|Top Biopolitical Times Posts of 2014, Biopolitical TimesDecember 18th, 2014In 2014, CGS staffers and contributors posted 107 blogs in Biopolitical Times. These are twelve of our favorites.|
|Controversial DNA Test Comes to UK[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky], BBCDecember 2nd, 2014The UK's Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency says the 23andMe spit test can be used with caution. But critics say it may not be accurate enough to base health decisions on.|
|Why Worry About Genetically Modified Babies?, GeneWatchNovember 24th, 2014The terms "genetically modified babies" and "designer babies" are attention-getters. But beyond the catchy sound bites, what do they really mean - and are they something we need to worry about?|
|What Good is a Scientific Meeting If You Dismiss the Science?, Biopolitical TimesOctober 29th, 2014The Science and Technology Committee of the UK Parliament held an evidence hearing last week to examine the science and proposed regulation of so-called “mitochondrial donation,” or “3-person IVF,” but huge swaths of evidence were widely dismissed.|
|"3-Person IVF" Debated in UK Parliament, Biopolitical TimesSeptember 3rd, 2014The debate in Britain over combining eggs or embryos to prevent the transmission of mitochondrial disease received a public airing, though no firm conclusion, in the House of Commons on September 1st.|
|Making Sense of the BRAIN, Biopolitical TimesJuly 24th, 2014As criticisms of the brain projects on both sides of the Atlantic ramp up, what lessons can be learned from the successes and failures of the Human Genome Project?|
|Three Person IVF Plans 'Progress' in UK, BBCJuly 22nd, 2014"Looking back 15 years from now in the midst of a designer baby marketplace, people will see this as the moment when the crucial ethical line was crossed."|
|"3-Person IVF” Update Reveals How Little We Know, Biopolitical TimesJune 5th, 2014A new report on the safety and efficacy of three-person IVF confirms that it would be dangerous and misguided to allow these techniques into UK fertility clinics anytime soon.|
|The Genome's Big Data Problem, Mother BoardJune 4th, 2014Serious concerns around genetic data need to be handled before we all jump on the genome band wagon. How will the data be stored? Who will be able to access it? What security will be in place?|
|Genetically Modified Babies, The New York TimesFebruary 23rd, 2014An advisory committee of the Food and Drug Administration is set to consider radical biological procedures that, if successful, would produce genetically modified human beings. This is a dangerous step. |
|FDA Asked to Approve Creation of Genetically Modified Children, Huffington PostFebruary 20th, 2014The creation of "three-parent babies" has been touted as a relatively trivial tweaking of the reproductive process to enable women with compromised eggs to become genetic mothers of unaffected children. These claims of high impact health benefits from a low-risk procedure cannot be squared with scientific reality.|
|Is genius in the genes?, TESJanuary 24th, 2014The debate about genes and intelligence has resurfaced, and it’s more fervent than ever. Can achievement truly be inherited? Should education be tailored to individuals’ genetic potential?|
|[UK] NHS patient data to be made available for sale to drug and insurance firms, The GuardianJanuary 19th, 2014Drug and insurance companies will from later this year be able to buy information on patients – including mental health conditions and diseases such as cancer, as well as smoking and drinking habits – once a single English database of medical data has been created. Harvested from GP and hospital records, medical data covering the entire population will be uploaded to the repository controlled by a new arms-length NHS information centre, starting in March. Never before has the entire medical history of the nation been digitised and stored in one place.|
|The Three-Parent Dilemma
, MomsRisingDecember 17th, 2013The United Kingdom is on the verge of permitting scientists to move forward with a procedure that would alter the human germline. Mothers everywhere should be deeply concerned.
|Professor Plomin Goes to Parliament, BioNewsDecember 16th, 2013The House of Commons Education Committee, currently investigating 'underachievement in education of white working class children,' heard about the genetics of children with learning disabilities.|
|Are Three Parents One Too Many?[Quotes CGS], BloombergNovember 27th, 2013The U.K. may soon approve a regulatory proposal that would allow scientists to create a human embryo using the DNA of three individuals. What’s striking is how the many opponents span the political spectrum.|
|In Defence of Privacy, BioNewsNovember 18th, 2013Not everyone is convinced that the public disclosure policy of the Personal Genome Project is the best response to the difficulties of safeguarding genomic confidentiality. |
|Advocating Eugenics in the UK Department of Education, Biopolitical TimesOctober 24th, 2013Dominic Cummings, a senior adviser to the UK Secretary of State for Education, recently provoked a flurry of complaints about his technocratic, effectively eugenic, definitely gene-focused approach to public policy.|
|Scientists Warn Against “Three-Parent IVF” Experiment, Biopolitical TimesSeptember 25th, 2013Three evolutionary biologists enumerate a number of scientific studies and methodological shortcomings that have been overlooked in the debate on mitochondrial replacement. Their study has elicited numerous defensive responses, despite bringing important details to bear.|
|UK Forensic Science Slammed by Inquiry, NatureJuly 25th, 2013UK government failures over forensic science are leading to fragmentation, research gaps and possibly even miscarriages of justice, according to a parliamentary inquiry on the subject.|
|Eight Misconceptions about “Three-Parent Babies”, Biopolitical TimesJuly 9th, 2013Amid the talk about “mitochondria replacement” or “three-parent babies," here are the top misconceptions proliferating about the efficacy, safety, public support, and societal implications.|
|Three Person IVF, Practical EthicsJune 29th, 2013Unfortunately, this debate, like so many others in announcements of developing science and technology related to health in general and genetics in particular, is marred by hype and by urgency.|
|Three Parent Baby[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]KPIX HealthWatchJune 27th, 2013Mitochondrial replacement would create "three parent babies," and could be attempted in humans soon, but carries risks to the child and broad societal consequences.|
|The Baby Blueprint [VIDEO][With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]Al Jazeera EnglishApril 22nd, 2013Would you choose your child's genetic potential? Live debate with Marcy Darnovsky, Stuart Newman, Julian Savulescu, and Nita Farahany.|
|The Right to Speak Out[Editorial]NatureApril 9th, 2013Controversy over the results touted by a genetic-ancestry firm has highlighted the need for reform of the United Kingdom’s restrictive libel law.|
|GM Babies?, Biopolitical TimesMarch 5th, 2013A debate about genetically engineered babies is hijacked by slick rhetoric.
|Brave New Cells?, Project SyndicateDecember 29th, 2012Supporters of mitochondria replacement neglect a crucial factor in the debate: the techniques being developed involve permanent genetic alterations passed on to future generations.|
|DNA Test Jailed Innocent Man for Murder, BBC NewsAugust 31st, 2012Scientists, lawyers and politicians have raised concerns over the quality of forensic evidence testing - is the criminal justice system too reliant on lab tests without seeing their limitations?|
|Artificial DNA Presents Real Dangers, Biopolitical TimesMay 2nd, 2012The creation of “artificial DNA” has generated substantial media buzz. The untold story behind the hype is about the new risks synthetic biology presents. |
|Anonymous DNA? No, It's Not, Biopolitical TimesApril 19th, 2012An article in Nature Genetics essentially says that keeping aggregated DNA data anonymous is impossible, which raises important questions about privacy and the conduct of research.|
|Britain's Biobank Is Open for Business, ScienceMarch 29th, 2012As the UK Biobank opens for business with samples and health data from half a million people, GeneWatch UK and others maintain that genetic databases are white elephants with few scientific benefits.|
|The Case Against DNA, The TelegraphMarch 6th, 2012Genetic profiling was once hailed as a magical tool to catch criminals. So why is it now in danger of being discredited?|
|UK Supreme Court Upholds Gene Patent, BioNewsNovember 14th, 2011In what appears to be the end of a long-running legal saga, the UK's Supreme Court found in favor of a patent for a gene and the protein sequence it encodes.
|HFEA Triples the Going Rate for Women’s Eggs in UK
, Biopolitical TimesOctober 27th, 2011The UK’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority set new compensation rates for sperm and egg providers that are drastically higher than previously allowed.
|What price parenthood?, The IndependentOctober 20th, 2011UK's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority tripled the amount that women can be paid from egg donation to £750 per cycle.
|More on Cash for Eggs, Biopolitical TimesOctober 13th, 2011The Nuffield Council on Bioethics has issued a report about the provision of human bodily material for medicine and for research, including the issue of payment for gametes.|
|ESHRE on Reproductive Tourism: Be Nice, Biopolitical TimesApril 26th, 2011The ESHRE "Good practice guide for cross-border reproductive care" is better on defining issues than solving problems. |
|Scotland Yard "seduced for years by science and DNA", Biopolitical TimesMarch 29th, 2011Scotland Yard has admitted that basic errors, apparently arising from an over-reliance on forensic DNA, allowed a multiple burglar and rapist to stay free for ten years after he should have been caught, preying on at least another 146 victims.|
|Profits, Princes and Police DNA Databases, Biopolitical TimesMarch 16th, 2011A new investigation reveals disturbing commercial pressures to establish forensic DNA databases that may go well beyond legal limits in Europe and the US.|
|Courts 'will reject test secrecy'[The United Kingdom], BBC News February 24th, 2011There is a serious mismatch between the government's aim to commercialise forensic science and the requirement of courts for openness, according to a top forensic expert.
|Forced sterilization considered in a UK court
, Biopolitical TimesFebruary 17th, 2011A British special court delayed its ruling on whether or not a woman with “significant learning disabilities” should be forcibly sterilized.
|Is forced sterilization ever OK?[Interview with CGS's Doug Pet], SalonFebruary 16th, 2011A U.K. court considers the question in the case of a pregnant woman with significant learning disabilities.
|Fertility’s Mega-Mall, Biopolitical TimesNovember 11th, 2010The “Fertility Show” in London literally displays how the ART industry is commidfying fertility.
|Abolishing (and Replacing) the UK HFEA, Biopolitical TimesOctober 28th, 2010The UK Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) is to be abolished, as part of a massive governmental reorganization, and its responsibilities reassigned.|
|Government scraps 192 quangos, The GuardianOctober 20th, 2010The British government will close or substantially cut back hundreds of its agencies. Among those being scrapped is the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority, which oversees embryo research and fertility treatment.|
|Abolition of HFEA 'won't save anything'BBC NewsSeptember 24th, 2010The former chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, one of many publicly funded non-governmental advisory bodies in the UK that may be scrapped, analyses the gap the abolition of the body will leave.|
|International Survey of ART Released, Biopolitical TimesSeptember 23rd, 2010The International Federation of Fertility Societies has just released Surveillance 2010, the 5th edition of a triennial global survey of the assisted reproduction industry.|
|Time to Clean Up After Cloning Cattle, Biopolitical TimesAugust 17th, 2010The USDA is still committed to promoting livestock cloning, but recent bad publicity makes it clear that the technology remains unpopular, unnecessary, and unethical.|
|"Weak and Meaningless" Guidelines for UK DTC Tests, Biopolitical TimesAugust 10th, 2010The UK Human Genetics Commission's "A Common Framework of Principles for direct-to-consumer genetic testing services" rejects government regulation and relies entirely on voluntary guidelines.|
|A People's History of the Human Genome, Biopolitical TimesJune 30th, 2010Genewatch UK marked the 10th anniversary of the Human Genome Project announcement by publishing an extraordinary History with important current policy implications.|
|Pretending to be Tough, Biopolitical TimesApril 19th, 2010The English forensic DNA database has been dragged into the current UK election campaign with false accusations that supporting reform means being "soft" on crime.|
|Struggling to Control Fertility Tourism, Biopolitical TimesApril 17th, 2010Several countries are trying to figure out what to do about their citizens who go abroad for assisted reproduction procedures to evade local prohibitions (or just to save money).|
|UK Feminist Campaign: No2Eggsploitation, Biopolitical TimesDecember 15th, 2009The UK's fertility watchdog agency is considering revoking the rule that limits payments to women who provide eggs for other people's IVF treatment. A network of British feminists objects.|
|Are UK Cops Pushing People Into the Pool? , Biopolitical TimesNovember 27th, 2009A new report from the UK suggests that police may be taking a new tactic: arresting people for the sole purpose of getting their DNA.|
|Womb Transplants in Two Years?, Biopolitical TimesNovember 2nd, 2009A reality check greets British fertility researchers' claim that human womb transplants will be available in as little as two years.|
|The rise and fall of hybrids in the UK, Biopolitical TimesOctober 20th, 2009The remarkable push by UK researchers for animal-human hybrid embryos is another strange tale of science politics and science policy. |
|Google Baby, Biopolitical TimesOctober 9th, 2009An Israeli documentary offers an excruciatingly up-close look at India's booming global surrogacy industry.|
|Genotyping Children, Biopolitical TimesSeptember 29th, 2009Twice in the last few weeks Anne Wojcicki, of 23andMe, has strongly defended genotyping children, an increasingly controversial practice.|
|The Gray Areas at the Edges of Regulation, Biopolitical TimesAugust 26th, 2009The UK experience with regulation continues to offer lessons, as sperm sellers are arrested, US companies promote sex selection to Britons, and an MP has his DNA removed from the police database.|
|"What color is the baby?" Green?, Biopolitical TimesMay 13th, 2009Race has a remarkable impact on media coverage of accidental switches of gametes or embryos in fertility clinics.|
|Parents 'refused genetic tests', BBC NewsApril 22nd, 2009Children are being born with severe genetic abnormalities because their parents are being refused funding to screen their embryos, those working in the field have claimed.|
|Always falling behind, Biopolitical TimesJanuary 23rd, 2009A new report concludes that the US is still the world leader in stem cell research. Although likely true, the report should be viewed skeptically.|
|UK Grants All the Scientists' Wishes, Biopolitical TimesOctober 29th, 2008The bill overhauling the United Kingdom's oversight of assisted reproduction and embryo research granted researchers essentially all that they asked for, and then some.|
|DNA Databases Run Amok, Biopolitical TimesAugust 11th, 2008Genetic forensics may assist in solving crimes, but the too-common assumption of the technique's infallibility makes it prone to implementation errors - seen most recently in the UK and Australia.|
|IVF 30 Years On , Telegraph [UK]June 16th, 2008When the first test-tube baby was born, it wasn't just the beginning of a new life but of a whole new approach to infertility. But what few women realise is that IVF treatment has become increasingly aggressive: so much so that there are very real risks involved.
|Cloning the Dead, Biopolitical TimesJune 3rd, 2008The UK is now proposing allowing scientists to try to create clonal embryos from the tissues of dead people, most of whom have not given their consent.|
|MPs Reject 'Saviour Sibling' BanBBC NewsMay 23rd, 2008A bid to stop parents having "saviour siblings" - babies selected to provide genetic material for seriously ill relatives - has been defeated by the United Kingdom Parliament.
|UK's Prime Minister Brown vs. scientists, Biopolitical TimesMay 22nd, 2008Like so many writings advocating cloning-based stem cell research, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown's recent op ed drifts to distortion and hyperbole.|
|Robert Winston on the UK's fertility bill, Biopolitical TimesMay 13th, 2008Assisted reproduction pioneer Lord Robert Winston had some surprising words about the UK's controversial bill to overhaul its oversight of the reproduction industry and stem cell research.|
|Unseen Rise of ‘Body Shopping’, The Sunday TimesApril 20th, 2008Good science can’t be rushed, and the commercialisation of biotechnology needs proper examination. The problem is that parliament is too busy arguing about God to pay much attention.|
|Stem Cell Research May Not Find Wonder Cures, The ScotsmanApril 7th, 2008Despite the years of study and debate about the potential, cell research therapies have been slow to materialize. Even the head of the UK National Stem Cell Network has now conceded that stem cell research may never deliver new treatments.
|Facts on the Ground, Biopolitical TimesApril 2nd, 2008One need not be that cynical to believe that British cloning researchers are trying to change the "facts on the ground" for the upcoming debate.|
|Embryo Bill is Plank of Gordon Brown's Agenda, TelegraphMarch 24th, 2008The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill is a major plank of the Government's legislative programme. For Gordon Brown - to whom the Bill means so much - and Geoff Hoon, his chief whip, the prospect of a parliamentary defeat on its measures is unthinkable. |
|An Embryonic Disaster?The government’s new fertility bill is under fire on religious, moral and even scientific grounds, The Sunday TimesMarch 16th, 2008The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill is designed to regulate just how far scientists can go when experimenting on embryos or embryo parts. It will also lay down new boundaries for fertility clinics, setting out the circumstances in which controversial techniques for screening embryos for defects, or gender, are allowed.|
|Who’s Biting Who?: Headlines on white surrogate for Asian couple, Biopolitical TimesMarch 10th, 2008Probably the oldest cliché in journalism is that the everyday ‘dog bites man story’ is not nearly as newsworthy as when the proverbial man who turns the tables and bites the dog. But when it comes to reproductive technologies, race is increasingly becoming the dividing line between journalists’ view of the ordinary and the extraordinary.|
|Is it wrong to select a deaf embryo?, BBC NewsMarch 10th, 2008New fertility legislation will make it illegal to use embryos with a known genetic abnormality in IVF treatment when ones without the same defect are available.|
|Cloning, Children, and Consent, Biopolitical TimesFebruary 8th, 2008After a string of actions that are a mix of the rushed and the unjustified, now I am reluctant to offer the benefit of the doubt to the UK's governance of reproductive and genetic technologies.|
|Goodbye Dolly?, Biopolitical TimesNovember 17th, 2007Ian Wilmut, who came to fame by producing the world's first cloned mammal - and who is sitting on one of two licenses to clone human embryos that the British government has issued - is giving up on cloning techniques in stem cell research.|
|First One in the Pool..., Biopolitical TimesOctober 17th, 2007The point, of course, is that in fact not everybody is equally represented in the DNA databases that are rapidly expanding in the United States as well as the UK.|
|Moving the Goalposts on Hybrids, Biopolitical TimesOctober 12th, 2007In recent years, biologists have been advocating the use of various human-animal constructs in their work. They seem to get what they want. In fact, they may now be getting more than they even asked for.|