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About Bioethics & Human Biotechnology


Bioethics established itself in the late 1960s as a field concerned with the ethical and philosophical implications of certain biological and medical procedures, technologies, and treatments. Early issues included end-of-life decision-making, organ donation, and human experimentation. Human biotechnology became a concern when the first bioethics institutes were established in the early 1970s. This attention skyrocketed in 1990 when the U.S. Human Genome Project earmarked 3% to 5% of its $3 billion federal budget to the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) research program, making its activities the world's largest bioethics program.

Bioethics initially represented diverse ethical philosophies. But by the mid-1980s, most professional bioethicists were grounded in individualist and utilitarian frameworks. Bioethicists appropriately continued to consider informed consent, patient safety and similar topics, but their attention to the broad social and political meanings of human biotechnologies had faded.

This shift has been unfortunate for the public's understanding. Most bioethicists present themselves as disinterested analysts who can be trusted to represent a full range of constituencies: researchers, biotech corporations, patients, religious groups, marginalized communities, and other affected parties. But in fact, many promote their own world views, which often emphasize libertarian values over commitments to the public interest.

The role of bioethics has been further compromised by its increasing financial and professional ties to the biotech industry. Many university bioethics centers receive funding from biotech corporations, and many bioethicists serve as paid or unpaid members of corporate "ethical advisory boards."



The Stupidity of the “Smart Gene”by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesSeptember 17th, 2014Now that “one of the largest, most rigorous genetic studies of human cognition” has effectively turned up "nothing," can we finally put the notion of “smart genes” behind us?
Arizona GOP Official Resigns After Controversial Commentsby Sean SullivanWashington PostSeptember 15th, 2014Russell Pearce is out after controversial comments about contraception and Medicaid.
New Poll Finds Only 18% of British Adults in Support of "3-Person IVF"by Jessica CussinsBiopolitcal TimesSeptember 15th, 2014A newly released poll finds substantial reluctance among British public to change UK law to allow the genetic modification of future generations.
Defending Human Dignityby Michael CookBioEdgeSeptember 13th, 2014Charles Foster has penned defence of “human dignity” as the foundation of bioethics in the Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics.
Life is Randomby Cailin O’ConnorSlateSeptember 11th, 2014Biologists now realize that “nature vs. nurture” misses the importance of noise.
New Details Emerge on Retracted STAP Papersby David CyranoskiNature News BlogSeptember 11th, 2014New leaked e-mails showing the comments of referees for Science and Nature provide more insight into the saga of the STAP papers.
Revolving Door Policy Tightened at California Stem Cell Agency by David JensenCalifornia Stem Cell ReportSeptember 10th, 2014Directors of the California stem cell agency approved a measure aimed at easing conflicts of interest involving employees who may seek employment with recipients of the agency’s largess.
San Francisco Lawmakers Could Pass Resolution Against Sex-Selective Abortion Bansby Nina Liss-SchultzRH Reality CheckSeptember 10th, 2014David Chiu introduced a resolution opposing sex-selective abortion bans on the basis that they perpetuate racial stereotypes that are harmful to women and communities of color.
Genetic Testing Brings Families Together, and Sometimes Tears Them Apartby Julia BelluzVoxSeptember 9th, 2014What 23andMe doesn't promote with its direct-to-consumer genetic tests is that the results can sometimes be painful, especially when users aren't looking for them in the first place.
Genetic Rights and Wrongsby EditorialNatureSeptember 9th, 2014Australia’s decision to uphold a patent on biological material is in danger of hampering the development of diagnostic tests.
Surrogate Targeted After Backing OutBangkok PostSeptember 9th, 2014A Thai surrogate mother who had second thoughts appealed for help from authorities after becoming the target of threats and intimidation by the surrogacy clinic and police working for them.
1 in 27 Babies Conceived Using IVF in 2012The Yomiuri ShimbunSeptember 9th, 2014There has been a sharp increase from 10 years ago in the number of babies in Japan conceived by in vitro fertilization, according to the Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
A Manifesto for Playing God with Human Evolutionby Carl ElliottNew ScientistSeptember 8th, 2014Fancy living forever, or uploading your mind to the net? The Proactionary Imperative embraces transhumanist dreams, but reminds why we need medical ethics.
'Smart Genes' Prove Elusiveby Ewen CallawayNatureSeptember 8th, 2014Scientists looking for the genes underlying intelligence are in for a slog. One of the largest, most rigorous genetic studies of human cognition has turned up utterly inconclusive findings.
Myth Replacement Therapy: MPs Debate the Science of Mitochondriaby Dr Ted MorrowBioNewsSeptember 8th, 2014There are clearly misconceptions about mitochondrial genetics repeated during the debate that are not supported by current scientific evidence.
Editing DNA Could be Genetic Medicine Breakthrough[References CGS]by Stephanie M. LeeSan Francisco ChronicleSeptember 7th, 2014A new way to make powerful changes at will to the DNA of humans, other animals and plants, much like how a writer changes words in a story, could usher in a transformation in genetic medicine.
Body Upgrades may be Nearing Reality, but Only for the Richby Ian SampleThe GuardianSeptember 5th, 2014Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari says expensive human enhancements will lead to a society more unequal than ever.
Australian Federal Court Rules Isolated Genetic Material can be PatentedThe GuardianSeptember 4th, 2014The decision is likened to ‘being allowed to patent oxygen’, as critics warn of serious repercussions for medical research.
Monument Seeks to End Silence on Killings of the Disabled by the Nazisby Melissa EddyThe New York TimesSeptember 2nd, 2014Among the last to have their suffering publicly acknowledged, the mentally ill and intellectually disabled victims of direct medical killings by the Nazis now have their own memorial in the heart of Berlin.
Australian Father of Thai Surrogate Twins Charged with Sexually Abusing ThemThe TelegraphSeptember 2nd, 2014Thailand's surrogacy industry has been thrown into fresh turmoil - following the case of abandoned Down's syndrome baby Gammy - with a separate incident of abuse.
Our State's Eugenics Victims Deserve BetterThe Times NewsSeptember 1st, 2014Elnora Mills was one of an estimated 7,600 North Carolinians who were sterilized against their will between 1929 and 1974, when the forced eugenics program at last was brought to an end.
US agency updates rules on sharing genomic databy Richard Van NoordenNature NewsSeptember 1st, 2014Changes clarify procedures for telling participants in NIH-funded studies how their data might be used.
Disability Will Never Be Immoral by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesAugust 29th, 2014Prenatal genetic testing can be a valuable tool, but it provides strikingly limited data. Events of this summer, including the abandonment of Baby Gammy and shockingly intolerant comments from Richard Dawkins, speak to the risk of conflating one type of information with a broader reality.
Using Light Technique, Scientists Find Dimmer Switch for Memories in Miceby Pam BelluckThe New York TimesAugust 27th, 2014Using a technique in which light is used to switch neurons on and off, neuroscientists appear to have unlocked some secrets about how the brain attaches emotions to memories and how those emotions can be adjusted.
British baby Gammy: Surrogate claims mum refused to take disabled twinby Ellen WallworkParentDishAugust 26th, 2014A British surrogate mother of twins has said the intended mother rejected one of the babies because she was born with a disability.
When Big Data & Infants' Privacy Collideby  Alison DianaInformation WeekAugust 25th, 2014Technology allows researchers to discover newborns' genetic secrets, but the long-term repercussions worry some parents and privacy advocates.
Medical dilemma of 'three-parent babies': Fertility clinic investigates health of teenagers it helped to be conceived through controversial IVF techniqueby Steve ConnorThe Independent (UK)August 25th, 2014A private fertility clinic in the United States has launched an investigation into the health of 17 teenagers who were born as a result of a controversial IVF technique that produced the world’s first “three-parent” embryos more than 15 years ago.
Stem Cell Therapy Rogue Operators Charging Thousands for Useless or Dangerous Treatmentby Louise MilliganABCAugust 25th, 2014Rogue stem cell therapy operators are charging tens of thousands of dollars for treatments that are ineffectual or could even lead to more health problems and death, according to Australia's leading group of stem cell scientists.
Interpol Investigates 'Baby Factory' as Man Fathers 16 Surrogate Childrenby Kevin RawlinsonThe GuardianAugust 23rd, 2014Interpol has launched an investigation into an alleged "baby factory" after it emerged that a Japanese businessman had fathered 16 surrogate children and expressed a desire for many more.
Vics to Get Sperm Donor Info with ConsentThe AustralianAugust 21st, 2014Victorians conceived through sperm donation will now be able to find out who their biological father is - but only if he agrees.
From “the Dangerous Womb” to a More Complex Realityby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesAugust 21st, 2014Heightened attention to epigenetics, while important, also carries the danger of being used to place undue blame on pregnant women. A special issue in Science on parenting provides a more complex overview of parental and societal influence.
"We're All One of Troy's Babies": A Celebration of Troy Dusterby Victoria Massie, Biopolitical Times guest contributorAugust 21st, 2014On Friday, August 15th, I was one among a multitude of people finding a seat in Booth Auditorium at UC Berkeley Law School for the event “Celebrating Troy Duster.”
Microbiology: Microbiome Science Needs a Healthy Dose of Scepticismby William P. HanageNatureAugust 20th, 2014To guard against hype, those interpreting research on the body's microscopic communities should ask five questions.
Troy Duster’s Garden of Plugged-In Scholarship, and How it Grewby Barry BergmanNewsCenterAugust 20th, 2014An overview of the CGS co-sponsored event to honor Troy Duster's landmark works on the racial implications of drug policies and genetic research, his role as adviser and friend, and his fierce activism.
California Couple Shares Surrogate Story in Wake of Thailand Controversy by Beth GreenfieldYahoo! HealthAugust 19th, 2014When news broke earlier this month about baby Gammy, many were shocked. But not Keston and Andrea Ott-Dahl, a San Francisco couple who had a similar experience right here in America.
California Lawmakers Pass Bill Banning Inmate Sterilizationsby Sharon BernsteinReutersAugust 19th, 2014California lawmakers sent a bill to ban sterilization surgeries on inmates in California prisons to Governor Jerry Brown.
Gender-Biased Sex Selection an Extreme Form and Manifestation of Gender Discrimination and Inequality Against Women, Say UN Women and UNFPAUN WomenAugust 18th, 2014The sharply declining child sex ratio in India has reached emergency proportions and urgent action must be taken to alleviate this crisis.
Misconceptionby Sarah DingleThe Sydney Morning HeraldAugust 16th, 2014The discovery in her late 20s that she was conceived using a sperm donor was a huge shock to Sarah Dingle. But learning there was no possibility of finding out the name of her biological father was even more disturbing.
Australia Could Recognise Multiple Parentsby Michael CookBioEdgeAugust 16th, 2014Adoption and new reproductive technologies are placing new strains on what “parent” means in contemporary society.
Society: Don't Blame the Mothersby Sarah S. Richardson, Cynthia R. Daniels, Matthew W. Gillman, Janet Golden, Rebecca Kukla, Christopher Kuzawa & Janet Rich-EdwardsNatureAugust 13th, 2014There is a long history of blaming mothers for the ill health of their children. The latest wave in this discussion flows from studies of epigenetics.
Thailand to Ban Commercial Surrogacy in Wake of Gammy ScandalThe GuardianAugust 13th, 2014Thailand's military government gave preliminary approval for a draft law to make commercial surrogacy a criminal offence.
Could a Genetic Test Predict the Risk for Suicide?by Antonio RegaladoMIT Technology ReviewAugust 13th, 2014Two groups of researchers are claiming they can use DNA tests to predict who will attempt suicide, and one startup company will begin offering a suicide risk test to doctors next month for patients taking antidepressants.
Questions Raised Over DNA Evidence to Secure Murder Convictionsby Candice MarcusABCAugust 13th, 2014A High Court ruling that DNA evidence was not enough to convict a man of murder could have wider implications on DNA convictions across Australia.
As Data Overflows Online, Researchers Grapple With Ethicsby Vindu GoelThe New York TimesAugust 12th, 2014It’s the frontier of social science — experiments on people who may never even know they are subjects of study, let alone explicitly consent.
New CRG Report: Genetic Privacy and Non-Forensic BiobanksCouncil for Responsible GeneticsAugust 12th, 2014Do You Know Where Your DNA Is? Genetic Privacy and Non-Forensic Biobanks explores the various forms of biobanks in the US, their privacy limitations, the current state of regulation and the need for reform.
Should We Open the Door to Genetically Modified Babies?by Jessica CussinsCNBCAugust 11th, 2014There has been a lot of confusion around this controversial issue, but as we are now facing a historic crossroads, it is important to set the record straight.
Dreams of Children Shattered as Thailand Closes All IVF Center by Lindsay MurdochThe Sydney Morning HeraldAugust 9th, 2014Thai authorities linked the Bangkok clinic with a suspected international “baby factory” trafficking syndicate said to be behind at least 14 babies destined for overseas.
Tuskegee Todayby Jessica CussinsThe Huffington PostAugust 8th, 2014Last week marked the 42nd anniversary of the Tuskegee syphilis study and many people took the opportunity to examine its relevance to the treatment of human research subjects today.
Will my Disabled Daughter have a Place in this Genetic Wonderland?by Ian BirrellThe GuardianAugust 7th, 2014Until society gets to grips with prejudice we cannot start to grapple with the profound questions that medical advances raise.
Tuskegee, Todayby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesAugust 7th, 2014Last week marked the 42nd anniversary of the Tuskegee syphilis study and many people took the opportunity to examine its relevance to the treatment of human research subjects today.
North Carolina and Genetics: From Sterilization to Research Subjectsby Victoria Massie, Biopolitical Times guest contributorAugust 7th, 2014In the twentieth century, North Carolina was one of dozens of states that targeted certain citizens for eugenic sterilization. Today, in a town outside Charlotte, biotech researchers are asking for urine and blood samples and offering $10 gift cards to WalMart in exchange.
More Heart-Wrenching Chapters in the Baby Gammy Storyby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesAugust 7th, 2014Inadequate regulation of cross-border surrogacy has led to some truly awful stories, from coercion and exploitation of impoverished women, to children left stateless, to couples whose life savings have been embezzled by unscrupulous agencies. The unfolding story of Baby Gammy adds new dimensions to the complexities of contract pregnancies.
Lord Winston’s Warningby Gulzaar BarnPractical EthicsAugust 5th, 2014Winston discusses the history and misuse of gene science and eugenics, and points to the potential resurgence of this way of thinking.
Surrogate Mother Cares for Baby Abandoned Because of Down Syndromeby Sonia Allan, Biopolitical Times guest contributorAugust 4th, 2014Many see Baby Gammy’s plight as highlighting the extent to which commercial surrogacy arrangements can exploit and commodify women and children.
Banks of Blood and Spermby Rebecca J. RosenThe AtlanticJuly 31st, 2014Banking on the Body investigates how the idea of a "bank" shapes the way we think about storing and distributing blood, sperm, and breast milk.
Australian Couple Leaves Down Syndrome Baby with Thai Surrogate by Lindsay MurdochThe Sydney Morning HeraldJuly 31st, 2014Gammy, a six-month-old baby abandoned by his Australian parents, could die because his Thai surrogate mother cannot pay for medical treatment for his congenital heart condition.
The Best-Selling, Billion-Dollar Pills Tested on Homeless Peopleby Carl ElliottMediumJuly 28th, 2014How the destitute and the mentally ill are being used as human lab rats.
No ‘Rainbow Families’: Ethnic Donor Stipulation at Fertility Centre ‘Floors’ Local Womanby Jessica BarrettCalgary Herald [Canada]July 25th, 2014A Calgary woman was shocked to learn of a policy at the city’s only fertility treatment centre that restricts patients from using sperm, eggs or embryos from donors who do not match their ethnic background.
California Set to Prohibit Sterilization of Prisonersby Jonathan ChernoguzBiopolitical TimesJuly 24th, 2014With the unanimous approval of Senate Bill 1135 in Sacramento last month, the victims of recent unauthorized sterilizations in California prisons, and their advocates, seem likely to win this important victory.
Eugenic Policies of the Past Teach Sobering Lessonsby Calum MacKellarThe ScotsmanJuly 24th, 2014The support of Scottish thinkers for eugenics is revealed in a new book entitled The Ethics of the New Eugenics.
Making Sense of the BRAINby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical 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?
Failures and Risks in Biosafety Regulationby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesJuly 24th, 2014Accidents at CDC and elsewhere point up the difficulties in regulating potentially dangerous releases of genetically modified organisms, which scientists are, quite responsibly, discussing.
Biopolitics [PDF]by Marcy Darnovsky and Emily Smith BeitiksEncyclopedia of Bioethics, 4th editionAn entry from the newly released Encyclopedia of Bioethics (Bruce Jennings, editor) looks at the emerging use of the term biopolitics to address broad social and political dynamics.
Three Person IVF Plans 'Progress' in UKby Smitha MundasadBBCJuly 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."
Procedure to Create Babies with Three People's DNA Could be Legalised in April [UK]by Ian SampleThe Guardian July 22nd, 2014The Department of Health will press ahead with regulations on mitochondrial transfer after public consultation, but several hurdles remain.
Sequenced in the U.S.A.: A Desperate Town Hands Over Its DNAby Amanda WilsonPacific StandardJuly 21st, 2014The new American economy in three tablespoons of blood, a Walmart gift card, and a former mill town’s DNA.
The Perfect 46: A “Science Factual” Film about our Near Futureby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJuly 10th, 2014A new science fiction film called “a sort of prequel to Gattaca” highlights the rise and fall of a genetic startup that analyzes people’s genomes to assess their ability to produce disease-free children.
A Paragraph in Slow Motion: Three-Person IVF in The New York Timesby George Estreich, Biopolitical Times guest contributorJuly 10th, 2014A close look at the rhetoric used to justify experimental technologies, and particularly at the way reasonable objections are dismissed.
Shameful Conflicts of Interest Involving California's Stem Cell Agencyby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesJuly 9th, 2014The former President of CIRM just took a job on the board of a company that benefited from the agency's grants, highlighting the conflicts of interest that have always bedeviled the agency.
What-Syn-a-Name?by Jim ThomasThe GuardianJuly 8th, 2014Synthetic biology is attracting attention from both scientists and regulators. But there is little agreement on what it is. Can we find a road out of synthetic biology’s definitional quagmire?
Seedy Tale: Chinese Researchers Stole Patented Corn, U.S. Prosecutors Allegeby Mara HvistendahlScienceJuly 7th, 2014Over a span of years, a Chinese company allegedly came up with various ways of stealing coveted seed lines developed by agricultural giants DuPont Pioneer, Monsanto, and LG Seeds.
On Meta-Research and the STAP Fiascoby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesJuly 7th, 2014The authors of the ballyhooed STAP papers have reluctantly agreed to retract them; meanwhile Stanford is launching a project to investigate the process of research.
Science Joins Push to Screen Statistics in Papersby Richard Van NoordenNature NewsJuly 3rd, 2014The new policy follows efforts by other journals to bolster standards of data analysis.
We're Already Designing Babies[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Olga KhazanThe AtlanticJuly 3rd, 2014Even today, parents are selecting for the traits they want in their offspring. But how far should the genetic tailoring go?
Protecting Genetic Data - A Primer for Employersby Jeremy GruberCouncil for Responsible Genetics BlogJuly 2nd, 2014It is critical that employers have a full understanding of current genetic privacy and nondiscrimination protections, to ensure their workplaces are in full compliance with federal and state laws.
Should We Design Our Babies? [VIDEO] [With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]The Aspen InstituteJuly 2nd, 2014At the Aspen Ideas Festival, Marcy Darnovsky and Nita A. Farahany discuss the possibility and implications of "designer babies."
Predicting Alzheimer’s Disease: Potential Ethical, Legal, and Social Consequencesby Hank GreelyLaw and Biosciences BlogJune 27th, 2014Several different techniques are providing information about an individual’s risk of being diagnosed with AD, including genetics, biomarkers, and neuroimaging.
Quantified and Analyzed, Before the First Breathby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJune 26th, 2014Could whole genome sequencing in utero ever become the norm? Should it?
Ombudsman Warns Surrogacy Law Could Leave Children Statelessby Ruadhán Mac CormaicThe Irish TimesJune 24th, 2014The Irish Government should explain what will happen to children whose parents break the law by entering into a commercial surrogacy deal, advised the Children’s Ombudsman.
Selling the Next False Hope? How Experimental IVF Techniques Could be Legalized Despite Increasing Evidence of Potential Harmby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJune 24th, 2014Contrary to official reports, new evidence shows that “3-person IVF” could pose serious risks to women and children. So why are we being told that it’s a “not unsafe” option?
Pro-choice, Pro-Information, Anti-Eugenicsby David PerryThisMess.netJune 23rd, 2014Whatever information is provided in the context of the pre-natal diagnosis should actually be true and inclusive.
Female Prison Inmates Sterilized Illegally, California Audit Confirms by Corey G. JohnsonCFIRJune 19th, 2014The California state auditor blasted federal and state oversight of sterilization surgeries for female prison inmates, finding numerous illegal surgeries and violations of the state’s informed-consent law.
Truly Human Enhancement by Nicholas Agar and Humanity Enhanced by Russell Blackford – Reviewsby Steven RoseThe GuardianJune 19th, 2014When does therapy become enhancement? Designer babies, smart drugs and the ethics of becoming superhuman.
Children of Surrogacy Campaign to Outlaw the Practiceby  Jane RidleyNew York PostJune 16th, 2014"You can’t sell your kidney for profit but you can purchase an egg or sell a child. There needs to be more checks and balances."
Stem Cells: Taking a Stand Against Pseudoscienceby Elena Cattaneo & Gilberto CorbelliniNatureJune 16th, 2014A pharmacologist and a bioethicist working to protect patients from questionable stem-cell therapies share their experiences in the fight against predatory pseudoscience.
Lord Winston Criticises 'Jungle' World of British Fertility Treatmentby Steve ConnorThe IndependentJune 15th, 2014In his strongest attack yet on the UK's "incompetent" IVF watchdog, the fertility medicine pioneer says the field is now being driven by profit, often at the expense of patients.
Social Egg Freezing in the Race Against the Biological Clockby Vardit RavitskyImpact EthicsJune 13th, 2014Elective egg freezing offers an individual solution to a social problem that should be addressed not only through high-tech medical intervention but also through policy change.
Who Owns Your Genetic Data? Hint: It's Probably Not Youby Meredith SalisburyThe Huffington PostJune 12th, 2014It seems intuitive to many of us that each person owns his or her genetic data and therefore should control access. But the reality is more complex.
Should Research Subjects Be Given Their Genetic Test Results?by Margaret LutzeGuardian Liberty VoiceJune 12th, 2014Two study groups agree that the answer turns on whether or not the research subject consented to the return of their genetic information.
Should Three People be Allowed to Make a Baby?by Arielle Duhaime-RossVergeJune 12th, 2014Researchers might soon make a child with three genetic parents, but the ethics of "designer babies" haven't been worked out.
Searching Chromosomes for the Legacy of Traumaby Josie Glausiusz NatureJune 11th, 2014The daughter of a Holocaust survivor narrates her own participation in a study of epigenetic inheritance.
Property Rights and the Human Bodyby Jennifer K. WagnerGenomics Law ReportJune 11th, 2014A Canadian court decided that human tissue removed from the body for diagnostic medical tests is “personal property” that belongs to the hospital.
On the New Alphabet of Lifeby George Estreich, Biopolitical Times guest contributorJune 6th, 2014On metaphors, stories, and synthetic nucleotides: rewriting the code of life.
How our Genes Could Make us Gay or Straightby Jenny GravesThe Washington PostJune 6th, 2014New research adds another candidate gene for homosexuality, but rather than thinking of them as “gay genes,” perhaps we should consider them “male-loving genes” and "female-loving genes."
"Three-Person IVF" Update Reveals How Little We Knowby Jessica CussinsThe Huffington PostJune 5th, 2014The UK fertility regulator has been saying the techniques are "not unsafe" for three years now. This should not be interpreted to mean that they are in fact safe.
"3-Person IVF” Update Reveals How Little We Knowby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical 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 Problemby Joseph CoxMother 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?
Birth Defects in ART Babies Reviewedby Lizzie ThelwellMedical XpressJune 4th, 2014Children born through ART have a higher risk of preterm birth, low birth weight, birth defects and being small for gestational age.
Genetics In Court Is a Very Messy Businessby Alexandra SifferlinTimeJune 4th, 2014Courts may soon face the challenge of determining whether genetics can be linked to criminal behavior.
Making Embryos from 3 People Doesn't Look Unsafe[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Maria ChengAssociated PressJune 3rd, 2014Britain's fertility regulator called for further experiments before patients are treated. If approved, Britain would become the first country in the world to allow embryos to be genetically modified this way.
A Medical Student’s Call for Action Against Research Misconductby Eden AlmasudeThe Hastings CenterJune 3rd, 2014Is research misconduct and abuse the norm in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Psychiatry? A recent investigative report suggests that the answer may well be yes.
Do Genes Matter? Families Under the Microscopeby Petra NordqvistBioNewsJune 2nd, 2014How do genes and genetic relationships actually matter in the messy and complex world of everyday life? These questions were addressed at the event 'Do genes matter? Donor conception and family life.'
Braggadacio, Information Control, and Fear: Life Inside a Brigham Stem Cell Lab Under Investigationby AnonymousRetraction WatchMay 30th, 2014A former research fellow writes, "[I]n spite of the efforts of ethical watchdogs, these are behaviors that science is selecting for with its current funding and publication mechanisms."
Venter Institute-Led Team Details Synbio Policy Challenges and OptionsGenetic Engineering and Biotechnology NewsMay 29th, 2014A new report details the challenges faced by regulators with the increased use of more sophisticated synthetic biology.
Another Scandal at a Prominent Surrogacy Agencyby Marcy DarnovskyBiopolitical TimesMay 29th, 2014Planet Hospital, a well-known medical tourism company that has boasted of pioneering cross-border surrogacy in India and Mexico, stands accused of deceiving its clients and stealing their money.
Orphan Black: The Best Show You’ve Never Seenby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMay 29th, 2014A BBC America television series about clones is seriously good.
Embattled STAP Cell Scientist Obokata to Retract Research PaperThe Japan TimesMay 28th, 2014Haruko Obokata has agreed to retract one of two STAP cell research papers from Nature, but maintains she will not retract the other one.
Genomic Controversy in Iceland: Déja Vu All Over Againby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesMay 28th, 2014DeCODE Genetics has launched another attempt to gather the population of Iceland into a genetic database.
Uninformed Tech Regulations Will Either Kill Innovation or Risk Human Livesby Jason KoeblerViceMay 27th, 2014How is the United States going to regulate new technologies that let people enhance and clone themselves, create synthetic organisms, and, perhaps, even cheat death?
$3B Fertility Industry the Wild West of U.S. Medicineby Justine GriffinSarasota Herald-TribuneMay 25th, 2014What began as a way to honor a childhood friend who passed away devolved into a tangle of broken promises, scary science and questionable experiences.
Loophole in Genetic Testing Lawby Rachel GlaserWHAM TVMay 23rd, 2014People who undergo increasingly popular genetic testing could be penalized, forced to pay higher premiums or denied coverage for certain policies.
Renewed Concerns For Women As Cloning Technology Advances[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by John FarrellForbesMay 23rd, 2014The recent cloning breakthroughs highlight a lack of engagement with the issue from the bioethical perspective.
One Can Always Say ‘No’by Xavier SymonsBioEdgeMay 23rd, 2014An important question in contemporary bioethics concerns the role of genetic and neurobiological determinism in crime. What role do genes and the wiring of one’s brain play in criminal action?
Biotech Industry Cooks up PR Plans to Get us to Swallow Synthetic Biology Foodby Dana PerlsFood and Technology BlogMay 22nd, 2014Friends of the Earth exposes what was supposed to be a closed door and off-the-record industry meeting of some of the most powerful agribusiness, food and synthetic biology companies in the world.
DNA Bill Assaults our Liberties in R.I. by Steven Brown and Mary McElroyProvidence JournalMay 22nd, 2014The presumption of innocence lies at the heart of our system of criminal justice, but a bill now in the Rhode Island House of Representatives deeply undercuts that presumption.
Making Babiesby Alexis C. MadrigalThe AtlanticMay 21st, 2014Some guesses about how the future may change what’s involved in making a person—from the ease of getting pregnant, to the mechanics of procreation, to our very definition of family.
Could a California Bill Make Going From Sperm Donor to Father as Easy as Filling Out a Form? Not so Fast.by Abby PhillipWashington PostMay 20th, 2014Want to make sure a sperm donor can’t claim to be a father? Check here. And vice versa. Or at least that’s the hope of the “Modern Family Act.”
RADIO: Mothers for a Human Future[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Dr. Gordon AtherleyVoiceAmericaMay 19th, 2014Enola Aird and Marcy Darnovsky discuss the ways in which human genetic engineering and assisted reproductive technologies are developing.
Why I Won’t Give a Sample of my DNA to Decode Geneticsby Alda SigmundsdóttirThe Iceland Weather ReportMay 19th, 2014Decode Genetics wants 100,000 Icelanders to give them DNA samples to put into their database. Here is why I have decided NOT to.
Desperate for a Baby: Scammed in Global Surrogacy's Newest Frontierby Caroline Cooper, Adam May and Anna ChristiansenAl Jazeera AmericaMay 15th, 2014The prominent international surrogacy agency Planet Hospital is now in bankruptcy and under federal investigation, accused of leaving clients with a pile of bills and no babies.
Danish Company Offers Gender Selectionby Alina ShronThe Copenhagen PostMay 15th, 2014Ads promise that parents can both choose their baby's sex and avoid it getting hereditary diseases, and that there is no waiting period for donor eggs.
Free Dolly!by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMay 15th, 2014The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has ruled that cloned animals cannot be patented.
Is it Right to Reverse Extinction?by Ben MinteerNature World ViewMay 14th, 2014It cuts against the progressive aims of science to say it, but there can be wisdom in taking our foot off the gas, in resisting the impulse to further control and manipulate; to fix nature.
Using Our Brainsby Amy GutmannThe Chronicle of Higher EducationMay 14th, 2014President Obama’s Brain Initiative will expand our knowledge of neurological conditions, but the Bioethics Commission calls for ethics to be embedded at all levels of the scientific endeavor.
Lawsuit Alleges Unauthorized Publication of Personal Genetics Databy Cyrus FarivarArs TechnicaMay 14th, 2014An Alaska man is the lead plaintiff in a proposed class-action lawsuit against the makers of Family Tree, a Texas-based DNA testing company.
Government Cracks Down on Fake DNA-Based Medicineby Eric Hal SchwartzIn The CapitalMay 13th, 2014The Federal Trade Commission has taken the first steps to quashing the 21st century snake-oil salesmen of direct-to-consumer genetic testing in a settlement finalized Tuesday.
Government to Order Fertility Clinics to Release Donor Informationby Nicole HashamThe Sydney Morning HeraldMay 11th, 2014Fertility clinics in Australia will be required to hand over information about anonymous sperm donors so children can learn about their genetic origins.
Scientists Add Letters to DNA’s Alphabet, Raising Hope and Fearby Andrew PollackThe New York TimesMay 7th, 2014Scientists report that they have taken a significant step toward altering the fundamental alphabet of life — creating an organism with an expanded artificial genetic code in its DNA.
Their Foremothers’ Daughters[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Helen ChernikoffThe Jewish WeekMay 7th, 2014Jewish culture tends to appreciate scientific fervor, but a small group of American Jews are sounding a warning about the risks that can come with assisted reproductive technologies.
Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing: a Case of Potential Harmby Nancy FlieslerVectorMay 5th, 2014A case report in Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics provides what may be the first evidence of potential harm caused by errors in test interpretation by a DTC company.
Consumer Gene Tests Face Uncertain Futureby Andrea KissackKQEDMay 5th, 2014Direct-to-consumer genetic testing took a blow last year when the government cracked down on Mountain View company 23andMe. Now, the company is working to be able to offer health information again.
Fertility Guru's IVF warning: Rich Could Pay to Have Brighter Babiesby Mario Ledwith and Fiona MacraeDaily MailMay 5th, 2014Breakthroughs in IVF could "threaten our humanity" by prompting parents to demand designer babies, warns fertility pioneer Lord Robert Winston.
Ending Discrimination in Surrogacy Lawsby Anil MalhotraThe HinduMay 3rd, 2014Recent government meetings on India's draft Assisted Reproductive Technology Bill have resulted in a proposal for significant changes, including restricting surrogacy to “infertile Indian married couples” only.
US Paediatrician Attacks Surrogacyby Michael CookBioEdgeMay 3rd, 2014A pediatrician at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine has published a blistering rebuttal to the claim that on the whole, women in developing countries benefit from commercial surrogacy.
Hidden Clinical Trial Data about Lupronby Lynne MillicanImpact EthicsMay 2nd, 2014For 25 years, Lynne Millican has been promoting awareness of, and trying to prompt investigations into, the serious problems associated with the drug Lupron.
Advancing the Disability Rights Perspective on Bioethics Issuesby Diane ColemanNot Dead YetMay 2nd, 2014The first ever Disability Rights Leadership Institute on Bioethics drew more than 60 participants.
'Provocative' Research Turns Skin Cells Into Spermby Rob SteinNPRMay 1st, 2014Scientists report they have figured out a way to make primitive human sperm out of skin cells, an advance that could someday help infertile men have children.
Stephen Hawking: 'Transcendence Looks at the Implications of Artificial Intelligence - But are we Taking AI Seriously Enough?'by Stephen Hawking, Stuart Russell, Max Tegmark, Frank WilczekThe IndependentMay 1st, 2014Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history. Unfortunately, it might also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks, says a group of leading scientists.
Preference for Sons Hurts Mothersby Gayle Tzemach LemmonCouncil on Foreign RelationsMay 1st, 2014A recent paper released by the World Bank suggests that son preference could be doing more than skewing sex ratios in India: It may be partly responsible for driving high mortality rates seen among mothers in India whose first child is a girl.
Parents and Children Deserve Genetic Privacyby Twila BraseUS News & World ReportMay 1st, 2014Newborn screening has many health benefits. But ownership of infant samples and the DNA they carry must not be transferred from newborns to the state.
Transcendence: See it for its Cultural Relevance, Not its Plot Lineby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMay 1st, 2014Transcendence won’t win you over with its dialogue or love scenes, but it’s a great springboard for pondering what quickly approaching developments in artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, and regenerative medicine may actually mean for society.
Stem Cell Revival: The 1990s are BackNew ScientistApril 30th, 2014More than 17 years later, what worked in Dolly the sheep finally appears to be working in humans. But after endless hope, hype and failure, it is hard to feel there is anything brave or new in this line of research.
More Cloning and Even More Eggsby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesApril 30th, 2014For the third time in less than a year, human embryonic stem cells have been derived by cloning, underlining the need to establish federal prohibitions against human reproductive cloning and protections for women who provide their eggs for the research.
Synthetic Criticisms of Real Attempts to Regulate Biologyby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesApril 30th, 2014Richard Lewontin has written an article about synthetic biology for the New York Review of Books. Unfortunately, it’s not very good.
Pre-Pregnancy Diet 'Permanently Influences Baby's DNA'by Helen BriggsBBCApril 29th, 2014Animal experiments show diet in pregnancy can switch genes on or off, but this is the first human evidence. The research followed women in rural Gambia, where seasonal climate leads to big differences in diet between rainy and dry periods.
Science’s Shameful Secretby Victoria ParsonsMediumApril 28th, 2014Scientific research drives society forwards. We pay for it with our taxes and it is the gateway for our tomorrows, but there are problems at every step in the way science verifies itself.
Fertility Study Warns of Risks From Multiple BirthsThe Wall Street JournalApril 28th, 2014Researchers from the Hastings Center and the Yale Fertility Center are calling for a number of policy changes to encourage doctors and patients to avoid multiple pregnancies.
Science Media Centre Spins Pro-GMO Lineby Rebekah WilcePR WatchApril 28th, 2014Though the Science Media Centre calls itself an independent media briefing center, many question its independence from GMO corporations. Now it's headed to the United States.
Stem Cells Made by Cloning Adult Humansby Monya BakerNatureApril 28th, 2014Two research groups have independently produced human embryonic stem-cell lines from embryos cloned from adult cells. But the technique is expensive, technically difficult and ethically fraught.
DNA Day Hypeby Nathaniel ComfortGenotopiaApril 25th, 2014To celebrate DNA Day, the genetic testing company 23andMe posted a DNA Day infographic that is a marvelous inadvertent evidence of genetic oversell.
Beyond-DNA Dayby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesApril 25th, 2014With a patent now issued for CRISPR genome-editing technology, and the first gene therapy approved by the FDA, this DNA Day will be remembered not for increased understanding of the human genome, but for increased attempts to change it.
Neanderthals Are People, Tooby Svante PaaboThe New York TimesApril 24th, 2014Ancient genomes show that the Neanderthals were genetically very similar to us. In a civilized society, we would never create a human being in order to satisfy scientific curiosity; why would it be different for a Neanderthal?
Invoking ‘Choice’ When Discussing Surrogacy as a Feminist Concern is a Mistakeby Susan Berke Fogel, Francine Coeytaux, Marcy Darnovsky, Lisa Ikemoto, and Judy NorsigianRH Reality CheckApril 23rd, 2014It is troubling to see the vexing question of commercial surrogacy treated as a litmus test for feminists. It can’t be understood in a simplistic pro-choice versus anti-choice framework, or as only a matter of self-determination.
NIPS SPINby Robert RestaThe DNA ExchangeApril 21st, 2014Every few years a new screening technology comes zooming down the prenatal pike, sometimes arriving more quickly than we might like. The latest iteration – Non-Invasive Prenatal Screening – stands head and shoulders above the rest.
Top 5 Challenges for SCNT Cloned Human Embryonic Stem Cellsby Paul KnoepflerKnoepfler Lab Stem Cell BlogApril 21st, 2014A new advance in cloning to produce human embryonic stem cells is important because it shows it can be done using adult cells. However, key challenges and concerns remain.
Development in cloning research underscores need for US to prohibit reproductive cloning[Press statement]April 17th, 2014Public interest group also questions risks to women who provide eggs and implications for health equity.
Advocates for Children and Childhood Mobilizing on Concerns about GM Babiesby Marcy DarnovskyBiopolitical TimesApril 17th, 2014Concern about "three-person embryo" techniques is growing among advocates for children and childhood.
Doctors Weigh in on So-Called "Designer Babies" Debateby Erin BillupsTime Warner Cable NewsApril 16th, 2014Should scientists be allowed to alter the mitochondria in a mother's egg to produce a healthy baby? NYU Langone Fertility specialist Dr. David Keefe, who helped pioneer the technique, says there are still many lingering questions.
The Problem With America’s Twin Epidemicby Sarah Elizabeth RichardsTimeApril 16th, 2014Americans undergoing fertility treatments have gotten used to the prospect of the 'instant family'—but it may carry unnecessary risks.
How I Hacked My Best Friend’s Genome — And Could Hack Yours Tooby Sharon MoalemMediumApril 15th, 2014You just never know when someone may want to hack your genome.
The Baby Makers: Critics Push for Regulation of India's Booming Surrogacy IndustryABCApril 15th, 2014Candidates are being urged to finally push through legislation to regulate the country's booming commercial surrogacy industry. "The human rights of the surrogates are not being protected," said author and critic Kishwar Desai.
Guarantee Privacy to Ensure Proper Treatmentby Jeremy GruberThe New York Times, Room for DebateApril 14th, 2014As more and more of this personal information becomes public knowledge, it can be bought and sold by any commercial interests interested in predictive information about an individual's future health status.
Conceiving Identities[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Matt McCallThe Columbia ChronicleApril 14th, 2014In spite of my curiosity, today, at age 19, I do not know anything about my biological father. The absence of this data is the result of a series of errors in both federal and professional oversight of sperm and egg donation.
You Can't Clone Dogs Without Lots of Suffering - Why Scientist who Created World First 'Frankenstein Pet' has Quit by Christopher BucktinMirrorApril 12th, 2014Lou Hawthorne is the forefather of cloning yet, after two decades and 20 other genetically engineered pooches, he has turned his back on the industry, sickened over the suffering it causes thousands of dogs each year.
Human Rights Body Warns Over Mass DNA Screeningby Elaine EdwardsThe Irish TimesApril 11th, 2014A Government proposal which would allow the taking of DNA samples for “mass screening” of certain “classes” of individuals should be prohibited, Ireland's national human rights watchdog has said.
Stocking the Genetic Supermarket: Reproductive Genetic Technologies and Collective Action Problemsby Chris Gyngell and Thomas DouglasWiley Online LibraryApril 10th, 2014Reproductive genetic technologies targeting non-medical traits could lead to collective action problems. Does this risk justify state intervention in the genetic supermarket?
DNA Dreamsby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesApril 9th, 2014The documentary film that explores the inner workings of BGI Shenzhen, “the world’s largest genomics organization,” is now available in full on YouTube.
Embryo Screening and the Ethics of Human Genetic Engineering[Quotes CGS's Richard Hayes]by Leslie A. PrayIndian DefenceApril 8th, 2014In April 2008, Ronald M. Green published his case in support of the genetic engineering of embryos; Richard Hayes rebutted, warning of a "neo-eugenic future" and "the danger of genetic misuse."
Fearing Punishment for Bad Genesby Kira PeikoffThe New York TimesApril 7th, 2014People are avoiding genetic testing because of a major omission in the 2008 federal law that bars employers and health insurers from seeking the results of the tests.
Stress Alters Children's Genomesby Jyoti MadhusoodananNatureApril 7th, 2014Growing up in a stressful social environment leaves lasting marks on young chromosomes, a study of African American boys has revealed.
Startup Offering DNA Screening of 'Hypothetical Babies' Raises Fears Over Designer Children[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Catherine de LangeThe GuardianApril 5th, 2014Anne Morriss and Lee Silver are about to launch a company called Genepeeks that uses the DNA of sperm donors and recipients to create "virtual babies."
Genetic Inheritance: How Much do you Want to Know?by Stuart JeffriesThe GuardianApril 4th, 2014Scientist Sharon Moalem says we will soon be able to alter our children's lives with genetic manipulation – would you do it if you could?
Is it a Boy?by Eloise LyntonThe Harvard IndependentApril 4th, 2014Today, the use of PGD to select gender is a multi-million dollar enterprise. I would argue that prenatal gender selection is worrisome both from an ethical and societal standpoint.
Stem Cell Therapy Patient Dies at 23; Father Seeks Justiceby Stef dela CruzAll VoicesApril 4th, 2014Remaining mum about daughter Kate Tan's death in 2013, Bernard Tan finally decided to break his silence to expose his daughter's stem cell therapist, who is not a licensed physician.
It's a Fair Cop: Police Academy Uses DNA Testing on Students by Julie PowerThe Sydney Morning HeraldApril 3rd, 2014For the first time, the New South Wales Police Force has used DNA testing to screen its newest crop of student police against its crime database.
A Disturbing Trend: Conscience Clauses Threaten Genetic Counselingby Alex SternHuffPostApril 2nd, 2014Genetic counselors are increasingly being officially recognized and licensed, but some states are imposing "conscience clauses" that in practice may conflict with their professional ethics.
Reproductive Justice Advocates: Don’t Roll Back Sterilization Consent Rulesby Deborah ReidRH Reality CheckApril 2nd, 2014Given the historic context and lingering reproductive inequalities involving underserved women, an informed dialogue is a critical first step in any re-evaluation of the Medicaid sterilization consent requirement.
California Bill Tackles Sterilization of Female InmatesAljazeera AmericaApril 2nd, 2014A bill was presented to the California Senate Health Committee that aims to close loopholes that allowed doctors to sterilize hundreds of female inmates without state approval.
Inconvenient Truths About Commercial Surrogacyby Kathleen Sloan and Jennifer LahlTwin CitiesApril 1st, 2014It's time for the shenanigans and propaganda to stop and for the inconvenient truths about commercial surrogacy to be told.
In Reversal, Genetics Group Says Patients Should Be Allowed to Refuse 'Incidental' Findings by Jennifer Couzin-FrankelScienceApril 1st, 2014Reversing the controversial recommendation they made last year, the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics now claim that patients should be allowed to “opt out” of learning how their DNA might increase their risk of disease.
South Dakota Governor Signs Sex-Selective Abortion Banby Teddy WilsonRH Reality CheckMarch 31st, 2014South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed a bill Wednesday to punish any physician in the state who is found to perform sex-selective abortions.
A Sperm Donor, Uncertain of What It Is to Be ‘Bio-Dad’by David DodgeThe New York TimesMarch 31st, 2014My good friends needed some free, fresh sperm. Beyond that sounding like some twisted promotion at a farmer’s market, why not help? Plenty of reasons, it turns out.
Discriminatory “DNA Sweeps”by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMarch 31st, 2014A DNA sweep of “all black and brown migrant workers” at farms in Canada has led to a complaint against the Ontario Provincial Police department alleging misconduct and racial profiling.
We May Already Know How we Will Cure Death—But Should we?by Christopher MimsQuartzMarch 29th, 2014A pair of advocates—they do legitimate research too, but their ardor is so intense, it’s hard to call them scientists—believe that they will, within their lifetimes, make ours the first generation of humans to live forever.
Synthetic Chromosomesby Gregory E. KaebnickBioethics ForumMarch 28th, 2014A team of scientists announced this week that it had successfully created one of the sixteen chromosomes found in yeast cells, marking a meaningful step forward in that part of genetic engineering dubbed synthetic biology.
INTERVIEW: “I’m a Queer Egg Donor”by Raquel CoolWe Are Egg DonorsMarch 28th, 2014This interview is about stigma, being queer, and navigating the heteronormative medical landscape of egg donation.
Scientists Hail Synthetic Chromosome Advanceby David ShukmanBBCMarch 27th, 2014Scientists have created the first synthetic chromosome for yeast in a landmark for biological engineering and synthetic biology.
Surrogacy Births Bill Sails Through House Committeeby Michelle MillhollonThe Advocate [Louisiana]March 27th, 2014The compromise includes criminalizing financial compensation other than medical, legal and travel expenses for the surrogacy.
Stem Cell Scientists Reveal 'Unethical' Work Cultureby Helen ThomsonNew ScientistMarch 27th, 2014Some stem cell researchers responding to a New Scientist survey admitted to faked results, others told of unethical behaviour from superiors, and several placed the blame on high-profile journals.
Canadians Pay Egg Donors On The Grey Marketby Rebecca ZamonThe Huffington PostMarch 26th, 2014It’s been illegal for 10 years in Canada to buy sperm or ova, but Radio-Canada’s investigative program Enquête has learned that some clinics and agencies are helping infertile couples circumvent the law.
Whole-Genome Sequencing as Part of Newborn Screening?by Chris ChipelloMcGillMarch 26th, 2014Ethical, legal and social issues should be weighed before adopting the technology in public programs, researchers argue.
Do we Know Enough About the Risks of Donating Eggs?by Judy NorsigianInfertility Family Research RegistryMarch 26th, 2014As the demand increases for young women to provide their eggs for both fertility and research purposes, the lack of adequate long term safety data is an issue being raised by all those concerned about this gap in our medical knowledge.
Texas High School’s “Issues Day” Takes on Human Genetic Engineeringby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMarch 26th, 2014A private San Antonio high school, Saint Mary’s Hall, holds an annual “Issues Day.” The topic this year, chosen by a committee of the junior class, was human genetic engineering.
Review: Finding Our Families: A First-of-Its-Kind Book for Donor-Conceived People and Their Familiesby Diane Beeson, Biopolitical Times guest contributorMarch 26th, 2014Is secrecy about "donor" origins in the children’s interest? The answer to this question is a resounding No, according to Wendy Kramer and Naomi Cahn's new book.
Forced Sterilization Nurse: ‘I Can See Now It Was So Wrong’by Lori Jane GlihaAlJazeera AmericaMarch 24th, 2014A nurse at the government-run 'State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded' and witnessed what may have been thousands of forced sterilizations - part of a government effort to rid society of the “defective,” and create a super race.
The Silence of the Bioethicistsby Leigh TurnerImpact EthicsMarch 24th, 2014What if one day an investigation determines that serious research misconduct did occur at the University of Minnesota and that most faculty members at the Center for Bioethics remained silent?
‘Stem Cell Tourism’ Takes Advantage of Patients, Says Law Professorby David TenenbaumUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison NewsMarch 24th, 2014Desperate patients are easy prey for unscrupulous clinics offering untested and risky stem cell treatments.
In Research Involving Genome Analysis, Some See a ‘New Racism’by Paul VoosenThe Chronicle of Higher EducationMarch 24th, 2014Variation among geographic populations is real, but there are no categories of race that segment human populations, and there are no mysterious qualities ‘in the blood’ that justify the belief in racial superiority.
Stem Cell Guidelines Prohibit Research in Many Areas Including Human Germ Line Gene Therapy & Reproductive Cloningby Ramesh ShankarPharmaBizMarch 24th, 2014India's 'National Guidelines for Stem Cell Research' provide ethical and scientific directions to scientists and clinicians.
Hitler’s Favorite American: “Biological Fascism” in the Shadow of New York Cityby Paul MartinSalonMarch 23rd, 2014Eugenicists advocated three ways of dealing with the perceived problem of bad genes: immigration restrictions, the prevention of “unfit” marriages, and involuntary sterilization of “defective” individuals in state care.
Sterilization Survivors Can't Fully Escape Eugenics Eraby Calvin TriceNews LeaderMarch 23rd, 2014Some three dozen states had eugenics laws, and Virginia has been among those who have for decades resisted any attempts at compensating victims who are still alive.
Slowing the Rush to Genetically Modified Babiesby Enola AirdMomsRisingMarch 22nd, 2014The United Kingdom is moving closer to allowing scientists to create genetically modified children – something no country in the world currently authorizes.
A Surrogate Storyby Debesh BanerjeeThe Indian ExpressMarch 21st, 2014A documentary shot in Delhi tells of a surrogate mother’s life and the lucrative industry of commercial surrogacy.
Appeals Court OKs California DNA Swabs of Felony ArresteesAssociated PressMarch 20th, 2014A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld California's law requiring people arrested for felonies to submit samples of their DNA to police.
Is Ed Houben Europe's Most Virile Man?BBC NewsMarch 19th, 2014Ed Houben has an unusual pastime. He has slept with scores of women who seek him out for his legendary powers of insemination. As John Laurenson discovers, he doesn't charge.
OPP Faces Scrutiny Over DNA Testing Sweep that Brought Racial-Profiling Complaintby Tim AlamenciakThe StarMarch 17th, 2014Ontario’s independent police watchdog says seeking DNA from 100 farm workers whose sole similarity was skin colour raises "the spectre of racial profiling."
Can You Pass the (Deoxyribonucleic) Acid Test?[with CGS's Pete Shanks]Center for Environmental HealthMarch 17th, 2014Discussion with Kira Peikoff, Dr. David Ng, Dr. Stuart Newman, and Pete Shanks on 23andMe, direct-to-consumer genetic testing, epigenetics, and GMO humans.
Abbott Launches Sweeping Review of IVF EthicsSunshine Coast Daily [Australia]March 17th, 2014The ethical rules governing the use of egg and sperm donations, embryos, surrogacy and sex selection for IVF patients could soon be overhauled, with a sweeping review underway.
National Perinatal Association Urges IVF Clinics to Reduce Infant Health Risks and Costs by Prioritizing Elective Single Embryo Transferby Press ReleaseNational Perinatal AssociationMarch 17th, 2014For the first time in its history, the NPA is urging reproductive endocrinologists and health insurance companies to reduce serious health risks resulting from in vitro fertilization procedures.
Stirring the Simmering “Designer Baby” Potby Thomas H. MurrayScienceMarch 14th, 2014Good ethics begins with good facts, but the effort by the FDA to get the facts straight is just the beginning of the conversation we must have on the wisdom of new reproductive technologies.
Whole Genome Sequencing only Halfway Thereby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMarch 14th, 2014A new report in the Journal of the American Medical Association has found that whole genome sequencing has large hurdles to overcome before it can be integrated into clinical care, but there’s another point to consider: Do we want it there in the first place?
23andMe and the FDAby George J. Annas and Sherman EliasThe New England Journal of MedicineMarch 13th, 2014The debate has been framed as a struggle between medical paternalism and individuals' rights, but that is inappropriate until the diagnostic and prognostic capability of genomic information has been clinically validated.
New Polling Raises Public Safety Concerns About Three Parent Children Proposalsby Press ReleaseCareMarch 13th, 2014A new opinion poll supports the concern that the Government is rushing ahead with its plans to allow the creation of 3-parent children without public support or the necessary safety tests.
What We Know About Three-Parent In Vitro Fertilizationby Jessica CussinsRH Reality CheckMarch 13th, 2014The creation of genetically manipulated babies would be a huge and dangerous step. So, what's the evidence about efficacy and safety, and what are the available alternatives?
Adrienne Asch: A Career at the Intersection of Bioethics and Disability Studiesby Sara BergstresserVoices in BioethicsMarch 12th, 2014Recognizing Adrienne Asch's pioneering work: Remembrances by three people who knew her both professionally and personally.
Hacking Your DNAby David Ewing DuncanNewsweekMarch 12th, 2014Imagine a future when Big Data has access not only to your shopping habits, but also to your DNA and other deeply personal data collected about our bodies and behavior. What will the government and others do with that data?
Time For Law to Protect Egg Donorsby Durgesh Nandan JhaThe Times of IndiaMarch 12th, 2014After the death of an egg provider in Delhi, experts and women's health advocates say women in need of money are at the receiving end of irresponsible medical practices.
Sex-Selective Abortion Bans Highlight Faultlines in the Reproductive Rights Movementby Eesha PanditRH Reality CheckMarch 12th, 2014The South Dakota bill that would ban “sex-selective” abortions is a means to an end — the end, of course, being banning all abortions.
Another Legal Setback for Myriadby Kerry GrensThe ScientistMarch 11th, 2014A U.S. District Court judge denied an injunction to stop Myriad Genetics' competitors from selling tests for BRCA mutations because Myriad’s patent claims may not hold up in an ongoing lawsuit.
The Technologists' Siren Songby W. Patrick McCrayThe Chronicle of Higher EducationMarch 10th, 2014The prevailing belief of technologists is that technology is the solution to all problems. It is a view especially attractive to those best positioned to reap the benefits of innovation and avoid its unattractive consequences.
Critiquing the California Stem Cell Story: 'Continuums' vs. Curesby David JensenCalifornia Stem Cell ReportMarch 10th, 2014What cures has the California stem cell agency produced, as was promised during the 2004 ballot campaign that created the state program?
Consider Ethical Questions of 'Designer Babies' by Elizabeth M. MeadeThe Morning CallMarch 10th, 2014The leap from selecting out diseases to selecting out traits you would not want your child to have is very small indeed.
FDA Halts 23andMe Personal Genetic Testsby Marcy Darnovsky and Jessica CussinsMedical Laboratory ObserverMarch 10th, 2014After a series of setbacks, what will the future hold for direct-to-consumer genetic testing?
When Science Doesn't Have all the Answersby Louise KinrossBloomMarch 6th, 2014My son’s rare genetic deletion is on the list of disorders identified by microarray analysis of a fetus’s DNA. It makes me sad to think that the lives of children like my son are being targeted for termination. Is this a step forward?
Global Genomic Data-Sharing Effort Kicks Offby Ewen CallawayNatureMarch 6th, 2014The number of sequenced human genomes will soon jump from the thousands to the millions. A coalition of researchers, funders and businesses aims to facilitate the exchange of genomic data.
Three-Parent Babies and Eugenicsby Nathaniel ComfortGenotopiaMarch 6th, 2014The “three-parent baby” is most certainly genetic engineering — it just modifies “cassettes” of genes, if you will, rather than tweaking single genes or nucleotides. It is exactly as eugenic as going through conventional IVF and selecting the traits you want in your offspring.
UK Opens Public Consultation on Draft Regulations to Permit “Three-Person Embryos”by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMarch 6th, 2014The UK Department of Health has released draft regulations and begun a three-month public consultation for what it terms “mitochondrial donation.”
Litany of Unknowns Surface at FDA Meeting on Germline Mitochondrial Techniquesby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMarch 6th, 2014An FDA committee held a historic public meeting last week to discuss the scientific, technologic, and clinical issues related to experimental procedures that would alter the human germline.
Hospital Delivery Charges Significantly Higher When Babies Conceived Through Assisted Reproductive Technologiesby Miriam ZollReporting on HealthMarch 4th, 2014A new study has found that from 2009-2011 in California, hospital delivery charges associated with babies born through assisted reproductive technologies were significantly higher than for babies born through natural conception.
A Powerful New Way to Edit DNAby Andrew PollackThe New York TimesMarch 3rd, 2014In the past year or so, researchers have discovered that a sophisticated immune system that bacteria use to fight viruses can be harnessed to make changes to the DNA of humans, as well as other animals and plants.
China Cracks Down on DNA Testingby Shu-Ching Jean ChenForbesMarch 3rd, 2014Early in February, the Chinese government quietly put the brakes on the provision of genetic tests to customers by domestic hospitals and a variety of medical and health institutions.
The Rent-a-Womb Boomby Adrienne VogtThe Daily BeastMarch 3rd, 2014Who really profits from India’s multimillion-dollar surrogacy industry? Adrienne Vogt explores the uncertain future of the subcontinent’s baby business.
The Dilemma of Whether to Release Genetic Informationby Xavier SymonsBioEdgeMarch 1st, 2014New studies are suggesting that doctors need to be more cautious when they release genetic information to patients.
The Market For DNA Sequencing-Based Down Syndrome Tests Could Exceed $6 Billionby Matthew HerperForbesFebruary 28th, 2014A study shows that a new DNA-sequencing based blood test provides a dramatic improvement in accuracy at screening for Down syndrome and a second, deadly disorder.
Stillbirths and Infant Health Risks Higher in California’s Artificially Conceived Infantsby Miriam ZollReporting on HealthFebruary 28th, 2014A new study has found that in California from 2009-2011 there was a 24- to 27-fold increase in health risks among infants born through assisted reproductive technologies or artificial insemination compared to babies conceived naturally.
U.K. Government Proposes Rules to Allow 'Three-Parent Embryos'by Gretchen VogelScience InsiderFebruary 27th, 2014The U.K. government issued proposed regulations that would allow researchers to try a new and controversial technique that would result in a form of genetic alteration that could be passed on to future generations.
Stem cell scientist gets suspended prison term by Nam Hyun-wooKorea TimesFebruary 27th, 2014The South Korean Supreme Court has upheld a suspended jail term for stem cell scientist Hwang Woo-suk, and ruled that Seoul National University’s dismissal of Hwang was justifiable.
The Mammoth Comethby Nathaniel RichThe New York TimesFebruary 27th, 2014Bringing extinct animals back to life is really happening — and it’s going to be very, very cool. Unless it ends up being very, very bad.
FDA Weighs Unknowns of 3-Person Embryo Fertilization[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Matthew PerroneAssociated PressFebruary 26th, 2014Genetic experts cautioned that it could take decades to confirm the safety of an experimental technique, meant to prevent children from inheriting debilitating diseases, that would create babies from the DNA of three people.
Why the FDA should not green-light 3-parent reproduction[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Paul KnoepflerKnoepfler Lab Stem Cell BlogFebruary 26th, 2014The FDA meeting is a great form for this discussion, although it leaves off the ethical and societal issues. Ultimately I hope the FDA says “no” to the technology. Humanity just isn’t ready and the risks are too great.
The New Science Of Three-Parent Babies[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Tom AshbrookNPR On PointFebruary 26th, 2014Mixing DNA from three people to produce one healthy baby. We’ll look at the controversial world of mitochondrial manipulation therapies to avoid inherited disease.
To Understand Science, Study Historyby Alejandra DubcovskyThe Chronicle of Higher EducationFebruary 24th, 2014Teaching history to students who plan to be doctors, scientists, or engineers forces them to lift their heads beyond the lab bench or the clipboard. It gives them a sensitivity that only the humanities can teach.
Robert Klein, the California Stem Cell Agency and a $5 Billion Proposalby David JensenCalifornia Stem Cell ReportFebruary 23rd, 2014The California stem cell agency has put a little distance between it and its former chairman who is currently touting a new $5 billion bond measure to rescue the agency from its financial demise.
Genetically Modified Babiesby Marcy DarnovskyThe 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.
Are the Robots about to Rise? Google's New Director of Engineering Thinks So…by Carole CadwalladrThe GuardianFebruary 22nd, 2014Ray Kurzweil popularised the Teminator-like moment he called the 'singularity', when artificial intelligence overtakes human thinking. But now the man who hopes to be immortal is involved in the very same quest – on behalf of the tech behemoth.
Is Genetic Testing Humans Playing God?by Robert KlitzmanCNNFebruary 22nd, 2014Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis allows doctors to test embryos before they are implanted into a woman's womb, to help ensure that certain gene mutations are not passed on. But this procedure is raising myriad complex ethical and social issues.
DNA Collection Aids Arrests — But What About Privacy?by Noreen MoustafaAljazeera AmericaFebruary 21st, 2014Privacy advocates warn that warrantless searches of a person’s DNA, especially for misdemeanor arrests, is a slippery slope.
FDA Asked to Approve Creation of Genetically Modified Childrenby Stuart A. NewmanHuffington 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.
Old Songs, New Tests, and Expensive Childrenby George Estreich, Biopolitical Times guest contributorFebruary 20th, 2014The CEO of AOL justified a restructuring of the company’s 401(K) plan by citing two "distressed babies." This tone-deaf insensitivity was answered by a disapproving choir, but it sadly resembles too many descriptions of the "cost" of people with disabilities.
Letter Signed by Hundreds Sent to the FDA: Preserve the global consensus against human germline modificationby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesFebruary 19th, 2014A sign-on letter prepared by the Center for Genetics and Society and the International Center for Technology Assessment has been sent to the FDA in anticipation of next week's discussion of a form of human germline modification.
Osagie K. Obasogie Speaks With Skip Gates About Colorblindness and Race[with CGS's Osagie Obasogie]by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.Oxford University Press's BlogFebruary 18th, 2014No one had done research on race and blindness. The question simply had not been asked, which speaks to the strength of the assumption that race isn’t all that important to blind people.
What are the Best Interests of the Child in International Surrogacy?by Professor Eric Blyth, Dr Marilyn Crawshaw and Professor Olga van den AkkerBioNewsFebruary 17th, 2014As the surrogacy industry grows, so too do calls for a loosening of international and domestic restraints. A consequence of this is the potential marginalization of the best interests of children.
FDA to Study “Three-Parent Embryos”[Quotes CGS]by Michael CookBioEdgeFebruary 16th, 2014On February 25 and 26 the US Food and Drug Administration will discuss a technique that is a form of human germline modification.
Scientific Racism's Long History Mandates Cautionby A'ndrea Elyse MesserPenn State NewsFebruary 14th, 2014Medical and scientific researchers need to be careful that the growth of genomics does not bring about another resurgence of scientific racism.
Calif. Prison Doctor Linked to Sterilizations no Stranger to Controversyby Corey G. JohnsonThe Center for Investigative ReportingFebruary 13th, 2014A prison doctor investigated by the California medical board after ordering tubal ligations without state approval is responsible for hundreds of other inmate sterilizations.
'There is no DNA Test to Prove You're Native American'by Linda GeddesNew ScientistFebruary 13th, 2014DNA testing is changing how Native Americans think about tribal membership. Yet anthropologist Kim Tallbear warns that genetic tests are a blunt tool, and tribal identity not just a matter of blood ties.
Rewriting the Human Genomeby Susan YoungMIT Technology ReviewFebruary 12th, 2014CRISPR could make gene therapies more broadly applicable, but, according to George Church, some scientists will be tempted to use it to engineer embryos during in vitro fertilization.
Ancient Genome Stirs Ethics Debateby Ewen CallawayNatureFebruary 12th, 2014The remains of a young boy buried some 12,600 years ago in Montana have revealed the ancestry of one of the earliest populations in the Americas.
Why Easy Stem Cells Raise Hard Ethical Questionsby Brendan FohtThe Public DiscourseFebruary 11th, 2014A surprising new method for making stem cells offers scientists an easy alternative to destroying human embryos. But there is a disturbing possibility that the technique may create not stem cells but actual cloned embryos.
Why Family Caregivers Should Care for their Families' Genetic Inheritance Data[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Dr. Gordon AtherleyVoice AmericaFebruary 10th, 2014Marcy Darnovsky and Jeff Nisker discuss the benefits and risks associated with the use of families’ genetic inheritance data for research and for medical treatment.
Questions Relating to 'Mitochondrial Replacement'by Calum MacKellarBioNewsFebruary 10th, 2014The term 'mitochondrial replacement' misrepresents reality while making it difficult for the general public to make an informed decision about the procedures and the grave ethical difficulties they raise for both individuals and the whole of society.
Let’s Keep the Door to Biotechnological Eugenics Closed by Enola AirdMomsRisingFebruary 10th, 2014The Food and Drug Administration will hold a public meeting this month to discuss oocyte modification and "three-parent babies." Here are three reasons to forego this kind of experimentation.
The Great Indian Egg Bazaarby Pritha Chatterjee and Mayura JanwalkarThe Indian ExpressFebruary 9th, 2014The death in Delhi has brought the spotlight back on the fast rising but largely unregulated egg donation industry in India, riding on lucrative money and word of mouth.
Egg Donor’s Death: Internal Bleeding, Ovaries Severely Enlarged, Says Reportby Pritha ChatterjeeThe Indian ExpressFebruary 9th, 2014An initial post-mortem report has now been released for 23-year-old Yuma Sherpa, who died after an egg donation procedure at an IVF clinic in Lajpat Nagar on January 29.
The Path to Reading a Newborn’s DNA Mapby Anne EisenbergThe New York TimesFebruary 8th, 2014What if laboratories could run comprehensive DNA tests on infants at birth? Should parents be told of each variation, even if any risk is still unclear? Would they even want to know?
Stem Cell Lines Not Fit for Clinicby Kerry GrensThe ScientistFebruary 6th, 2014Most stem cell lines registered with the NIH don’t comply with the FDA’s guidelines for human use, according to a new report.
Uzbekistan Is Using Genetic Testing to Find Future Olympiansby Ron Synovitz and Zamira EshanovaThe AtlanticFebruary 6th, 2014The idea of using genetic testing to spot future world-class athletes has been bandied about for years. Uzbekistan is now testing children as young as 10 to determine their athletic potential.
First Transgenic Monkeys Born Via “Precision Gene Editing”by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesFebruary 6th, 2014Chinese scientists announced the birth of the first primates created with a precision gene modification technique, raising both hopes about new insights into human diseases and concerns about new attempts at human inheritable genetic engineering.
To Catch a Killer Gene: Sisters Race to Stop Mystery Disease[Quotes CGS's Osagie K. Obasogie]by Tony DokoupilNBC NewsFebruary 6th, 2014This story of a family banding together to stop a disease before it cuts a path through society illustrates the promise of genomic medicine, but also the soul-troubling questions that arise when people have a hand in their own evolution.
Worlds, and Wombs, Collide in Kansas Bill Criminalizing Surrogate Pregnancy Contractsby Patricia J. WilliamsThe NationFebruary 5th, 2014There is danger in turning surrogacy into a sexless crime.
Genetics for the People?by Donna DickensonProject SyndicateFebruary 5th, 2014The rhetoric of personal ownership and control touted by 23andMe hides their flimsy data and actual business plan.
Review: The Big Lie: Motherhood, Feminism, and the Reality of the Biological Clock by Amy Richards, Biopolitical Times guest contributorFebruary 4th, 2014A generational wake-up call directed to those raised to think that medical breakthroughs are always in humanity’s best interest.
On Race, Medicine, and Reproduction: An Interview with Dorothy Robertsby Sophia SeawellBluestockings MagazineFebruary 4th, 2014The idea that social inequality has innate causes is a powerful way of trying to justify an unjust power arrangement.
New Rule Allows Patients to Get Test Results Directly From Labs, Without Doctors’ Clearanceby  Sandhya SomashekharThe Washington PostFebruary 3rd, 2014Patients may obtain their test results directly from the laboratory that produced them, without having to go through their doctors, under regulations announced Monday by the Obama administration.
The Baby-Making Business: on the front lines of Toronto’s booming, semi-legal surrogacy marketby Alison MotlukToronto LifeFebruary 3rd, 2014Toronto’s surrogacy industry is booming and lucrative and at least partly illegal. Prospective parents, desperate to start a family, are willing to take the risk.
Ireland Publishes Draft Surrogacy Legislationby Antony Blackburn-StarzaBioNewsFebruary 3rd, 2014The Irish Government has agreed to put forward for consultation proposals for a wide-ranging bill that features provisions on surrogacy and parenthood.
Ethics Questions Arise as Genetic Testing of Embryos Increasesby Gina KolataThe New York TimesFebruary 3rd, 2014The procedure raises unsettling ethical questions that trouble advocates for the disabled and have left some doctors struggling with what they should tell their patients.
Poll Shows We Want Those DNA Breakthroughs But Worry Scientists May Be 'Playing God'by Emily SwansonHuffington PostFebruary 2nd, 2014Seventy-two percent said they would disapprove of efforts to create children with unusually high intelligence or other advantageous traits.
Why we Should Opt Out of the Government's New Patient Databaseby Edward HockingsThe GuardianJanuary 31st, 2014Medical records in England and Wales will soon be linked to whole-sequenced genomes. Choosing to "opt out" is also taking a stand on what kind of society we want in the future.
Kercher Trial: How Does DNA Contamination Occur?by Melissa HogenboomBBCJanuary 30th, 2014Potential for the contamination of forensic DNA evidence has been highlighted by the Meredith Kercher murder trial. But just how much of a problem is it and what lessons should be drawn?
Stem Cell Timeline: The History of a Medical Sensationby Andy CoghlanNew ScientistJanuary 30th, 2014Human embryonic stem cells have attracted controversy since they were first grown in the lab. This timeline takes you through the ups and downs of the stem cell rollercoaster.
Should we Cut Back on IVF?by Lara SalahiThe Boston GlobeJanuary 29th, 2014Yes, say a group of European researchers who came to the conclusion by reviewing studies on women who underwent the procedure and on the health of children born using the technology.
Stanford Consortium Wins $40 Million to Create Stem Cell Genomics Centerby David JensenCalifornia Stem Cell ReportJanuary 29th, 2014Directors of the California stem cell agency have approved a $40 million proposal ultimately targeted at creating medical treatments tailored to a patient's genetic makeup.
Stem Cell Breakthrough Could Reopen Clone Warsby EditorialNew ScientistJanuary 29th, 2014The ability to easily reprogram any cell to an embryonic state will inevitably bring out maverick human cloners. We shouldn't let them set the agenda.
Study Says New Method Could Be a Quicker Source of Stem Cellsby Andrew PollackThe New York TimesJanuary 29th, 2014A surprising study has found that a simple acid bath might turn cells in the body into stem cells that could one day be used for tissue repair and other medical treatments.
Whistle-Blower Breaks his Silenceby David CyranoskiNatureJanuary 28th, 2014A South Korean researcher reveals the fallout he faced after his tip-offs about cloning fraudster Woo Suk Hwang.
How FDA and 23andMe Dance Around Evidence That Is Not Thereby Cecile JanssensHuffington PostJanuary 27th, 2014Almost all former direct-to-consumer genetic testing companies have closed up shop. In the wake of criticism from all sides will 23andMe be next?
The Era Of Genetically-Altered Humans Could Begin This Yearby David DiSalvoForbesJanuary 26th, 2014By the middle of 2014, the prospect of altering DNA to produce a genetically-modified human could move from science fiction to science reality.
Building the Better Babyby Craig KlugmanBioethics.netJanuary 21st, 2014BGI, the Chinese company, is hoping that it will soon be able to offer parents an option like that in GATTACA — choosing the “smartest” embryo.
CGS Letter to the FDA on Mitochondrial TransferThe Center for Genetics and Society's letter regarding the FDA's February 25-26 public meeting to discuss the advisability of a technique that would modify the human germline.
[UK] NHS patient data to be made available for sale to drug and insurance firmsby Randeep RameshThe 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.
There’s a Gene for Thatby Pankaj MehtaJacobinJanuary 18th, 2014History is littered with horrifying examples of the misuse of evolutionary theory to justify power and inequality. Welcome to a new age of biological determinism.
DNA Dreamingby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJanuary 13th, 2014A new documentary looks at the Chinese company that styles itself "the world’s largest genomics organization,” and its hunt for the genetic basis of intelligence.
Gene doping: Sport's biggest battle? by Tim FranksBBC NewsJanuary 11th, 2014Gene doping may already be happening, but testing authorities are reluctant to discuss the specifics, and some researchers see ethical issues in withholding treatments.
Can a Blind Person Be a Racist? [Excerpt]by Osagie ObasogieScientific AmericanJanuary 10th, 2014Racist attitudes are not rooted in the ability to actually "see" the color of someone’s skin.
Chinese Scientists, “Genius Genes,” and the Future of Genomicsby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJanuary 7th, 2014The New Yorker delves into the “biological data mill” that is BGI: the world’s largest, and arguably most controversial, genomics headquarters.
Leaked Files Slam Stem-Cell Therapyby Alison AbbottNatureJanuary 7th, 2014Disclosures and resignations reveal scientific concerns over stem cell treatments conducted by Italy’s Stamina Foundation.
Claims of Stem Cell Cures by Clinic Chain, Stem.MDby Paul KnoepflerKnoepfler Lab Stem Cell BlogJanuary 6th, 2014One of the most concerning new trends in the stem cell arena is the explosive growth of chains of for-profit stem cell clinics in the US.
Should Persons Affected by Mitochondrial Disorders Not be Brought Into Existence?by Professor Calum MacKellarBioNewsJanuary 6th, 2014What is being proposed is not a form of therapy in which a person is being treated or cured for a disorder. Instead, it is making sure that certain persons are not brought into existence.
Gene Patent Case Fuels U.S. Court Test of Stem Cell Rightby Susan DeckerBloombergJanuary 5th, 2014As scientists get closer to using embryonic stem cells in new treatments for blindness, spinal cord injuries and heart disease, a U.S. legal debate could determine who profits from that research.
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