Bioethics and Biolegislation Symposium
Stockholms Universitet, 29 May

Last May 29th we got the chance to learn about biotechnological innovation and bioethics in an event organized by our iGEM Stockholm team. The event took place at Stockholm University, thanks to the collaboration with the SU-Young Faculty Professors Association. We were very fortunate to have Joanna Applequist, an European Patent Attorney from Valea AB; and Jesper Ahlin Merceta, an expert in Bioethics, from KTH Royal Institute of Technology; as our guest speakers.

Joanna gave us an introduction to intellectual property and provided an overview of aspects to consider when pursuing a patent for an invention. She also explained to us the patentability criteria focusing on the life science field and talked about the process of drafting and prosecuting patent applications. Importantly, Joanna provided a list of do’s and don’ts for inventors who wanted to secure intellectual property rights to their technology.

On the other hand, Jesper discuss some moral trade-offs in the development and use of biotechnology. We discussed how should the possibilities of biotechnology, such as making human beings resistant to harmful or deadly viruses, be weighed against moral constraints such as, for instance, not using fetuses for research purposes. He also made us question ourselves about the values are at stake and how should society deal with such moral trade-offs.

Furthermore, we also invited Erik Hartman to join us via conference from Lund. He explained some general EU affecting the market of biotechnology products and why there is a need to change the regulations regarding consumable GMMs. This talk is part of a Nordic collaboration between iGEM Stockholm, iGEM Lund and iGEM Copenhagen.

We would like to thank our collaborators for making this very interesting and educational event possible, and to our speakers for the amazing presentations. Also, thank you for everyone that came and participated in the discussion and Q&A. Special thanks to Valea AB, iGEM Lund, the SU-Young Faculty Professors association and Jesper Ahlin.