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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 Baby Makers: Critics Push for Regulation of India's Booming Surrogacy IndustryABCApril 15th, 2014As more than 800 million Indians go to the polls this month, the main political party candidates are being urged to finally push through legislation to regulate the country's booming commercial surrogacy industry.
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.
Genetic Testing Sparks Ethics Debate[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]CCTV AmericaJanuary 5th, 2014Mark Niu reports on the ethical debate surrounding genetic testing and the FDA's ruling on 23andMe.
The Truth About Egg Donationby Jen DziuraThe GlossJanuary 3rd, 2014A former egg donor reflects on her experiences: the drugs, risks, money, and feelings.
FDA Meeting on Mitochondrial Replacement Rescheduledby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJanuary 3rd, 2014The FDA public meeting to discuss “oocyte modification in assisted reproduction” that was postponed due to the government shutdown in October has now been rescheduled for February 25-26.
A Short History of Biological Explanations for Povertyby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJanuary 2nd, 2014“The Biological Inferiority of the Undeserving Poor” sketches the history of biological explanations for social ills, and warns that we should pay close attention to their current resurgence.
An Ethics for the Future of Genetic Testingby Sara HendrenThe AtlanticDecember 30th, 2013As testing becomes more advanced, how should expecting parents weigh the information they have about a fetus with the information they don't?
The Biological Inferiority of the Undeserving Poorby Michael B. KatzSocial Work and Society International Online JournalDecember 24th, 2013The biological definition of poverty reinforces the idea of the undeserving poor, which is the oldest theme in post-Enlightenment poverty discourse.
Only High-Risk Women Need Breast Cancer Gene Test: Expertsby Dennis ThompsonUS NewsDecember 23rd, 2013Nine of 10 women do not need and should not receive genetic testing to see if they are at risk for breast or ovarian cancer, an influential panel of health experts has announced.
How Many Donor Offspring are Really Out There?by Wendy KramerMediumDecember 23rd, 2013The media and the reproductive industry’s "experts" should not be using patently erroneous figures. There is no reliable method of assessing how many children are conceived via gamete donation each year.
Top Science Longreads of 2013by Ed YongNational GeographicDecember 23rd, 2013I’m really optimistic about the future for long, deep, rich science reporting. There are more places that are publishing it, more ways of finding it, and a seemingly huge cadre of people who are writing it well.
Screening Newborns For Disease Can Leave Families In Limboby Nell GreenfieldboyceNPRDecember 23rd, 2013Patient advocacy groups have been pushing states to adopt mandatory newborn screening for more and more diseases, including ones that have no easy diagnosis or treatment.
The (Unknown) Costs of Private-for-Profit IVFby Alana CattapanImpact EthicsDecember 21st, 2013How much IVF should cost is controversial. What is not controversial is that profits in the range of $14 million and a $1.7 million dollar annual salary are too much.
Past Sperm and Egg Donors Split on Losing Anonymityby Shereen JegtvigReutersDecember 20th, 2013A recent study in Australia found that donors were split on the idea of possible contact from their donor children.
Patient’s Suicide Forces Belated University Investigationby David CyranoskiNatureDecember 19th, 2013Controversy over the death of a patient in an anti-psychotic drug trial at the University of Minnesota has rumbled on for years. An independent investigation may finally begin.
Biopolitical News of the Year 2013by Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesDecember 19th, 2013For better and worse, 2013 has been a year in which several related issues familiar to those who follow human biotechnology moved into the wider sphere of public discussion.
Non-Invasive Method Devised to Sequence DNA of Human Eggsby Erika Check HaydenNatureDecember 19th, 2013Scientists have begun a clinical trial to test whether a new DNA-sequencing technique for human egg cells can improve in vitro fertilization success rates.
Tania Simoncelli: Gene Patent Foeby Heidi LedfordNatureDecember 18th, 2013A US science policy expert, and former CGS staffer, is one of Nature’s People of the Year.
New Ways to Engineer the Germlineby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesDecember 18th, 2013A look at a number of emerging techniques that could compromise the international consensus against human inheritable genetic modification.
Selling Tests, Selling Treatments: A Few Reflections on Medical Advertisingby George Estreich, Biopolitical Times guest contributorDecember 18th, 2013The questions raised by the recent New York Times article about aggressive selling of ADD drugs should also be posed to those marketing non-invasive prenatal gene tests.
‘Generation Cryo’: How A New Generation Is Redefining Familyby Marisa PeñalozaWBURDecember 17th, 2013Thousands of children are conceived using sperm and egg donors every year, a group large enough to entice MTV to air “Generation Cryo.”
Too Much Informationby Amanda SchafferMIT Technology ReviewDecember 17th, 2013Advances in non-invasive prenatal screening could collide with the politics of abortion and raise the ugly specter of eugenics. Are there limits to how much data parents should have—or want to have—about their children before birth?
The Three-Parent Dilemma by Enola AirdMomsRisingDecember 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.
Three Biological Parents and a Babyby Karen WeintraubThe New York TimesDecember 16th, 2013“This crosses a line drawn by many scientists and bioethicists at altering the genetic profile of unborn children,” an F.D.A. panel wrote.
Ensure That Genetic Tests are Accurate: Our Viewby The Editorial BoardUSA TodayDecember 16th, 2013Opening the door to genetic testing and its potential health benefits is an exciting prospect. But only if the tests are accurate, the interpretations meaningful, and the results understandable.
Going Too Far on DNA Searches by The Times editorial boardThe Los Angeles TimesDecember 16th, 2013A ballot measure approved by California voters in 2004 allows police to collect DNA from anyone arrested on suspicion of a felony - before being charged or convicted.
Similar But Not Identical: Study Reveals More About Twins Than About Educationby Steve ConnorIndependentDecember 13th, 2013The headlines this week about a new study of the role of genetics in educational achievement told only part of the story.
Medics should plan ahead for incidental findingsby Erika Check HaydenNature NewsDecember 12th, 2013The US Bioethics Commission weighs in on the debate over how scientists and companies should handle inadvertent discoveries in diagnostic tests.
The Case for a New Biopoliticsby Marcy DarnovskyYouTubeDecember 11th, 2013A talk at UC Berkeley Extension for Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvouz (LASERs), a national program of evening gatherings that bring artists and scientists together for informal presentations and conversation with an audience.
Utah’s Myriad Genetics Ramps up Gene Patenting Disputeby Tom HarveyThe Salt Lake TribuneDecember 9th, 2013Myriad Genetics is enveloped in a spate of lawsuits over its gene patents, this time sparring with companies that want to erode its dominant position in testing genes related to breast and ovarian cancer.
Court to Consider California's DNA Collection Lawby Paul EliasAssociated PressDecember 9th, 2013California's Attorney General and the Obama administration are urging a federal appeals court to uphold California's mandatory collection of DNA samples from every arrestee.
Virginia Under Renewed Pressure to Give Reparations for Those Sterilized Under State Lawby Fredrick KunkleThe Washington PostDecember 8th, 2013A drumbeat from both the left and the right of the political spectrum has revived outrage over eugenics and 20th-century forcible sterilizations.
Genetic Tester to Stop Providing Data on Health Risksby Andrew PollackThe New York TimesDecember 6th, 2013Bowing to the Food and Drug Administration, 23andMe said it would stop providing consumers with health information while its test undergoes regulatory review.
The California Stem Cell Agency: A Blueprint for Living Without $300 Million a Yearby David JensenCalifornia Stem Cell ReportDecember 5th, 2013The likely future of the $3 billion California stem cell agency is an enterprise no longer tied to state funding and much more closely linked with industry.
Report Details the Extent of a Crime Lab Technician’s Errors in Handling Evidenceby Joseph GoldsteinThe New York TimesDecember 5th, 2013Details emerge of a troubling pattern of mistakes at the city’s premier crime lab, also considered among the best in the country.
Overhaul Recommended for Gene-Therapy Reviewby Erika Check HaydenNatureDecember 5th, 2013A report recommends that the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee should no longer review most gene-transfer research.
Building Better Humansby Zaineb MohammedEast Bay ExpressDecember 4th, 2013A new documentary looks at the impacts of human enhancement technologies. "I totally get the temptation," says the filmmaker. "But what are we fixing? Who is the problem?"
Designer Sperm Passes Selected Genes to Future GenerationsGenetic Engineering and Biotechnology NewsDecember 3rd, 2013UK scientists have found a way to insert new genetic material into mouse spermatozoa so that it remains functional after passing through at least three generations.
The Failed Promise of 23andMeby Robert KlitzmanBloombergDecember 3rd, 2013The FDA should take stronger action to protect consumers from the risks associated with direct-to-consumer testing - especially overpromises about partial testing.
San Diego Woman Sues 23andMe Over DNA Testby Gary RobbinsUT San DiegoDecember 3rd, 2013A class-action lawsuit alleges that 23andMe knowingly misled consumers into thinking that its DNA test kits produce a reliable look at a person’s relative risk for hundreds of diseases and disorders.
Genetic Testing Should Adhere to Medical, Not Business, Ethics: FDA's Regulation of 23andMe Is a Welcome Move for Consumersby Karuna JaggarHuffington PostDecember 1st, 2013The truth is that we still understand very little about how our genes interact with our environment, and our individual choices, to impact our health.
The Unregulated Sperm Industryby Rene AlmelingThe New York TimesNovember 30th, 2013The new movie “Delivery Man” stars a former sperm donor who finds out that he has more than 500 children. Is this a Hollywood exaggeration or a possible outcome? Truth is, no one knows.
Are Three Parents One Too Many?[Quotes CGS]by Stephen L. CarterBloombergNovember 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.
23andMe Is Terrifying, But Not for the Reasons the FDA Thinksby Charles SeifeScientific AmericanNovember 27th, 2013As the FDA frets about the accuracy of 23andMe’s tests, it is missing their true function, and consequently the agency has no clue about the real dangers they pose.
FDA Bans 23andme Personal Genetic Tests[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]BBC NewsNovember 26th, 2013The US Food and Drug Administration has imposed a ban on a company offering personal genetic screening to the general public.
FDA’s Warning to 23andMe is a Welcome Step toward Responsible Oversight, says Center for Genetics and Society [Press statement]November 26th, 2013The US Food and Drug Administration has ordered 23andMe to “immediately discontinue marketing” its direct-to-consumer genetic tests.
Cambridge Company Embarks on Genome Engineeringby Callum BorchersThe Boston GlobeNovember 25th, 2013A new life-science company aims to develop therapies that can put troublesome genes under the knife, so to speak, cutting out bad DNA like a scalpel excises bad tissue.
My Deadly Disease Was Just a Bugby Lukas Hartmannctrl+verlustNovember 25th, 2013An update to the author's 23andMe report informed him that he had the mutations to develop a life-threatening disease. Except that he didn't. This is his story.
F.D.A. Demands a Halt to a DNA Test Kit’s Marketingby Andrew PollackThe New York TimesNovember 25th, 2013The F.D.A. said that 23andMe has failed to provide adequate evidence that its Personal Genome Service provides accurate results.
What Huxley Knewby J. P. HarpigniesLetter to the New York TimesNovember 24th, 2013Huxley’s assembly-line baby factories were an exaggeration, but it’s a mistake to dismiss too quickly his fears about the genetic manipulation of the species.
Adrienne Asch, Bioethicist and Pioneer in Disability Studies, Dies at 67by Margalit FoxThe New York TimesNovember 23rd, 2013Adrienne Asch, an internationally known bioethicist who opposed the use of prenatal testing and abortion to select children free of disabilities, died on Nov. 19 at her home in Manhattan.
AquaBounty Facing Environmental Complaint in PanamaThe GuardianNovember 23rd, 2013A company creating GM salmon with the hopes of selling it for human consumption in the U.S. is facing a complaint in Panama alleging that it is in breach of the country’s environmental regulations.
Parents Audition Actresses — For Their Eggsby Uptin SaiidiNew York PostNovember 23rd, 2013Egg “agents” are aggressively recruiting city models and actresses, whose looks are coveted by couples turning to in-vitro fertilization.
‘Delivery Man’: 9 Sperm-Donation Questions You’re Too Embarrassed to Ask by Eliana DocktermanTimeNovember 22nd, 2013With a new movie, MTV series, and book, sperm donation stories are pervading pop culture right now. Experts answer 9 questions about what's really going on.
Remembering Adrienne Aschby Marcy DarnovskyBiopolitical TimesNovember 21st, 2013We mourn the death and deeply appreciate the life of Adrienne Asch, bioethicist, scholar, and disability rights activist.
Company Patenting Tech for Designing Babies[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by John FowlerKTVUNovember 20th, 2013Biotechnology may give parents unprecedented choices. Fertility clinics already use pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to select traits for some in-vitro babies, but intentional manipulation might create ethical nightmares.
The Mixed Legacy of the UK’s Departing Fertility Regulatorby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesNovember 20th, 2013The departing chair of the UK agency that regulates fertility treatments is criticizing aspects of the fertility industry, but still champions a form of inheritable human genetic modification.
Top 5 Reasons I am Opposed to Cloning Woolly Mammothsby Paul KnoepflerKnoepfler Lab Stem Cell BlogNovember 18th, 2013I have to admit seeing a woolly mammoth, mastodon, or saber tooth tiger would be cool, but such efforts would not be without consequences and most of them would be profoundly negative.
In Defence of Privacyby Dr Stuart HogarthBioNewsNovember 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.
Belgian Justice Official Demands Universal Police DNA Databaseby Bruno WaterfieldTelegraphNovember 17th, 2013A senior justice official wants DNA samples "from every baby" and "everyone that enters the country." The privacy commissioner said the proposal is reminiscent of dystopian novels about totalitarianism.
INVESTIGATORS: Side-Effects of Drug Study?by Shelby CapacioFox 9November 17th, 2013A renewed push is underway for an investigation into a horrific death caused by possible research misconduct at the University of Minnesota.
How Big a Deal Are the Changes to China’s One-Child Policy?by Joshua KeatingSlateNovember 15th, 2013The notorious one-child policy has been criticized for leading to a rise in sex-selective abortion.
Philanthropy's Original Sinby William A. SchambraThe New AtlantisNovember 15th, 2013For all of philanthropy's wonderful qualities, it's important to understand that the first American foundations were deeply immersed in eugenics — the effort to promote the reproduction of the “fit” and to suppress the reproduction of the “unfit.”
The IVF Data Warsby Miriam Zoll, Biopolitical Times guest contributorNovember 15th, 2013The American Society for Reproductive Medicine recently asserted that 60 percent of women who go through IVF end up with a baby, but this is a misleading figure for a number of reasons.
Death-Row Organ Donations Pose Practical, Ethical Hurdlesby Daniella Silva and Tracy ConnorNBC NewsNovember 14th, 2013Ohio's governor has postponed the execution of a child-killer so he can study his offer to donate organs — a proposal that experts say would be a logistical nightmare and an ethical minefield.
Desperate Couples are Misled by Only Positive Reports of IVF by Connie St LouisThe ConversationNovember 14th, 2013There’s a paucity of stories about couples that have been through the IVF treadmill and still remain childless. When will the HFEA see fit to urgently investigate the business of IVF?
Limits Lifted on Number of Twins and Triplets Born Through IVFby Charlie CooperThe IndependentNovember 13th, 2013The UK's IVF regulator announced that clinics will no longer have to ensure that multiple births account for only 10 per cent of their successful cases.
Designing Childrenby Jonathan WebberGenomics Law ReportNovember 12th, 2013Some degree of mastery over the genetic future of the human species seems to be a possibility. For whom and for what does this technology exist?
Weak Statistical Standards Implicated in Scientific Irreproducibilityby Erika Check HaydenNatureNovember 11th, 2013The plague of non-reproducibility in science may be mostly due to scientists’ use of weak statistical tests, as shown by an innovative method developed by a statistician.
How Do Eugenics Victims Find Justice? by Belle BoggsIndy WeekNovember 9th, 2013This year, the North Carolina Legislature approved monetary compensation for the state's eugenics victims. Is that enough?
You Can't Predict Destiny by Designing Your Baby's Genomeby Megan Allyse and Marsha MichieThe Wall Street JournalNovember 8th, 2013New genetic and reproductive techniques will only reveal that human life is too multifaceted to be reduced to a mathematical formula.
Future Past: Disability, Eugenics, & Brave New Worldsby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesNovember 7th, 2013A public symposium held on November 1 at San Francisco State University provided a rare and important opportunity to engage with the historical and ongoing implications of eugenic ideologies and practices for people with disabilities.
Generation I.V.F.by Miriam ZollLilithNovember 7th, 2013Making a Baby in the Lab: 10 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me.
Open-Access Genome Project Lands in UKby Ewen CallawayNatureNovember 7th, 2013The founder of the Personal Genome Project announced the launch of a UK edition, and a European franchise on the way for 2014.
Study Finds that Americans Want Doctors' Guidance on Genetic Test ResultsMedical XpressNovember 7th, 2013Like physician groups, members of the public are concerned about individuals interpreting the risks revealed by direct-to-consumer genetic testing without the help of a doctor.
NIH Seeks Comments on Plan to Share Genomic Databy Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesNovember 7th, 2013The National Institutes of Health is accepting public comments until November 20 on a draft Genomic Data Sharing Policy that promotes the wide-scale sharing of human and non-human genomic data.
ABC World News: “Egg Donors on the Rise”by Diane ToberBiopolitical TimesNovember 7th, 2013The segment lets several misleading statements stand, but it gets some important things right.
'The More we Looked Into the Mystery of Crispr, the More Interesting it Seemed' by Steve ConnorThe IndependentNovember 6th, 2013An enzyme that is capable of cutting both strands of a DNA double helix at precisely the point dictated by a “programmable” RNA sequence may have huge - and controversial - implications for genetic engineering capabilities.
Are Roboticists Ignoring the Consequences?by Judith LevineSeven DaysNovember 6th, 2013Thanks to innovations such as “low-cost sensors” and “new algorithms,” robots are starting to look like us, move like us and react like us. And if the worshippers of technology have their way, they will replace us.
Call for Independent Inquiry of Suicide in Clinical Trial at University of Minnesotaby Jessica CussinsBiopolitcal TimesNovember 6th, 2013Over 170 leading scholars have urged the University of Minnesota to undertake a public, independent investigation of the controversial suicide of psychiatric research subject Dan Markingson.
A Conception Conundrum[Quotes CGS's Diane Tober]by Jennifer BleyerPsychology TodayNovember 4th, 2013Many donor-conceived children voice "genetic bewilderment" about their origins. Can the trend towards open-identity donation address these existential concerns?
The Frightening and Fraught Future of Genetic Testingby Michael WhitePacific StandardNovember 4th, 2013Will genetic testing become a routine part of our society's decision-making, influencing professional sports, the military, parole boards, political campaigns, and our own health, education, and career choices?
Getting Your Microbes Analyzed Raises Big Privacy Issuesby Rob SteinNPRNovember 4th, 2013After spending months working on a series of stories about the trillions of friendly microbes that live in and on our bodies, a science reporter decides to explore his own microbiome.
The Future of the California Stem Cell Agency: Cures, Priorities and Brain Drain by David JensenCalifornia Stem Cell ReportNovember 3rd, 2013The California stem cell agency is nearing the end of its “normal” life span, and the topic of its future comes up with some regularity nowadays within the Golden State's stem cell community.
The Odds of Innocenceby Coralie Colmez & Leila SchnepsNautilusNovember 3rd, 2013Juries in criminal trials are often encouraged to think of DNA profiling as an exact science. The statistics, however, tell a different story.
Designer Babies: Fact or Fiction?[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Franki WebbIPPro Life SciencesOctober 31st, 2013To what extent is 23andMe’s “designer babies” patent scientifically and morally dubious? IPPro speaks to experts about the controversial subject.
'Bubble Kid' Success Puts Gene Therapy Back on Trackby Linda GeddesNew ScientistOctober 30th, 2013Five children with a genetic disease that wipes out their immune system have successfully been treated with gene therapy.
Stem Cell Person of the Year 2013: Elena Cattaneoby Paul KnoepflerKnoepfler Lab Stem Cell BlogOctober 30th, 2013Beyond her great achievements in stem cell science, she has a track record of taking important public stands on key issues over the years.
No More Tourist Visa for Commissioning Surrogacy in India: Home MinistryIBN LiveOctober 30th, 2013Foreign nationals intending to visit India for commissioning surrogacy will not be allowed to come on a tourist visa, with the Home Ministry ordering strict adherence of surrogacy laws.
Root of Maths Genius Soughtby Erika Check HaydenNatureOctober 29th, 2013In a study dubbed ‘Project Einstein’, entrepreneur Jonathan Rothberg and physicist Max Tegmark have set their sights on finding the genes that underlie mathematical genius.
‘Ethical Failure’ Leaves One-Quarter of all Clinical Trials Unpublishedby Daniel CresseyNature News BlogOctober 29th, 2013Hundreds of thousands of patients have been exposed to potential harm in clinical trials whose results have yet to be published since their completion nearly five years ago.
Are We Too Close to Making Gattaca a Reality?by Ferris JabrScientific AmericanOctober 28th, 2013An era of market-based eugenics would exterminate any lingering notions of meritocracy. But that could never happen this side of the silver screen, right?
The Science And Ethics Of Personal Genetic Testing[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Diane RehmThe Diane Rehm ShowOctober 28th, 2013Direct-to-consumer gene tests now cost just a few hundred dollars. A panel of experts discusses the science and ethics of personal genetic testing.
Advocating Eugenics in the UK Department of Educationby Pete ShanksHuffington PostOctober 28th, 2013A senior adviser to the UK Secretary of State for Education has provoked a flurry of complaints about his technocratic, effectively eugenic, definitely gene-focused approach to public policy.
Grow Your Own: Where Scientists and Artists are Shaking up Creationby Oliver WainwrightThe GuardianOctober 27th, 2013From armpit brie to banana flavoured E.coli, artists and bio-hackers have teamed up to push the frontiers of 'synthetic biology' in a new exhibition.
Science has Lost its Way, at a Big Cost to Humanityby Michael HiltzikLos Angeles TimesOctober 27th, 2013Scientists at the biotech firm Amgen set out to double-check the results of 53 landmark papers in their fields of cancer research and blood biology. Of the 53, only six could be proved valid.
Companies Rush to Build ‘Bio-Factories’ for Medicines, Flavorings and Fuelsby Ariana Eunjung ChaThe Washington PostOctober 24th, 2013"You can now build a cell the same way you might build an app for your iPhone."
Opinion: Why Selling Kidneys Still Won't Workby Art CaplanNBC NewsOctober 24th, 2013If the price was right, would you sell your kidney to someone who desperately needs a transplant?
GPs Told They Must Warn Patients Against Having Sex-Selective Abortions by Daniel MartinThe Daily MailOctober 24th, 2013The UK's Chief Medical Officer will write to all family doctors to make it plain that abortions carried out solely on the grounds of the sex of the child are wrong.
A Former IVF Baby on "Three-Parent IVF"by Jessica CussinsHuffington PostOctober 24th, 2013Mitochondrial replacement raises one of the thorniest questions humanity will ever face: are we willing to genetically modify future generations of humans?
Biology's Brave New WorldThe Promise and Perils of the Synbio Revolutionby Laurie GarrettForeign AffairsOctober 24th, 2013Synthetic genomics has spawned a dizzying array of new possibilities, challenges, and national security threats. The global bioterrorism and biosecurity establishment remains well behind the curve.
1.7m DNA Profiles Cut From DatabasePress AssociationOctober 24th, 2013As part of the UK's commitment to slim down the amount of information held by the state, millions of DNA profiles and fingerprint records from innocent people have been deleted.
ASRM Meeting: What to Knowby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesOctober 24th, 2013The annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the fertility industry organization, typically generates headlines. Here are some of this year’s top stories.
NIH Requests Comment on Genomic Data Sharing Policy Draftby Nicolle StrandThe Blog of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical IssuesOctober 23rd, 2013The National Institutes of Health published a draft version of its new genomic data sharing policy, along with a request for public comment.
Case Explores Rights of Fetus Versus Motherby Erik EckholmThe New York TimesOctober 23rd, 2013Alicia Beltran was accused of endangering her unborn child because she refused her doctor's order to start an anti-addiction drug. She had already beat the addiction on her own.
Brain Decoding: Reading Mindsby Kerri SmithNatureOctober 23rd, 2013By scanning "blobs" of brain activity, scientists may be able to decode people's thoughts, their dreams and even their intentions.
An Insider’s Antidote for Dangerous Stem Cell Hypeby Bernadette TanseyXconomyOctober 22nd, 2013Paul Knoepfler’s new book is a scientific primer and a paean to the promise of stem cell research, but also a warning to vulnerable patients who prematurely look to stem cell therapy as a last-ditch hope for a cure.
FDA Meeting on Germline Mitochondrial Replacement Postponedby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesOctober 22nd, 2013The FDA public meeting to discuss a form of human inheritable genetic modification has been postponed because of the aftermath of the government shutdown; now there is more time to spread the word and get involved.
The Genomic Oracleby Carl ZimmerSlateOctober 21st, 2013If your DNA is sequenced at birth, how would if affect your life? A new project aims to find out.
New Tests, Same Old Bias and Misinformationby Rachel AdamsThe Huffington PostOctober 21st, 2013October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month, so the timing of a lazy and poorly researched New York Times piece on prenatal screening was particularly unfortunate.
What’s That Smell? Exotic Scents Made From Re-engineered Yeastby Andrew PollackThe New York TimesOctober 20th, 2013A powerful form of genetic engineering could revolutionize the production of some of the most sought-after flavors and fragrances, but synthetic biology raises thorny issues.
Health Chiefs Plan to Ban Adverts for Overseas Baby Sex-Selection Tripsby Christy ChoiSouth China Morning PostOctober 20th, 2013Health chiefs are set to slap an advertising ban on Hong Kong businesses that offer medical tourism packages for the growing number of couples who want to choose the sex of their babies.
Access to Sperm Donor Data by Children Backedby Kirsty NeedhamThe Sydney Morning HeraldOctober 20th, 2013Alarmed by evidence that fertility clinics have deliberately destroyed the records of children conceived before anonymous sperm donation was made illegal, an inquiry calls for it be made an offence.
How Science Goes WrongThe EconomistOctober 19th, 2013Modern scientists are doing too much trusting and not enough verifying — to the detriment of the whole of science, and of humanity.
Decades Later, Condemnation for a Skid Row Cancer Studyby Gina KolataThe New York TimesOctober 17th, 2013A Columbia University medical researcher offered skid row alcoholics a clean bed and three square meals for a few days, plus free medical care and treatment if they had prostate cancer - if they agreed to surgical biopsies of their prostates.
Reproductive Rights and Responsibilities[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Mirah RibenDissident VoiceOctober 17th, 2013Medical science and reproductive technologies are imploring us to consider if our genetic material is ours – solely – once it has been shared through natural reproduction or in a laboratory resulting in another life.
New DNA Test can Catch Elite Cheatsby Corey AllenThe University of British ColumbiaOctober 17th, 2013Researchers have developed a new, more cost-effective way to detect blood doping using DNA. Some are asking whether collecting people’s genetic data for non-medical purposes is ethical.
The Rise of Gender Selection among Middle Eastern Couplesby Rachel WilliamsonMiddle East MonitorOctober 17th, 2013Couples throughout the Middle East are turning to pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to choose male embryos.
'Where Did I Come From?' Donor Eggs, Sperm and a Surrogateby Anndee HochmanThe InquirerOctober 17th, 2013Child psychologists have long advised telling kids "early and often" about their origins, especially when those origins involve donor eggs or sperm.
More Young Women Serving as Egg Donors, Report Saysby Melissa DahlTodayOctober 17th, 2013More young women than ever are donating their eggs to help other people become parents, according to a new report in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Review: The Sports Geneby J. P. Harpignies, Biopolitical Times guest contributorBiopolitical TimesOctober 17th, 2013David Epstein’s new book is unfortunately named. Sports Genes? – with an emphasis on the question mark – would have been more accurate. Nonetheless, the author provides a thoughtful exploration of some very tricky terrain.
The Killing Pointby Leigh CowartNSFWCorpOctober 16th, 2013Malcolm Gladwell cherry-picks his way through the complicated fields of physiology, genetics, and sport to frame an argument on performance-enhancing drugs that is not only ill-informed, it’s downright dangerous.
Regulators Weigh Benefits of ‘Three-Parent’ Fertilization[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Erika Check HaydenNatureOctober 15th, 2013Scientists and other critics say mitochondrial replacement carries safety and ethical concerns.
Dominic Cummings may Disagree, but Wealth is Considerably More Heritable than Genesby Polly ToynbeeThe GuardianOctober 14th, 2013His section on genetics implies that human fate is sealed at birth, as the Calvinists and eugenicists thought.
The Clone Named Dollyby Nicholas WadeThe New York TimesOctober 14th, 2013This week’s Retro Report video tells the story of Dolly the sheep. The Scottish scientists who created her recall the painstaking process of trying to get the experiment to work.
Company Seeks to Make Sperm Banks Saferby Carolyn Y. JohnsonThe Boston GlobeOctober 14th, 2013A new company will test a woman’s DNA and the genes of potential sperm donors to produce a personalized list that strikes out donors who may be a bad match for about 600 genetic childhood diseases.
Inside 23andMe Founder Anne Wojcicki's $99 DNA Revolutionby Elizabeth MurphyFast CompanyOctober 14th, 2013Genetic data on a massive scale is likely to be an extremely valuable commodity to pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and even governments. That's why 23andMe needs spit.
Savulescu Warns that “Love-Diminishing” Drugs could be Used for Gay “Conversion Therapy”by Xavier SymonsBioEdgeOctober 12th, 2013A controversial new paper examines the ethics of using drugs to “normalize” people with atypical sexual desires.
Craig Venter: 'This isn't a fantasy look at the future. We are doing the future'by Zoë CorbynThe GuardianOctober 12th, 2013The scientist dubbed biology's "bad boy" wants to talk about his new book. A reader could be forgiven for thinking it is really aimed at the Nobel prize committee.
Roy Morgan Poll Shows Most Aussies Oppose Sex Selection for Babies by Kieran Campbellnews.com.auOctober 10th, 2013The first comprehensive poll of Australian attitudes towards sex selection shows only one in five people support it.
Canadian LGBTQ Families and Assisted Reproduction by Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesOctober 9th, 2013A major series of news articles describes "the emerging world of gay parenthood and surrogacy" in Canada — and abroad.
The Arlene Bynon Show[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Arlene BynonThe Arlene Bynon ShowOctober 7th, 2013Marcy Darnovsky discusses 23andMe's recent "designer baby" patent with on a national affairs program broadcast on SiriusXM.
My Problem with "Taboo" Behavioral Genetics? The Science Stinks!by John HorganScientific AmericanOctober 4th, 2013Last spring, I kicked up a kerfuffle by proposing that research on race and intelligence, given its potential for exacerbating discrimination, should be banned. Now Nature has expanded this debate with "Taboo Genetics."
Three parent babies 'incompatible with human dignity'by Nick CollinsThe Telegraph [UK]October 4th, 2013A group of 34 European politicians has signed a declaration attacking plans that would make the UK the first country in the world to permit the technique.
Girls Not Allowedby Vanessa BairdNew InternationalistOctober 4th, 2013Honest regulation of sex selection, however tricky to enforce, is necessary because individual acts are having extremely harmful collective consequences.
Glowing plant project on Kickstarter sparks debate about regulation of DNA modificationby Ariana Eunjung ChaWashington PostOctober 3rd, 2013Who, if anyone, has the power to monitor the release of glowing seeds?
23andMe's 'Build-a-Baby' Patent Criticised[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]BBC NewsOctober 3rd, 2013A US patent for a database that uses DNA testing to tell prospective parents which traits their future offspring may inherit has been criticised by experts.
23andMe's Designer Baby Patent is 'a Serious Mistake,' Critics Charge [Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Karen KaplanLos Angeles TimesOctober 3rd, 2013What’s even more repulsive than the idea of using DNA tests to help people create a designer babies? Getting a patent for the idea.
My Disabled Body, My Choiceby Veronica FoaleABCOctober 2nd, 2013Being disabled is a challenge in itself without society imposing restrictions on our fertility.
The Damaging Language of “Cure” and Down Syndromeby Amy Julia BeckerPatheosOctober 2nd, 2013Once again we’re hearing news of a breakthrough in research on drug therapies to enhance the cognitive processing of people with Down syndrome. And once again, the discussions seem to fixate on the controversial notion of a “cure.”
Feds Looks at Plan to Collect DNA from Suspects upon Arrest by Kim MackraelThe Globe and MailOctober 2nd, 2013Canada is considering a move to collect DNA samples from suspects upon arrest for certain crimes, raising concerns for criminal defence lawyers and civil-rights advocates.
Genetic Testing to be Easier Under Obamacareby Veronica LinaresUPI.comOctober 2nd, 2013Genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer will be a lot easier under the Affordable Care Act.
Dangerous Workby EditorialNatureOctober 2nd, 2013Behavioural geneticists must tread carefully to prevent their research being misinterpreted.
[VIDEO] Debating Embryonic Genetic Testing[With CGS Advisory Board member Francine Coeytaux]The DoctorsOctober 1st, 2013New genetic tests, including Next Generation Sequencing, can radically improve the odds of a healthy, full term pregnancy … but where do we draw the line? Hear more from The Doctors.
Foreigners Are Flocking To India To Rent Wombs And Grow Surrogate Babies by Nita Bhalla and Mansi ThapliyalReutersSeptember 30th, 2013A debate over whether the unregulated surrogacy industry in India exploits poor women prompted a draft law that could make it tougher for foreigners seeking babies made in India.
Outsourcing a Life[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Stephanie M. LeeSan Francisco ChronicleSeptember 30th, 2013The Akanksha Infertility Clinic in Anand, India allowed a San Francisco Chronicle reporter and photographer full access to its facilities, except for the delivery room.
Blinded By Science[Mentions CGS's Jessica Cussins]Center for Environmental HealthSeptember 30th, 2013Three stories of science gone wrong: distorted science, unethical science, and just plain nutty science. We learn about geoengineering, flame retardant chemicals, and the controversy over misuse of Havasupai DNA.
Your Body, Their Propertyby Osagie K. ObasogieBoston ReviewSeptember 30th, 2013When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down human gene patents it took one aspect of the debate over property interests in human biological materials off the table. But other body parts are still considered fair game.
Studying How The Blind Perceive Race[Discusses the work of CGS's Osagie Obasogie]by Kat ChowNPRSeptember 29th, 2013Blinded by Sight: Seeing Race in the Eyes of the Blind hits shelves in November.
30 Years Later, A MacArthur 'Genius' Reflects[Discusses the work of CGS's Osagie Obasogie]by Kat ChowWGBH NewsSeptember 26th, 2013Former MacArthur Foundation fellow Ramón Gutiérrez calls Osagie Obasogie's work on how blind people understand race the most interesting research he's come across lately.
Scientists Warn Against “Three-Parent IVF” Experimentby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical 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.
On Designer Babiesby Sheldon KrimskyTufts Medicine, Summer 2013It is unimaginable that any humane society would permit a human trial of genetic modification where the potential risks so outweigh the social benefits.
Unlicensed Doctor who 'Sold Hope to Patients who had None' Sentencedby Jeff GermanLas Vegas Review-JournalSeptember 24th, 2013An unlicensed physician described as a "modern-day Dr. Frankenstein" was sentenced to federal prison for defrauding chronically ill patients through a phony stem cell implant procedure.
At the End of the Slippery Slope: Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam Trilogyby George Estreich, Biopolitical Times guest contributorSeptember 24th, 2013Atwood says her trilogy "invents nothing we haven’t already invented or started to invent" — suggesting that though her work is fiction and not a tract, she also intends to do far more than entertain.
Gene Therapy With a Differenceby Andrew PollackThe New York TimesSeptember 23rd, 2013The idea is that a disease can be ameliorated not by replacing a defective gene, as is done in gene therapy, but by correcting it. But hopes for the new technique have now suffered a big blow.
Wealthy Chinese Seek U.S. Surrogates for Second Child, Green Cardby Alexandra HarneyReutersSeptember 23rd, 2013Wealthy Chinese are hiring American women to serve as surrogates for their children, creating a small but growing business in "designer" American babies for China's elite.
More DNA Samples, More Debateby Erica E. PhillipsThe Wall Street JournalSeptember 23rd, 2013In Orange County, California, officials are taking DNA samples from people charged with minor offenses such as shoplifting and drug possession, in exchange for agreeing to dismiss the charges or as part of plea deals.
Welsh Police Take DNA Samples from more than 5,500 Children by James McCarthyWales OnlineSeptember 22nd, 2013A 12-month-old baby is among the thousands who were swabbed by Wales’ four forces as part of their investigations since 2010.
Gendercide in the CaucasusThe EconomistSeptember 21st, 2013The practice of aborting female foetuses is found mostly in China and other Asian countries. But it is prevalent in the Caucasus, too. Two new studies look at why—and suggest the practice may spread.
Calif. Seeks Answers On Questionable Prison Sterilizationsby Pauline BartoloneNPRSeptember 20th, 2013Lawmakers in California have called for an internal audit after an investigation revealed that women were receiving sterilization procedures improperly at several state prisons.
Controversial IVF Therapy Could Turn Families into Experiments, Scientists Warnby John RossThe AustralianSeptember 20th, 2013Scientists have called for time-out on an experimental therapy which could produce babies with three biological parents.
CGS Letter to the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of EuropeSeptember 20th, 2013Regarding the UK's possible approval of "mitochondria replacement," techniques that constitute human inheritable genetic modification.
Science: The Religion that Must Not be Questionedby Henry GeeThe GuardianSeptember 19th, 2013It's time for the priesthood to be taken to task – and journalists aren't up to the job.
Maryland v. King: Three Concerns about Policing and Genetic Informationby Elizabeth E. JohGenomics Law ReportSeptember 19th, 2013The decision in Maryland v. King affirmed that DNA databanking in the criminal justice system is here to stay, but the majority opinion raises at least three potentially troubling concerns about policing and genetic privacy.
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