|Patently Absurd? Or Absurdly Patentable?, Biopolitical TimesNovember 12th, 2014The US Supreme Court might agree to rule on the validity of stem-cell patents, and the Canadian courts are being asked to invalidate a patent on disease-linked genes. |
|A Season of Surrogacy Scandals, Biopolitical TimesOctober 16th, 2014The summer and fall of 2014 have been a season of surrogacy scandals in many countries.|
|Synthetic Biology Is What, Exactly?, Biopolitical TimesOctober 1st, 2014The European Commission is the latest body to struggle with defining the term synthetic biology, and has produced a 65-page report.|
|Genetic Rights and Wrongs, NatureSeptember 9th, 2014Australia’s decision to uphold a patent on biological material is in danger of hampering the development of diagnostic tests.|
|Surrogate Targeted After Backing OutBangkok PostSeptember 9th, 2014A Thai surrogate mother who had second thoughts appealed for help from authorities after becoming the target of threats and intimidation by the surrogacy clinic and police working for them.|
|An International Agreement on Commercial Surrogacy? , Biopolitical TimesSeptember 4th, 2014A three-day convening in The Hague brought together scholars, women’s health and human rights advocates, and policymakers from 27 countries to tackle concerns about international commercial surrogacy.|
|Stem cell therapy a primitive art, Financial ReviewAugust 27th, 2014A loophole in Australian regulations means people can be given stem cell therapy for virtually anything, providing their own stem cells are harvested and then used in the process. But much can go wrong.|
|Misconception, The Sydney Morning HeraldAugust 16th, 2014The discovery in her late 20s that she was conceived using a sperm donor was a huge shock to Sarah Dingle. But learning there was no possibility of finding out the name of her biological father was even more disturbing.|
|More Heart-Wrenching Chapters in the Baby Gammy Story, Biopolitical TimesAugust 7th, 2014Inadequate regulation of cross-border surrogacy has led to some truly awful stories, from coercion and exploitation of impoverished women, to children left stateless, to couples whose life savings have been embezzled by unscrupulous agencies. The unfolding story of Baby Gammy adds new dimensions to the complexities of contract pregnancies.|
|French Luminaries’ Open Letter on Surrogacy , Biopolitical TimesJuly 24th, 2014Prominent left and center-left figures are urging President François Hollande to reinforce France’s legal prohibition of surrogacy contracts.|
|Selling Stem Cells Honestly, Biopolitical TimesJune 25th, 2014Scientists around the world are campaigning in favor of sensible regulation of stem-cell therapies. It’s about time.|
|White Rabbit, The NationJune 23rd, 2014In a guise of scientific seriousness, Nicholas Wade’s new book revives the discredited ideas of history’s most notorious racists.|
|When and How Will We Regulate Synthetic Biology?, Biopolitical TimesJune 6th, 2014Several discussion documents about potential ways to regulate synthetic biology, nationally and internationally, have recently been published. They range from serious efforts to industry public relations exercises.|
|Ending Discrimination in Surrogacy Laws, The HinduMay 3rd, 2014Recent government meetings on India's draft Assisted Reproductive Technology Bill have resulted in a proposal for significant changes, including restricting surrogacy to “infertile Indian married couples” only. |
|Preference for Sons Hurts Mothers, Council on Foreign RelationsMay 1st, 2014A recent paper released by the World Bank suggests that son preference could be doing more than skewing sex ratios in India: It may be partly responsible for driving high mortality rates seen among mothers in India whose first child is a girl.|
|DNA Dreams, Biopolitical TimesApril 9th, 2014The fascinating documentary film that explores the inner workings of BGI Shenzhen, “the world’s largest genomics organization,” is now available in full on YouTube.|
|Discriminatory “DNA Sweeps”, Biopolitical 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.|
|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.
|The Rent-a-Womb Boom, The 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.
|Amanda Knox and DNA Contamination, Biopolitical TimesFebruary 27th, 2014The retrial and recent conviction of former American exchange student Amanda Knox has rekindled the obsession that many have with this case, and raises questions about the use of trace DNA in convictions.|
|The Great Indian Egg Bazaar, The 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.|
|Kercher Trial: How Does DNA Contamination Occur?, BBCJanuary 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?|
|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.|
|Cloning comeback, Nature NewsJanuary 14th, 2014Ten 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? |
|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.
|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.|
|Sun, sand and surrogates, Calgary HeraldSeptember 30th, 2013International surrogacy is fraught with ethical and medical dilemmas, including the possibility that the women who bear children for others are being exploited. |
|Outsourcing a Life[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky], San 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.|
|Controversial Korean Stem Cell Powerhouse in Big Trouble?, Biopolitical TimesJuly 22nd, 2013RNL Bio, the controversial Korean biotechnology company, is undergoing some major changes. Its former CEO is under arrest for insider trading, its subsidiaries are going bust and the parent company is being delisted from the stock exchange. But it's still relying on the stem cell business to pull it through.|
|Trial and Error, NatureJuly 9th, 2013Italian officials should not go ahead with expensive clinical tests of an unproven stem-cell therapy that has no good scientific basis.|
|Lieber Adoptieren, The EuropeanJune 26th, 2013Die Keimbahntherapie weckt falsche Hoffnungen. Den Nutzen, den sie für eine winzige Minderheit bedeuten könnte, wiege das hohe Risiko keineswegs auf.|
|Japan to Relax Ban on Chimeric Embryo Experiments, ScienceJune 19th, 2013A scientist pioneering research toward generating human organs in pigs has cleared one hurdle in Japan, but is concerned that finalizing guidelines will take too long, so is considering conducting key experiments in the United States.|
|Baby Boom: Indian Women Giving Birth to U.S. Babies, CBS NewsApril 10th, 2013A lot of businesses go to India for inexpensive labor and it turns out American couples are doing the same. One village has become a center for cut-rate surrogacy, offering young women who will be carrying babies to term.|
|The Throwaways, GuernicaMarch 1st, 2013In Kenya, doctors are force-sterilizing HIV-positive women—in some cases, without their knowledge.|
|Yes, Virginia, Your Reproductive Rights Are Compromised , Huffington PostFebruary 12th, 2013In Virginia as in many other states, legislative battles about reproductive rights are front and center. One pending bill proposes reparations for victims of the state's eugenic sterilization policy; the other seeks to end the 30-day waiting period for sterilization.
|Inside China’s Genome FactorySequencing a complete human genome may soon cost less than an iPhone. Will BGI-Shenzhen decode yours? , MIT Technology ReviewFebruary 11th, 2013BGI-Shenzhen has become the world’s most prolific sequencer of human, plant, and animal DNA. So far, it claims to have completely sequenced some 50,000 human genomes — far more than any other group.|
|French Gay Marriage Plans Stir Parenthood Debate, NPRJanuary 31st, 2013The president's promise to legalize gay marriage was seen as relatively uncontroversial when it first came up, but the news reopened a raw national debate on fertility treatments, surrogacy and adoption. |
|Transparency is the VictimThe HinduJanuary 27th, 2013In the absence of effective oversight of assisted reproduction practices, some medical institutions in Delhi are flouting medical and ethical rules with aplomb.|
|Is Egg Donation Dangerous?, MaisonneuveJanuary 21st, 2013About five hundred egg donations take place in Canada every year, and experts say the process is very safe. But some donors face serious health problems—and doctors may be underestimating the risks.|
|Privacy Fear for DNA Dragnet, Stuff (New Zealand)January 20th, 2013A district court judge who is a world expert in forensic DNA has called for a public debate on the use of familial DNA testing, saying it raises serious privacy issues and has the potential to subject entire families to life-long genetic surveillance. |
|More Female Fetuses Aborted in Europe, DWJanuary 7th, 2013Sex selection is not just a problem confined to China and India: New statistics show skewed sex ratios in favor of boys in Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro.|
|Rape in India: A Result of Sex Selection?
, TimeJanuary 4th, 2013Behind the angry protests over the horrific gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old medical student is an even deeper story: the preference for male babies in India and much of the world may be at the root of this senseless violence.
|As a Girl in India, I Learned to Be Afraid of Men, The AtlanticJanuary 4th, 2013Sex-selective abortion, female infanticide and the sheer neglect of girls have made for a growing gender gap in India. In the wake of the brutal gang rape of a young paramedical student in Delhi, Indian citizens have taken to the streets to show their outrage. |
|RNL Bio Smuggled Out Stem Cells, The Korea TimesJanuary 3rd, 2013RNL Bio sent 15.5 billion won worth of stem cells to hospitals in China and Japan on 860 different occasions from November 2008 through July 2012 without reporting the shipments.|
|DNA Forensics Update , Biopolitical TimesNovember 28th, 2012The U.S. Supreme Court has decided to consider a potentially significant case about police collection of DNA from suspects rather than criminals; and forensic DNA databases round the world continue to proliferate.|
|European Society of Human Genetics Reprimands Myriad Genetics, Biopolitical TimesNovember 7th, 2012Myriad Genetics claims its research data is a trade secret as it pushes for a stronger presence in the European genetic testing market. Experts' responses reflect the ideological divide in the ongoing challenge to Myriad's BRCA gene patents.|
|Stem-Cell Fraud Hits Febrile Field, NatureOctober 16th, 2012As Hisashi Moriguchi's heart-treatment claims collapse, observers warn about the febrile nature of the iPS-cell field and caution against a rush to the clinic.
|Study Finds Birth Defects Down Among IVF Babies, ReutersSeptember 28th, 2012Scientists don't know why IVF babies have an increased risk of birth defects in the first place. Researchers think the rates may be down because of changes including lower doses of ovarian stimulation medication and increased availability of ART techniques.|
|Sperm Precursor Cells Created in Lab, BioEdgeSeptember 7th, 2012Scientists may soon be able to create artificial sperm from a skin cell. Proponents extol benefits for sterile men; opponents warn of future obsolescence of males.|
|Changes for India’s ART Industry?, Biopolitical TimesAugust 6th, 2012The recent death of a surrogate in India, along with new information about the 2010 death of a 17-year-old who had repeatedly sold her eggs, have built support for regulation of assisted reproduction. A draft bill would provide some safeguards, but Indian women’s health advocates say other provisions “leave much to be desired.”|
|Ethics Schmethics Says Ethicist, Biopolitical TimesJuly 19th, 2012The approach of the Olympics sparks the usual flood of pro-enhancement articles, notably an interview with Julian Savulescu. |
|Patients Seek Stem-Cell Compensation, Nature NewsJuly 6th, 2012Six patients in California are suing RNL Bio, one of the world’s largest stem-cell companies, for allegedly misleading them about the effectiveness of its stem-cell treatments.|
|IVF Study Shows One Embryo is Best, ABC NewsJuly 5th, 2012Australian researchers have discovered that the rate of perinatal deaths in IVF can be considerably reduced when only one embryo is used in the fertility treatment.|
|Couples Use IVF to Pick Genes, The AgeJuly 3rd, 2012Fertile women with genes that predispose them to breast and ovarian cancers are using preimplantation genetic diagnosis to select embryos without the genes.|
|More Scandals in South Korea, Biopolitical TimesJune 8th, 2012Fresh accusations of stem-cell fraud, whose full extent is yet unknown, are rocking South Korea and threatening to damage the nation's reputation again. |
|Stem Cell Banking: The Newest Lure in Medical TourismArab princes and U.S. celebrities fly in for futuristic bio-care at Seoul "Life Center" , CNNFebruary 2nd, 2012In a new form of medical tourism, people from around the world are traveling to Seoul for stem cell treatments and to bank their stem cells, hoping that this will one day save their lives. |
|Flap over Designer Sperm in India, Biopolitical TimesJanuary 26th, 2012An ad for sperm from “tall and fair” technology students sparks a debate in India about designer babies.|
|A New Push for Human Cloning in Korea, Biopolitical TimesJanuary 20th, 2012Korean Professor Park Se-pill has confidently announced his intention to clone human embryos and derive stem cells from them, and is even willing to discuss human reproductive cloning.|
|Make Me a Baby As Fast As You CanHow a California surrogacy operation streamlines baby production by implanting clients’ embryos in two Indian surrogates at the same time, SlateJanuary 9th, 2012If for-profit companies are going to continue to approach baby-making like an import-export business, maybe it’s time for governments to start treating it that way, adapting oversight and protections for all parties involved.|
|The Daughter’s ReturnA glimmer of hope in the sad tale of sex-selective abortion in IndiaThe EconomistDecember 31st, 2011Recent evidence suggests that India’s sex ratio at birth swung from 924 females per 1,000 males in 2004-05 to 977 in 2011, a turnaround in favor of girls that breaks with census data.