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Genetic Crossroads
August 4th, 2006

"A generation of women wiped out?" Glamour Magazine (August Issue) Quotes CGS' Sujatha Jesudason
"It sounds like science fiction, but in India it's all too real: Technology is being used to drastically reduce the number of girls being born. Already the gender imbalance is causing serious problems, from desperate bachelors to a sharp rise in bride trafficking. And the future? Terrifying."

Editorial: "Public confidence in stem-cell institute demands full disclosure," San Jose Mercury News (July 31)
"California's great stem-cell experiment faces a moment of truth this week. Wednesday, in San Francisco, the state's stem-cell institute must make a pivotal decision on whether members of its working groups should be required to publicly disclose any conflicts of interest before they review grant applications and make recommendations to the agency's governing board for final approval. The agency should make an investment in public oversight and public confidence and overturn its staff's recommendation opposing full public disclosure."

"Hold fire on therapeutic cloning until there's proof it works," Sydney Morning Herald (July 26)
"There is a long way to go before a compelling argument can be made for developing human embryonic stem cells by somatic cell nuclear transfer. Whatever the nature of the science it must be ethically justifiable. It is up to science to show that there would be real value in the manufacture of embryos for this purpose."

"Chasing Chromosomes: Selecting for Sex," San Francisco Chronicle Magazine (July 23)
"One of the really big concerns for us is that if you're going to choose the sex of your child, what's next -- height, musical aptitude or how well bodies metabolize oxygen so they can be athletes?"

Opinion: Peter Steinfels, "Beliefs," New York Times (July 22)
"What makes wedge issues so powerful is their appeal to a basic sentiment in the citizenry. And never mind the details that worry some opponents: patriotism in the case of flag burning, the distrust of government in the case of tax cuts and, of course, religion in the case of same-sex marriage and "under God." At play in the case of embryonic stem cell research is the bedrock American belief in the power of science and the promise of medical cures."

"How cloning stacks up," Christian Science Monitor (July 18)
"Some 50 countries (though not the United States) have passed laws or issued regulations against cloning to make humans. That reproductive cloning is so widely condemned "even if only on narrow safety grounds" shows that 'some lines can be drawn' past which science won't go, says Marcy Darnovsky, associate executive director of the Center for Genetics and Society in Oakland, Calif., a nonprofit interested in the public policy implications of genetic manipulation."

"Baby sex selection 'to be banned'," BBC News (July 12)
"Choosing the sex of babies for social reasons will be banned, Health Minister Caroline Flint has said. The government intends to change the law to outlaw sex selection for non-medical reasons, she said. Using the method for 'family balancing' could be a 'slippery slope in terms of people deciding that one gender is more important than the other', she said."

"Transhumanism: Yearning to transcend biology," Boston Globe (July 10)
"With everything else that's happening in the world today, debates about whether humanity should embrace as yet nonexistent technologies that could enhance our physical and intellectual abilities and someday make us "more than human" may seem frivolous. Nonetheless, a debate on "transhumanism" has been going on for a few years, with naysayers and doomsayers on one side, optimistic futurists on the other, and too little in between."

"Dolly's cloning revolution fails to materialise," New Scientist (July 1)
"Yet 10 years after her euphoric birth, the hopes, and fears, that cloning would spark a revolution in biotechnology, animal breeding and human medicine have so far proved wide of the mark."

"Biotech execs: No sharing of stem-cell research," San Jose Mercury News (June 30)
"A proposal that would let the state share in any profits that result from its $3 billion stem-cell research grants and force researchers to freely disseminate their discoveries has riled biotech executives."


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