|A Cautious Approach to Mitochondrial Replacement, Impact EthicsFebruary 3rd, 2016While the motivation with mitochondrial replacement (MRT) is distinct from cloning, the transfer technology is the same. MRT can legitimately be seen as a “quiet way station” in which to refine the techniques essential for other genetic interventions (including cloning).|
|We Are Not Ready to Edit Human Embryos Yet, TimeFebruary 2nd, 2016Due to our insufficient knowledge, the slippery slope to human enhancement, and the global ban on human experimentation, we need to better understand the software of life before we begin re-writing this code.|
|A Monkey Circles in a CageJanuary 29th, 2016Researchers created transgenic monkeys with a gene duplication associated with Rett Syndrome autism in humans, raising concerns of the limits and ethics of using animal models in biomedical research.|
|Genetic Issues at the London Sperm BankJanuary 22nd, 2016The policy of turning away potential sperm donors with infectious diseases and “genetic issues” signals to people living with dyslexia, autism, ADHD, and other human variation that they are unwanted in the present and the future.|
|Extreme Genetic Engineering and the Human FutureReclaiming Emerging Biotechnologies
for the Common GoodThe Center for Genetics and Society and Friends of the Earth examine the human applications of synthetic biology. This 50-page report challenges claims that this new set of genetic engineering techniques should be seen as "the future of manufacturing, engineering and medicine."
|Gene Editing and Eugenics (Opinions Vary), Biopolitical TimesOctober 29th, 2015A recent commentary on the UK law allowing clinical use of mitochondrial replacement celebrates it as a benign form of eugenics. Is there such a thing?|
|UK Womb Transplants: 5 Ethical Issues, Live ScienceOctober 5th, 2015The procedure would expose both patient and developing fetus to autoimmune suppressants, use uteruses from deceased donors, and require that clinical patients have a "long-term partner."|
|Womb transplants given UK go-aheadBBCSeptember 30th, 2015Ten women will be chosen for a clinical trial that will transplant a donated uterus, monitor organ acceptance for a year, and initiate up to two IVF pregnancies before removing the transplant.|
|Considering CRISPR: Putting a thumb on the scale?, Biopolitical TimesSeptember 24th, 2015The National Academies have announced the date for their International Summit on Human Gene Editing. Are some of the organizers trying to predetermine the outcome?|
|GM embryos 'essential', says report, BBCSeptember 10th, 2015A stem cell consortium issues a statement advocating for germline gene editing of human embryos, and that GM babies may be "morally acceptable" under some circumstances in the future.|
|Hi-Tech DNA Machines Cause Concern, The IndependentApril 26th, 2015Police forces across the UK are testing technology that allows officers to analyse DNA samples in custody suites, amid fears that civil liberties could be infringed and evidence compromised.|
|Big Data and Privacy Rights, BioEdgeFebruary 7th, 2015A review of the British Government’s "care.data" scheme has found that the existing privacy framework needs major revision. |
|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).|