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Genetic Crossroads
March 29th, 2006

"Mothers sue over gender test that promised 99.9% accuracy," The Guardian (March 18)
"In a class action lawsuit filed in the US district court in Boston on behalf of 16 women the makers of the Baby Gender Mentor are accused of breaking their promise. Barry Gainey, the women's lawyer, said he knew of about 100 women whom the kit had failed, including some from Britain who bought it online."

"'Research misbehavior'," Newsday (March 13)
"Why do some scientists lie? While the recent scandal involving the now discredited research of South Korean scientist Hwang Woo-Suk was an extreme example, ethicists say less flagrant questionable behavior in the halls of science often goes undetected or ignored."

"A Wrongful Birth?," New York Times Magazine (March 12)
"The question of abortion rests on a single issue: is it O.K. to destroy a potential life? Termination involves an infinite number of heartbreaking queries that boil down to this: what about this life in particular?"

"Stem cells: Miracle postponed," New Scientist (March 11)
"Stem cell biologists have been quick to dismiss Hwang as an aberration. They stress that their field has immense medical promise, which is true. But how close is that promise to being realised?"

"Faith in 'Miracle Cures' Is Fading in South Korea," Los Angeles Times (March 5)
The paralyzed South Korean woman who had been reported as having risen from her wheelchair and walked after treatment with stem cells extracted from an umbilical cord has had a relapse, and is furious with experimenters. "I was like an animal they used for testing," she said. A Korean biotechnology expert agreed, saying that "they are selling desperate people a story that just one injection of stem cells will be like a magic pill to cure them." He explained that government regulators are reluctant to tighten the rules because some patients are demanding this kind of treatment.


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