Dalhousie Law Journal


R. H. Guthrie


DNA Technology, historical periods, technological invention, Industrial Revolution, Age of Steam, the Automotive Age, the Atomic Age, the Age of Biology.


It is a common practice to identify certain historical periods with the name of the most significant technological invention of the time. Thus, we have had an Industrial Revolution, an Age of Steam, the Automotive Age, and so on, up to the Atomic Age. We are now at the crossroads of a new age; the Age of Biology. This new age promises to be every bit as influential in terms of broad social impact as any of its predecessors, and may ultimately profoundly modify the way in which we define our lives. The hallmark of this new age is DNA technology, the ability to manipulate the genetic make-up of living organisms; and like most new techologies, this one must be treated with respect in order to maximize the benefits while minimizing the attendant disruptions and risks. The purpose of this article is to explore alternative ways of dealing with DNA technology, and to recommend a safe as well as workable course of action.