|Weighing the Scales on Genetic Information, Biopolitical TimesApril 15th, 2014More people are choosing not to know what’s in their genome and more people are sharing the complexities and challenges of knowing. How can their choices and experiences inform policy? |
|DNA Dreams, Biopolitical 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.|
|Whole Genome Sequencing only Halfway There, Biopolitical 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?
|Hacking Your DNA, NewsweekMarch 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?|
|Another Legal Setback for Myriad, The 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.|
|When Science Doesn't Have all the Answers, BloomMarch 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 Off, NatureMarch 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. |
|Human Longevity, Inc., Biopolitical TimesMarch 6th, 2014Craig Venter's new genomics company may face some stiff competition.|
|Privatizing Biomedical Citizenship, HealthLawProf BlogMarch 3rd, 2014Massive recruitment to participate in biomedical research promotes a privatized conception of citizenship that configures citizens’ duties as serving not the public good, but the good of private corporations – pharmaceutical manufacturers in particular. |
|China Cracks Down on DNA Testing, ForbesMarch 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.
|Is Genetic Testing Humans Playing God?, CNNFebruary 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.|
|Old Songs, New Tests, and Expensive ChildrenFebruary 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.
|Sex Science and Gender Culture, Harvard MagazineFebruary 19th, 2014In her new book Sex Itself: The Search for Male and Female in the Human Genome, Sarah S. Richardson examines science’s claims to reveal “what is really real about male and female.”|
|Ancient Genome Stirs Ethics Debate, NatureFebruary 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.|
|To Catch a Killer Gene: Sisters Race to Stop Mystery Disease[Quotes CGS's Osagie K. Obasogie], NBC 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.|
|The $1,000 Genome: Game Changer or PR Stunt?, Biopolitical TimesFebruary 6th, 2014The DNA sequencing company Illumina announced a new product capable of sequencing an entire human genome for under $1,000. What are the hidden costs? What are the implications of reaching this long-awaited benchmark?
|On Race and Medicine, The ScientistFebruary 1st, 2014While age and gender are strongly associated with biological differences that may have a significant impact on disease susceptibility and treatment response, the role of race/ethnicity is far less clear.|
|Is genius in the genes?, TESJanuary 24th, 2014The debate about genes and intelligence has resurfaced, and it’s more fervent than ever. Can achievement truly be inherited? Should education be tailored to individuals’ genetic potential?|
|Building the Better Baby, Bioethics.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.|
|Hit-and-Miss Genetic Testing, Biopolitical TimesJanuary 20th, 2014In at least four experiments, identical DNA has been sent to different direct-to-consumer testing companies. In every case, significant anomalies appeared.|
|There’s a Gene for That, JacobinJanuary 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.|
|Butting Heads Over "De-extinction", Biopolitical TimesJanuary 16th, 2014Paul Ehrlich and Stewart Brand have written contrasting essays debating the idea of "de-extinction.” |
|Cloning comeback, Nature NewsTen years ago, Woo Suk Hwang rose to the top of his field before fraud and dodgy bioethical practices derailed his career. Can a scientific pariah redeem himself? |
|China cloning on an 'industrial scale', BBC NewsJanuary 13th, 2014Their cloning methods may not be novel, but the application of mass production is. And BGI has ambitions to sequence the genomes of a million people, a million animals and a million plants.|
|DNA Dreaming, Biopolitical 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. |
|A Short History of Biological Explanations for Poverty, Biopolitical 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. |
|Top Science Longreads of 2013, National 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.|
|Biopolitical News of the Year 2013, Biopolitical 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.|
|New Ways to Engineer the Germline, Biopolitical TimesDecember 18th, 2013A look at a number of emerging techniques that could compromise the international consensus against human inheritable genetic modification.
|Too Much Information, MIT 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?|
|Professor Plomin Goes to Parliament, BioNewsDecember 16th, 2013The House of Commons Education Committee, currently investigating 'underachievement in education of white working class children,' heard about the genetics of children with learning disabilities.|
|Singularity: Reading our genes like computer code[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky], BBC NewsDecember 9th, 2013Marcy Darnovsky tells the BBC: "It's becoming ever more clear that genetic information will never yield solid actionable data about an individual's risks for the vast majority of common complex diseases."|
|23andMe's Troubles: The Spat over Spit , Biopolitical TimesDecember 5th, 2013First a warning letter from the FDA, then a class action lawsuit. What's next for Google-backed 23andMe, the only direct-to-consumer genetic testing company still in the game?|
|Die, Selfish Gene, Die, Aeon MagazineDecember 3rd, 2013How vital, really, are actual changes in the genetic code? Do we even need DNA changes to adapt to new environments? Is the importance of the gene as the driver of evolution being overplayed?|
|The Failed Promise of 23andMe, BloombergDecember 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 Test, UT 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.|
|My Deadly Disease Was Just a Bug, ctrl+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.|
|What Huxley Knew, Letter 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.|
|Company Patenting Tech for Designing Babies[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky], KTVUNovember 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.|
|In Defence of Privacy, BioNewsNovember 18th, 2013Not everyone is convinced that the public disclosure policy of the Personal Genome Project is the best response to the difficulties of safeguarding genomic confidentiality. |
|Designing Children, Genomics 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?|
|Future Past: Disability, Eugenics, & Brave New Worlds, Biopolitical 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.
|NIH Seeks Comments on Plan to Share Genomic Data, Biopolitical 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.|
|The Odds of Innocence, NautilusNovember 3rd, 2013Juries in criminal trials are often encouraged to think of DNA profiling as an exact science. The statistics, however, tell a different story.|
|Root of Maths Genius Sought, NatureOctober 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.
|Genetics’ Rite of Passage, SlateOctober 27th, 2013Geneticists with any historical memory hold a painful awareness that their field has fallen short of the glory that once seemed close.|
|Genetic Test for Autism Refuted, The ScientistOctober 25th, 2013Australian scientists claimed to have developed a genetic test that predicts a person’s risk of developing autism spectrum disorder. A new study suggests those claims were overblown. |
|Advocating Eugenics in the UK Department of Education, Biopolitical TimesOctober 24th, 2013Dominic Cummings, a senior adviser to the UK Secretary of State for Education, recently provoked a flurry of complaints about his technocratic, effectively eugenic, definitely gene-focused approach to public policy.|
|The Genomic Oracle, SlateOctober 21st, 2013If your DNA is sequenced at birth, how would if affect your life? A new project aims to find out.|
|Reproductive Rights and Responsibilities[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky], Dissident 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.|
|Review: The Sports Gene, Biopolitical 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.|
|Epigenetics: How to alter your genes, The TelegraphOctober 16th, 2013Epigenetics offers explanations to how our diets, exposure to toxins, stress levels at work – even one-off traumatic events – might subtly alter the genetic legacy we pass on to our children and grandchildren.|
|The Arlene Bynon Show[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky], The Arlene Bynon ShowOctober 7th, 2013Marcy Darnovsky discusses 23andMe's recent "designer baby" patent with on a national affairs program broadcast on SiriusXM. |
|Girls Not Allowed, New InternationalistOctober 4th, 2013Honest regulation of sex selection, however tricky to enforce, is necessary because individual acts are having extremely harmful collective consequences.|
|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.
|Dangerous Work, NatureOctober 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.|
|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 Property, Boston 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.|
|NIH Approves First Uses of HeLa Genome, NatureSeptember 17th, 2013The National Institutes of Health has approved the first uses of genomic data from the HeLa cell line, following negotiations between Lacks family members and NIH leadership.|
|DNA and Newborn Screening, BioethicsSeptember 15th, 2013The NIH will spend $25 million dollars over the next five years on projects to examine the economics, health, privacy, and interpersonal issues in newborn genomic screening. |
|Selling the Fantasy of Fertility, The New York TimesSeptember 11th, 2013A trade show will showcase the latest inventions in the world of reproductive medicine with the suggestion that all your answers can be found within the event hall. But science fails far more often than is generally believed.|
|The Social Life of Genes, Pacific StandardSeptember 3rd, 2013Your DNA is not a blueprint. Day by day, week by week, your genes are in a conversation with your surroundings. Your neighbors, your family, your feelings of loneliness: They don’t just get under your skin, they get into the control rooms of your cells.|
|Henrietta Lacks' Genes and All of Yours?, Huffington PostSeptember 2nd, 2013A woman whose son was born with a severe disease agreed to have her genes examined to help find the cause, but struggled to decide whether to learn lots of other information about her and her family.|
|African Genes Tracked Back, NatureAugust 27th, 2013Scientists say that they have traced a reverse migration that, in two steps, carried genes from the rest of the world back to southern Africa, long before European colonizers arrived.|
|Are You Ready for an Online Genetic Test?[WITH VIDEOS], KQEDAugust 26th, 2013For the right person, an online genetic test can be both fun and useful. But for someone else, it might be overwhelming. Or even worse, reveal things they wish they hadn’t learned.|
|Corporate Genetics, Technology ReviewAugust 21st, 2013In June the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that patents on genes were invalid. Yet corporate intellectual-property claims can still harm patients.|
|Deal Done Over HeLa Cell Line, NatureAugust 7th, 2013Over the past four months, the director of the US National Institutes of Health met with Henrietta Lacks's family members to discuss what should be done with genome data from the HeLa cells.|
|DTC Monopoly and Me, Biopolitical TimesAugust 6th, 2013A recent study shows yet again that results from different direct-to-consumer genetic testing companies vary. So what will the emerging monopoly of 23andMe mean for accuracy?
|Would you Edit your Genes?, The Boston GlobeAugust 3rd, 2013Major hospitals have reported jaw-dropping success using gene therapy to cure leukemia and lymphoma. All of this is promising, but gene therapy has its risks, both medically and ethically.|
|UK Forensic Science Slammed by Inquiry, NatureJuly 25th, 2013UK government failures over forensic science are leading to fragmentation, research gaps and possibly even miscarriages of justice, according to a parliamentary inquiry on the subject.|
|Made With Love, Biopolitical TimesJuly 22nd, 2013The first baby has been born following “next generation genetic sequencing” of IVF embryos. What are the implications?|
|Is Your DNA in a Police Database?, Associated PressJuly 12th, 2013Countries around the world are collecting genetic material from millions of citizens in the name of fighting crime and terrorism — and, according to critics, heading into uncharted ethical terrain.|
|The Gene For Hubris, GenotopiaJuly 10th, 2013Genetics and reproduction are intensely potent, and wherever we find abuse of power we should be alert to the harnessing of biology in the service of tyranny.|
|A Culture of Consent, NatureJune 26th, 2013More than 50 years after the WI-38 cell line was derived from a fetus, science and society has still to get to grips with the ethical issues of using human tissue in research.|
|Reactions to the Supreme Court Ruling Against Myriad, Biopolitical TimesJune 13th, 2013The unanimous Supreme Court decision that human genes may not be patented was greeted with enthusiasm by the large coalition of plaintiffs and supporters, while the losers tried to put a brave face on it.|
|Supreme Court Strikes Down Gene Patents, Biopolitical TimesJune 13th, 2013The Supreme Court's ruling against Myriad Genetics is a triumph for common sense and the common good, and for scientific research and legal fundamentals as well.|
|Size MattersJune 11th, 2013Even if there really is a way to use telomere length to predict lifespans, this mirror into our inner workings raises troubling questions. |
|Welcome to the “Genetic Panopticon”, Biopolitical TimesJune 5th, 2013In a forceful blow to the Fourth Amendment, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that police can collect DNA from people who have been arrested – but who have not been convicted, and may never be.|
|Discussing "De-Extinction", Biopolitical TimesJune 5th, 2013A one-day conference, "De-extinction: Ethics, Law & Politics," included advocates of the idea, as well as environmentalists, animal welfare experts and philosophers expressing a range of concerns.|
|Genetic Tests: Who Should Know and Who Should Tell?, Biopolitical TimesMay 29th, 2013The guidelines about "incidental findings" from genetic tests recently proposed by American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics continue to provoke debate, as does the broad concept of routine whole-genome analysis. |
|Cancer Inc., Biopolitical TimesMay 28th, 2013Angelina Jolie’s widely discussed op-ed about her preventative double mastectomy glosses over the impact of one company’s patent on the “breast cancer genes” as well as alternative choices that are available to women who have mastectomies.
|Predicting the IQ of Future People, Biopolitical TimesMay 15th, 2013The resignation of Jason Richwine from the Heritage Foundation raised the profile of racist views about IQ. Expect new publicity soon for genetic claims about intelligence.|
|The Dark Art of Racecraft, The AtlanticMay 13th, 2013Jason Richwine takes his place in a long history of research on race and IQ, one of the most discredited fields of study in modern history.|
|On Vampires and Chromosomes, Biopolitical TimesMay 9th, 2013The vampires of the Twilight books have superpowers due to two extra chromosomes. In our fang-free human life, however, having extra chromosomes is not usually seen as a plus.|