2017 Introduction to Bioethics for Doctoral Students

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Academic unit or major
Education Academy of Computational Life Sciences
Tokunaga Makio  Yamamura Masayuki  Kajiwara Susumu  Uchikoga Nobuyuki 
Class Format
Media-enhanced courses
Day/Period(Room No.)
Intensive ()  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
Language used
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Course description and aims

This course is offered for doctoral students. The current technologies in life sciences such as assisted reproductive technology, genetic diagnosis, gene therapy, life support and use of embryonic stem cells and iPS cells are developing drastically.
Along with them, however, many problems have been arising, including those on the following subjects:
1) bioethics: a human dignity, human rights,
2) security: human genomic information, genetic recombination, studies on human embryonic stem cells and their utility, epidemiological studies,
3) dual use: diversion of research results into biological weapons.
In this course, specialists in bioethics called on as adjunct lecture deliver introductory lectures with concrete and intelligible descriptions. At the end of each class, a discussion is held among students with the lecturer to deepen their consideration and to learn how to handle and settle bioethics problems. Students are required to take the leadership in the discussion as group leader. Through this course, we hope students to cultivate their ability of global leadership with wide visions, without withdrawing into their own field of expertise, which is indispensable for playing active roles in various fields such as industry fields as well as academic fields.
Students' qualifications will be assessed with the written report on bioethics from the viewpoint of the qualities for doctor.
This course is offered by Education Academy of Computational Life Sciences (ACLS). Students who are not enrolled in ACLS must obtain permission from the instructor before registration.

Student learning outcomes

The goal of this course is for students to (1) learn the basics of bioethical and safety issues that have arisen in association with the significant development of the life sciences, and (2) acquire the skills for thinking about and properly dealing with these issues as a scientist or engineer.


human genome information, biosecurity, dual use

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

This course is an intensive course, and three classes are given.
In each class, two 2 credit hour lectures in succession are conducted by adjunct lectures, specialists in bioethics, followed by 1 credit hour discussion among students with the lecture on current topics and concrete problems.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 2017/11/16 13:20-16:35 "Argument of  Genetic Resouces, Synthetic Biology and DNA sequence data in Convention on Biodiversity" Suzukake J3-405 (Satellite : Ookayama Main building B04) From the arguments in a conference of the party in Convention on Biodiversity about issues of Genetic Resources Synthetic Biology and Digital Sequence Information, we discuss differences of opinion between each country. Furthermore, we will discuss the key factor to construct a  regulation of Biotechnology
Class 2 2017/12/14 13:20-16:35 "The advent of genome-era (I) : Introduction with case studies" Suzukake J3-405 (Satellite : Ookayama Main building B04) Lecture and discussion on genomes basic and some actual issues.
Class 3 2018/1/11 13:20-16:35 "The advent of genome-era (II) : social issues with case studies." Suzukake J3-405 (Satellite : Ookayama Main building B04) Lecture on genome-based medical treatment by government with discussion of this case.


There is no assigned textbook.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

In each class, the lecturer hands out materials.

Assessment criteria and methods

Reports in each class (100%).

Related courses

  • Nothing

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

There are no prerequisites for taking the course.

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