11Biotechnology and Modern Society
Not only has the development of the life sciences been of help in the elucidation of the essence and mechanisms of life, but it has also deeply penetrated our daily lives and caused large changes in society. The influence of the life sciences is not limited to the field of medicine; it has affected even our dietary habits and criminal investigation.
It is believed that technical advancements in the life sciences in the 21st century will further change the modern society. In order to respond to such changes, it is indispensable to understand both the "benefits" and "risk" of the life sciences and to find a balance between them.
This chapter, among the cutting-edge technologies in the life sciences, will focus on "genetic engineering" and "cloning and stem cell technology," and discuss the current actual status, possibilities, social effects, and the balance between the risks and benefits of these technologies.