Genetic Engineering

Environmental and health risks of modern biotechnology and respective assessment and management approaches, as well as social aspects of human genetics are investigated and policy recommendations are developed. Furthermore, learning processes are studied and concepts developed to promote an informed debate on genetic engineering issues.

For more information, please contact Armin Spök.

Research Topic

Our projects on this research topic

LINK is a very interdisciplinary project and links between arts, social- and natural-sciences as well as between science and society. A central role is the communication and collaborative working of all involved actors to raise consciousness of the principles of sustainability within society.

The centerpiece of the project is the design of a health avatar that can model the health of a person. In the future, such a "health twin" could be used to simulate biophysiological processes on the basis of medical parameters, environmental conditions and behavioral variables.

200 tumor tissues samples are analysed to determine whether a tumor is a homogeneous cluster of cells or a mosaic of different highly-differentiated tumor cells.

The objective of the PreSto GMO ERA-Net project is to map out the steps needed to create and successfully implement an ERA-Net that will coordinate transnational research on human and animal health, environmental, techno-economic, and socio-economic impacts of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

With the proposed project we aim at investigating empirically the role of ELSA research in the emergence and development of genome research. More specifically, we analyse the ways in which ELSA researchers deal with expectations in their work and how they conceptualise their own part in the research process. Our study will reveal the complex conditions under which ELSA research is carried out and generates its findings and reflect that from a methodological perspective.

The study investigated the role of socioeconomic considerations in national GMO regulations and international law as well as the possibilities and limitations for establishing socioeconomic assessment at the EU level.

A novel type of detergents used for both household and commercial applications contains living microorganism as active ingredients. A comprehensive compilation of information related to technology, active agents, relevance and prospects, ways and fields of application of these types of products was conducted.

This project aims to investigate empirically the diffusion of genetic testing in Austrian medical practice, and the way that test results confront people with their own „genetic identity“.

In order to render the relationship between this scientific domain and society more stable a better understanding of the way lay-people position themselves towards this kind of research, how they perceive the social and ethical issues that are at stake and in particular how gender and the fact of being directly affected impinges upon this, is needed.

In 2005 a scientific paper made it to top international newspapers and put the GMO-sensitized European publics on alert (Prescott et al. 2005).

The main aim of INFOgen is to support the opinion shaping process by offering unbiased information and providing opportunities for a constructive discussion of the manifold aspects in the context of biotechnology. This is our contribution to call the publics attention to the complex topic of genetic engineering and to foster the dialogue between all parties involved.

PMF offers production of pharmaceuticals that would be needed in high-volumes at lower costs than presently used production systems applying mammalian cell lines and microbial fermentation.

Review of the scientific basis of the Austrian import bans of genetically modified maize

The aim of this project is to examine the individual and un-dividable character of decisions in the course of prenatal testing. 

Stakeholder-Workshop: Labeling and free choice of genetic engineering food in Austria  

Reviewing the concepts for risk assessment for second and third-generation genetically modified plants

Draft for an Austrian Biosafety Clearing House Website according to the Cartagena Biosafety Protocol