1996, pp. 20–25.Google Scholar
  12. Jacob, Francois (1970), La logique du vivant; Gallimard, Paris.Google Scholar
  13. Mendel, Gregor (1865), ‘Versuche über Pflanzenhybriden’, Proceedings of the Natural Science Society of Brno, 1865, pp. 3–47.Google Scholar
  14. Poste, George (1997), ‘Address by George Poste, President, Research & Development, SmithKline Beecham Delivered to the Biolndustry Association, The Science Museum, London, England’, January 14, 1997, Biolndustry Association, London.Google Scholar
  15. Primrose, S.B. (1995), Principles of genome analysis—A guide to mapping and sequencing DNAfrom different organisms, Blackwell, Oxford.Google Scholar
  16. Schrodinger, Erwin (1944), What is life?—The physical aspects of the living cell, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  17. Shannon, Claude E. (1948), ‘A mathematical theory of communication’, Bell System Technical Journal, 27, July and October 1948, pp. 379–423 and 623–656.Google Scholar
  18. Shurkin, Joel (1984), Engines of the mind—A history of the computer, W.W. Norton & Company, New York.Google Scholar
  19. Stevens, Tim (1997), ‘The gene machine’, Industry Week, August 1997, pp. 168–175.Google Scholar
  20. Thonnard, Joelle (1996): ‘The VSNS-BCD biocomputing course’, BEN News, Belgian EMBnet node biocomputing quarterly newsletter, Vol. 4,No. 3–4, Winter 1996, pp. 6–7.Google Scholar
  21. Thuillier, Pierre (1975): ‘Comment est née la biologie moleculaire’, La Recherche en biologie moléculaire, Editions du Seuil/La Recherche, Paris.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dick Holdsworth
    • 1
  1. 1.European ParliamentSTOA (Scientific and Technological Options Assessment) Directorate-General for ResearchLuxembourg

Personalised recommendations