Synthetic Living Organisms: Heralds of a Revolution in Technology and Ethics

Tuesday, October 12, 2021 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

This talk is part of Ethically Speaking: A UCF Interdisciplinary Series on Contemporary Moral Issues

Progress at the intersection of biology, computer science and cognitive science is revealing the remarkable plasticity of living systems and their interoperability with technology. Synthetic bioengineering enables regenerative medicine, as well as the creation of entirely new living organisms, like "Xenobots." Advances in the field blur the lines between machines and organisms. Emerging questions in bioethics extend well beyond safety-driven limitations on research and ask how we will handle a forthcoming and inevitable plethora of hybrid creatures, which will be unlike us in many ways and have no comfortable place on the phylogenetic tree that guides our policies. Dr. Michael Levin will illustrate that these alien creatures raise profound questions about the fundamental nature of our own bodies and minds, with numerous ethical ramifications.

Speaker Bio
Dr. Michael Levin is Distinguished Professor and Vannevar Bush Professor of Biology at Tufts University. He serves as Director of the Allen Discovery Center and the Tufts Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology. His interdisciplinary teams are learning to control tissue growth and regeneration -- to heal, to repair, and potentially to create new forms of life itself.

About Ethically Speaking
Ethically Speaking
is a campus-wide partnership that brings internationally renowned leaders to UCF to discuss cutting-edge topics in ethics. All members of UCF and the community we serve are encouraged to attend. More information on this speaker series and upcoming talks can be found at

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