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Electronic Journal of Biotechnology

versión On-line ISSN 0717-3458


RODRIGUEZ YUNTA, Eduardo et al. Attitudes towards genomic: Research in four Latin American countries. Electron. J. Biotechnol. [online]. 2005, vol.8, n.3. ISSN 0717-3458.

The present reflection refers to data obtained about the social representations of genomic research and its applications through interviews with legislators and lawyers, biomedical researchers and civilians and the review of scientific and legal literature in four Latin American countries: Argentine, Chile, Mexico and Peru. Several issues are addressed: little access to prevention and therapeutic methods, lack of equity in health benefits, commercialization of gene sequences through patents which leads to commercial exploitation of underdeveloped countries, the possibility of physical or psychological damage or genetic discrimination, the possibility of genetic modifications or abortion for eugenic reasons, the necessity of safeguarding confidentiality, risks and benefits of the use of transgenics and cloning, the necessity of legal regulation to prevent the pathway towards genetic enhancement or reproductive human cloning and of regulating access to genetic information. Using the method of content analysis of verbal behaviour to evaluate the degree of anxiety and hostility of subjects in relation to the Human Genome Project (HGP) developed by Gottschalk and Gleser, an inverse relation between levels of anxiety and level of knowledge was observed which highlights the importance of educating the population. Differences in the level of hostility towards the HGP were also found among the groups.

Palabras clave : cloning; genome; social representations; transgenic.

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