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About Human Rights & Human Biotechnology


Claims to universal human rights depend, in part, on formal recognition of our common humanity. Many countries use human rights as a broad framework to think about regulatory options for human biotechnologies. International declarations also commonly use this framework. Examples include the Council of Europe's Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine and UNESCO's Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights.

The Convention on Biomedicine and Human Rights, like a number of other international agreements and declarations, rejects biotechnology applications that would alter the genomes of future generations. Manipulating genes in a manner that encodes inequality into our genes could easily unravel centuries of progress toward respecting human worth.



Hateful politics infiltrate human genome editing debate in Franceby Elliot HosmanJune 29th, 2016New campaign calling for an international moratorium on CRISPR embryos experiments launched by prominent anti-abortion, anti-LGBT French group.
Controversial Italian fertility doctor accused of stealing patient's eggby Stephanie KirchgaessnerThe Guardian [UK]May 15th, 2016A patient has accused an Italian fertility doctor of forcibly operating on her and harvesting her eggs.
Huntington’s disease: the new gene therapy that sufferers cannot affordby Dara MohammadiThe Guardian [UK]May 15th, 2016Efforts to treat Huntington’s disease involve costly drugs way beyond the reach of the poor communities in South America who take part in research studies
The disturbing thing that happens when you tell people they have different DNAby Ana SwansonWonkblog [The Washington Post]May 13th, 2016A new study suggests that emphasizing essential differences based on genetics can encourage aggression between groups and stir support for war.
In science, follow the money – if you canby Paul D. Thacker & Curt FurbergThe Los Angeles TimesMay 12th, 2016Disclosure and restrictions do not harm academic freedom. These policies still allow scientists to pursue research, while ensuring that public health is not put at risk in service of corporate profit.
Scientists are trying to use CRISPR to fix everything. What’s wrong with that?by Emily McManusTED IdeasMay 5th, 2016A historian of eugenics asks: "Will individuals start making decisions to use new biotech to improve themselves and their children?"
Google's DeepMind shouldn't suck up our NHS records in secretby Randeep RameshThe Guardian [US]May 4th, 2016The revelation that 1.6 million patients’ records are being used by the company’s artificial intelligence arm rings alarm bells.
Dead could be brought 'back to life' in groundbreaking projectby Sarah KnaptonThe Telegraph [UK]May 3rd, 2016A US biotech firm received permission to recruit 20 clinically dead patients for a stem cell treatment.
Let people most affected by gene editing write CRISPR rulesby Jessica HamzelouNew ScientistApril 29th, 2016The US National Academies' committee on human gene editing held a discussion in Paris at the French National Academy of Medicine.
A DNA Sequencer in Every Pocketby Ed YongThe AtlanticApril 28th, 2016Oxford Nanopore Technologies, which severed financial ties with DNA sequencing monolith Illumina in 2013, is "desperately thinking of ways of bringing them down.” These include a USB-powered sequencer called the MinION.
God’s Red Pencil? CRISPR and The Three Myths of Precise Genome Editingby Jonathan LathamIndependent Science NewsApril 25th, 2016CRISPR is the latest platform in a 70-year-old "gospel of precision" used to justify moving quickly with new chemical and biological technologies, despite decades of disasters and unintended consequences.
Why Does Silicon Valley Want to Get So Many Women Pregnant?by Sarah EmersonMotherboard [VICE]April 22nd, 2016Women’s fertility apps have found a profitable niche in the predominantly male tech scene. The tech industry hopes they’ll deliver a lot of valuable private information.
Save the Mosquitosby Ashley DawsonJacobinApril 22nd, 2016We should fight Zika with better public health, not genetically modified mosquitos.
Kuwait Becomes First Country to Collect DNA Samples From All Citizens and Visitors: Reportby Seung LeeNewsweekApril 19th, 2016Kuwait will use mobile centers to collect samples from citizens, and take cheek swabs at airports on all visitors. Anyone faking DNA samples faces up to seven years in prison.
Human Experimentation: Rethinking The 'Bad Old Days'by Barron LernerForbesApril 19th, 2016The horrors in our medical past require that we not brush them aside as just wrong but that we look hard at why they happened.
CIA’s Venture Capital Arm Is Funding Skin Care Products That Collect DNAby Lee FangThe InterceptApril 8th, 2016Skincential Sciences developed a patented technology that removes a thin outer layer of the skin for a youthful "glow"... and DNA collection.
Meet the feminists who are trying to stop the ‘dictator’s’ daughter from becoming presidentby Manuel RuedaFusionApril 8th, 2016More than 300,000 Peruvian women, most of them poor and indigenous, were sterilized by a birth control program run by president Alberto Fujimori during the 1990s.
Google’s biotech venture hit by ethical concerns over deal with luxury clinicby Charles PillerSTATApril 7th, 2016Verily Life Sciences, Google's ambitious biotech offshoot, has stirred concerns about conflicts of interest.
10th Anniversary Baby Markets Congressby Elliot HosmanApril 7th, 2016Legal scholars, social scientists, advocates, and filmmakers grapple with assisted reproduction.
Op-ed: Minding our makeupby Anna Foster & Parmida JafariThe Varsity [University of Toronto]April 4th, 2016Students have an obligation to understand the pros and cons of CRISPR. Its implications will directly affect our generation.
CRISPR dispute raises bigger patent issues that we’re not talking aboutby Shobita ParthasarathyThe ConversationApril 4th, 2016CRISPR patents will confer enormous control over how the controversial technology develops, and what kinds of human genetic engineering might become commercially available.
The Surrogacy Cycleby Abby RabinowitzThe Virginia Quarterly ReviewMarch 31st, 2016Promising an escape from poverty, transnational surrogacy has left many Indian women with little to show for their efforts. What went wrong?
Report Shows Theranos Testing Plagued by Problemsby Andrew PollackThe New York TimesMarch 31st, 2016The company used unqualified personnel, stored samples at improper temperatures, and failed to ensure that the quality control for an important blood-clotting test was acceptable before reporting results for patients.
IVF Ban lifted in Costa Rica: a success for reproductive rights?by Lynn M. MorganPLOS BlogsMarch 30th, 2016After years of political gridlock in the only western hemisphere country to ban IVF, Costa Ricans will finally have access to assisted reproduction.
MIT research suggests possibility of gene therapy to treat ADHDby Lindsay KalterBoston HeraldMarch 23rd, 2016Controversial research in mice, seeking a genetic link to ADHD, may eventually lead to clinical attempts to "introduce genetic material that might be missing from the human."
Number of British women freezing their eggs soarsby Press AssociationThe GuardianMarch 23rd, 2016According to an HFEA report, the success rate of using frozen eggs was 14%, compared with an average 26% success rate of IVF using fresh eggs.
Ma Na Sapna – A Mother’s Dreamby Gabriele Werner-Felmayer & Carmel Shalev, Biopolitical Times guest contributorsMarch 23rd, 2016A 2013 film on transnational surrogacy in India brings a sensitive view of the surrogate mothers who are otherwise largely invisible, and allows them to speak for themselves.
Like air and water, DNA should not be patentableby Andre PicardThe Globe and Mail [Canada]March 22nd, 2016Publicly funded hospitals in Canada are no longer bound by five gene patents that stood in the way of testing and notifying children with potentially deadly heart conditions.
Should Parents of Children With Severe Disabilities Be Allowed to Stop Their Growth?by Genevieve FieldThe New York Times MagazineMarch 22nd, 2016Caring for people with severe mental and physical limitations becomes harder as they get older. Some parents believe medically stunting them is the answer — but is it ethical?
Apple Wants The iPhone To Record Every Aspect Of Your Healthby Stephanie M. LeeBuzzFeedMarch 22nd, 2016By letting iPhone users share their DNA with researchers and update their doctors, Apple is diving deeper into its vision of a complete ecosystem of your health and medical information
Dinosaurs are Extinct, but Normalization is Alive and Wellby Emily Beitiks, Biopolitical Times guest contributorMarch 22nd, 2016While the disability movement is pushing us away from the reductive concept of "normal", dinosaur education for our kids lags behind.
I Can't Breatheby Anne Fausto-SterlingBoston ReviewMarch 21st, 2016The belief in racial essentialism means that the medical curriculum pays scant attention to the means by which the social experience of race produces disease.
Whose Body, Whose Property, What Choice?by Alison Irvine & Katayoun Chamany, Biopolitical Times guest contributorsMarch 21st, 2016A recent panel at The New School brought together speakers on health psychology, queer studies, law, life sciences, and more to discuss bodies purchased for labor and care in assisted reproduction.
You can’t retract a designer baby: #CRISPR, social justice, & risksby Paul KnoepflerThe NicheMarch 17th, 2016If human modification were done in the germline, how would you effectively reverse an unexpectedly deleterious hard-wired change in all of those cells? The reality is that it would be impossible.
If we’re not careful, epigenetics may bring back eugenic thinkingby Maurizio MeloniThe Conversation [UK]March 15th, 2016In focusing on the environment as a cause for many unwanted conditions, epigenetics has the potential to advance social justice, but its problematic implications have arisen before.
Of evil mice and men: Can we blame crime on our genes?by Alan MartinAlphrMarch 14th, 2016Various studies are finding genetic and mental indicators for criminal behaviour - in lab mice.
People Are Going To Prison Thanks To DNA Software — But How It Works Is Secretby Stephanie M. LeeBuzzFeedMarch 12th, 2016Private companies are developing cutting-edge DNA analysis software used to convict people, but source codes are protected from independent validation because they are "trade secrets."
Evidence on trialby Martin EnserinkScience/AAASMarch 11th, 2016Forensic science is reforming in the wake of a landmark report.
Cryonics Taken Apartby Pete ShanksMarch 10th, 2016Corey Pein has written an exposé of Alcor, the cryonics company he describes as "technophilic necromancers."
When baby is due, genetic counselors seen downplaying false alarmsby Beth DaleyNew England Center for Investigative ReportingMarch 6th, 2016Even after the birth, when their baby looked fine, their genetic counselor insisted that the result of the test was not a mistake.
The Brain Gets Its Day in Courtby Greg MillerThe AtlanticMarch 1st, 2016A new study found that the number of judicial opinions referencing neuroscience as evidence more than doubled between 2005 and 2012.
Frozen Eggs and Title IX[cites CGS’ Marcy Darnovsky]by Mary Ann MasonChronicle of Higher EducationFebruary 29th, 2016If you’re counting on that procedure to delay your family while you get your career going, think again.
Fertility, grief and big business are not a good combinationby Catherine BennettThe GuardianFebruary 27th, 2016The woman who wants to carry her dead daughter’s child sets in relief our confusion about rights and needs.
Cleveland Clinic Performs First Successful Uterus Transplant In The U.S.by Merrit KennedyNPRFebruary 26th, 2016This opens up another possible path to parenthood besides surrogacy or adoption for U.S. women who do not have a uterus, or who have a uterus that does not function.
'Imbeciles' Explores Legacy Of Eugenics In AmericaAll Things Considered, NPRFebruary 26th, 2016Adam Cohen's new book tells the story of the 1927 Supreme Court case Buck v. Bell. The ruling permitted the state of Virginia to sterilize an "imbecile" — a scientific term of the day.
The End of Cross-Border Surrogacy?by Donna DickensonProject SyndicateFebruary 25th, 2016India, Nepal, Thailand, and Mexico have introduced measures that would limit or ban foreigners from hiring locals as surrogate mothers. Cambodia and Malaysia look likely to follow suit.
Bridging Borders: Transnational Surrogacy, Queer Kinship & Reproductive Justiceby Elliot HosmanFebruary 25th, 2016A report on the Making Families conference at UC Berkeley connecting reproductive justice, queer kinship, and transnational surrogacy practices, stories, and research.
The Troubling Rise of Rapid DNA Testingby Ava KofmanNew RepublicFebruary 24th, 2016Your DNA can now be read in less time than it would take to wait at a typical DMV. New portable rapid DNA devices may represent a giant leap backward for civil liberties.
Genetic information as “perceived disability”: Chadam v. PAUSD by Jennifer K. WagnerGenomics Law ReportFebruary 23rd, 2016Parents are alleging that a school district violated their son's rights when it transferred the boy to another school due to a genetic marker he carries.
Should you edit your children’s genes?by Erika Check HaydenNature NewsFebruary 23rd, 2016In the fierce debate about CRISPR gene editing, it’s time to give patients a voice.
Cross-Border Reproduction: An "Ethic of Care" and an Unregulated Marketby Marcy DarnovskyFebruary 23rd, 2016What can a human rights-based ethic of care contribute to addressing the troubling aspects of intercountry assisted reproduction?
What’s the difference between genetic engineering and eugenics?by Robert GebelhoffThe Washington PostFebruary 22nd, 2016Where we draw the line between "negative eugenics" and "positive genetic intervention" is a political question.
Cops Caught Forcing Scientists to Falsify DNA Tests To Get More Prosecutions — Now They’re Furiousby John VibesThe Free Thought ProjectFebruary 21st, 2016Three scientists who have worked for the New York State police crime lab for over 20 years are suing because of a "pro-prosecution" culture of corruption, coercion to commit fraud, and retaliation.
Harvard’s Eugenics Eraby Adam S. CohenHarvard MagazineFebruary 19th, 2016Given that Harvard affiliates will play a large role in genetic engineering, it is important to contemplate how wrong so many people tied to the University got it the first time—and to think hard about how, this time, to get it right.
DNA sweeps pose wrenching ethical questionsby Carol GoarThe Star [Toronto]February 17th, 2016In the remote indigenous community of Garden Hill, Manitoba, police are collecting DNA samples from every male 15-66 years of age to find the killer of 11-year-old Teresa Robinson.
If You Want Life Insurance, Think Twice Before Getting A Genetic Testby Christina FarrFast CompanyFebruary 17th, 2016As genetic testing explodes, US federal law bans health insurers from denying coverage based on results. But the same doesn't apply for disability, life insurance, or long-time care.
The History of Eugenics in Quebec and at McGill by Hailey MacKinnonThe McGill TribuneFebruary 16th, 2016McGill University is known for its cutting-edge scientific research. Many may not know, however, that McGill was a communication hub between eugenicists in Britain and Canada.
NC appeals court rules on eugenics casesby Anne BlytheNews & ObserverFebruary 16th, 2016In a series of cases related to people who were involuntarily sterilized, the state ruled that one woman was ineligible for compensation.
There's No Excuse For Doctors To Treat Patients According To Race by Amitha KalaichandranHuffington Post [Canada]February 16th, 2016Professor Dorothy Roberts suggests that we revisit the concept of race when it comes to delivering health care and conducting biomedical research.
Is It Time To Stop Using Race In Medical Research?by Angus ChenNPRFebruary 5th, 2016Medical researchers often use race to define health risks. But racial categories don't accurately reflect who people are, and that science has to change.
Taking race out of human geneticsby Michael Yudell, Dorothy Roberts, Rob DeSalle & Sarah TishkoffScienceFebruary 5th, 2016"We believe the use of biological concepts of race in human genetic research—so disputed and so mired in confusion—is problematic at best and harmful at worst. It is time for biologists to find a better way."
Expert: Parents often won't take surrogate kids with defectsby Rod McGuirkAssociated PressFebruary 3rd, 2016Baby Gammy, left by intended parents with his poor surrogate mother in Thailand, was one of several cases of surrogate children abandoned, an expert told a parliamentary inquiry.
DNA Got a Kid Kicked Out of School—And It’ll Happen Againby Sarah ZhangWiredFebruary 1st, 2016Genetic discrimination. Get used to those two words together. With DNA tests cheap and readily available, the potential for discrimination based on the results has gone way up.
A Conversation With No Más Bebés Filmmakers Virginia Espino and Renee Tajima-Peñaby Tina VasquezRH Reality CheckFebruary 1st, 2016Get a glimpse into the making of No Más Bebés, the documentary that looks into the sterilization of Mexican women during the late 1960s and early 1970s in Los Angeles County.
The United States Once Sterilized Tens of Thousands — Here’s How the Supreme Court Allowed Itby Trevor BurrusMediumJanuary 27th, 2016A lucid and accurate discussion of Buck v. Bell, what led up to it, and its consequences both personal and political.
‘No Más Bebés’: Documentary Highlights History of Forced Sterilizations in L.A.by Sonali KolkhatkarTruthDigJanuary 21st, 2016The film covers a grisly era of California history—the forced sterilization of untold numbers of poor, mostly Latino, Spanish-speaking women in the 1960s and 70s.
Whiteness and “Making a Murderer”: Manitowoc, the “One-Branch Family Tree” and the Sinister Race Science of “Degenerate Whites”by Kate TuttleSalonJanuary 7th, 2016The Avery clan’s reputation as "trouble" echoes myths planted by inane, racist eugenicists in the early 1900s.
Study: Transparency Lacking in Biomedical Literatureby Anna AzvolinskyThe ScientistJanuary 4th, 2016"There is a growing momentum and appreciation for the importance of open science and recognition that our scientific enterprise may not be serving the public interest by sequestering data."
Whatever Happened to Human Experimentation?by Carl ElliottHastings Center ReportJanuary 1st, 2016The choice to abandon the word “experiment” is emblematic of a larger movement beginning in the 1990s, in which many bioethics scholars moved from being critics of the research enterprise to being its champions.
The problem with science journalism: we’ve forgotten that reality matters mostby Brooke BorelThe GuardianDecember 30th, 2015It is the reporter's job to maintain skepticism, look beyond hypotheses and data, find conflicts of interest, trace the money, look at power structures, and see who is excluded or marginalized.
Science and Gender: Scientists Must Work Harder on Equalityby Meg UrryNatureDecember 21st, 2015Astronomer Meg Urry reflects on a turbulent year for women in science.
We Can Design Our Descendants. But Should We?by Margaret SomervilleThe Globe and Mail [Canada]December 21st, 2015Ethically, we must place the future child at the centre of the decision-making. We must also protect society.
It is Ridiculously Hard for Californians to get their DNA out of the FBI’s Genetic Databaseby Kashmir HillFusionDecember 18th, 2015More states should make DNA expungement automatic. People shouldn’t forfeit their genetic rights simply because of an arrest.
Poverty's Role in Intellectual Developmentby Eric JaffeCity LabDecember 18th, 2015New research finds that a disadvantaged environment can prevent genetics from doing its job.
Genetic Testing May Be Coming to Your Officeby Rachel Emma SilvermanThe Wall Street JournalDecember 15th, 2015Health advocates raise concerns about privacy and the potential for illegal discrimination based on employees’ genetic information.
Policing the ethics police: Research review boards face scrutiny as feds propose new rulesby Sabriya RiceModern HealthcareDecember 12th, 2015Critics say Institutional Review Boards are too lax, have unqualified members, are riddled with conflicts of interest, and are overwhelmed by the volume of studies they must review.
Personalized Medicine: A Faustian Bargain?by Eleonore Pauwels & Jim DratwaScientific AmericanDecember 10th, 2015Individually tailored therapies could be too expensive for many of those whose DNA donations go into creating the treatments.
Weak Arguments For Modifying the Human Germlineby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesDecember 10th, 2015At the International Summit on Human Gene Editing, philosopher John Harris engaged in tired and absurd attempts to justify engineering future humans.
Gene Editing: Hope, Hype, and Cautionby Daniel CallahanThe Hastings Center Bioethics ForumDecember 8th, 2015In the debate on germline gene editing, speculative harms are treated as fear mongering while speculative benefits are allowed to run wild.
Opposition mounts to genetic modification of human embryos[cites CGS and consultant Pete Shanks]by Julie SteenhuysenReutersNovember 30th, 2015A group of U.S. scientists and activists call for a global ban on the use of new tools to edit the genes of human embryos or gametes for assisted reproduction.
US scientists urge ban on human genetic modification[cites CGS' Marcy Darnovsky and Pete Shanks]by Ryan RifaiAl JazeeraNovember 30th, 2015A new report and sign-on statement argue that genetic modification of children and future generations could have irreversible effects on humanity.
Future of human gene editing to be decided at landmark summit[cites CGS' Marcy Darnovsky]by Ian SampleThe GuardianNovember 28th, 2015A "global discussion" will ask whether humans should rewrite the DNA of future generations.
A Controversial Rewrite For Rules To Protect Humans In Experimentsby Rob SteinNPRNovember 25th, 2015The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is proposing a major revision of the Common Rule, the first change proposed in nearly a quarter-century, prompting concerns.
Putting a Price on Human Eggs Makes No Senseby Debora SparFortuneNovember 21st, 2015No one wants to deal with the ugly reality that egg donation is not donation at all, but a high price paid for a piece of one’s body.
Gene Therapy: Comeback? Cost-Prohibitive?by Elliot Hosman, Biopolitical TimesNovember 19th, 2015Recent CRISPR news sometimes confuses germline modification - which should be put off limits - and gene therapy, which presents its own set of social and ethical risks to resolve before rushing to market.
Better Babiesby Nathaniel ComfortAeonNovember 17th, 2015The long and peculiar history of the designer human, from Plato’s citizen breeders to Nobel sperm banks, and the latest iteration of human genetic perfectability: CRISPR gene editing.
[Cambodia] Gov’t to Crack Down on Surrogacy Clinicsby Chea Takihiro & Jonathan CoxKhmer TimesNovember 11th, 2015Surrogacy companies are moving their “wombs for rent” services from Thailand to Cambodia, but government officials plan to classify surrogacy as a form of human trafficking.
British police face deluge of foreign DNA requests if UK joins EU crime database, says reportby David BarrettThe TelegraphNovember 8th, 2015Officials warn that innocent Britons could be branded criminals if the UK joins a controversial EU project.
As Companies Collect More Health Data, Cops Will Ask To See It[cites CGS' Elliot Hosman]by Stephanie M. LeeBuzzfeedNovember 5th, 2015Law enforcement will request what users share with health technology companies, from DNA to step counts. The nature and number of those requests are largely unknown.
Everything you need to know about why CRISPR is such a hot technology[cites CGS]by Dominic BasultoThe Washington PostNovember 4th, 2015Venture capital is responding to the hype surrounding new genetic engineering tools, but many are concerned by the controversial proposition of genetically modifying new humans.
How Much Should a Woman Be Paid for Her Eggs?by Jacoba UristThe AtlanticNovember 4th, 2015Is the money a woman receives for her eggs payment for her services, her discomfort, or her biological property?
'Somebody has to be the icebreaker': Aussies seeking babies turn to Cambodiaby Lindsay MurdochSydney Morning HeraldOctober 30th, 2015A booming surrogacy industry chased out of Thailand and Nepal has established itself in Cambodia, where human trafficking laws and a lack of surrogacy regulation could produce fraught legal battles.
Would you take a genetic test that could lay bare your destiny?by Rowan HooperNew ScientistOctober 29th, 2015Plaques and Tangles, a play now at the Royal Court in London, takes on issues of personal genomics, carrier status testing, and Alzheimer's, asking: "Are we architects of our own destiny or prisoners of our genes?"
Genetic Surveillance: Consumer Genomics and DNA Forensicsby Elliot Hosman, Biopolitical TimesOctober 29th, 2015As more biotech companies move to “cash in on the genome,” we need to connect the conversations on personal genomics, DNA forensics, immigration, and biological discrimination.
Human Gene Editing Frequently Asked QuestionsOctober 29th, 2015Should we as a society condone the genetic modification of future human beings? Here we take on some common questions about gene editing the human germline.
Forgotten Stories of the Eugenic Age #4, Part 3: The Blurry Boundaries of Eugenic Infanticideby Natalie OveyssiBiopolitical TimesOctober 29th, 2015The final entry of the three-part examination of Dr. Harry Haiselden, Baby John Bollinger, and the practice of eugenic infanticide explores the legacy of Haiselden’s career and its meaning for the rights of individuals with disabilities.
Making Indigenous Peoples Equal Partners in Gene Researchby Ed YongThe AtlanticOctober 23rd, 2015After leaving a partnership with NIH in 2003, the Akimel O’odham (Pima) tribe is retaining control of their bio samples and shaping the goals of a diabetes project with genomic researchers.
Cops Want To Look At 23andMe Customers’ DNAby Stephanie M. LeeBuzzFeedOctober 21st, 2015The FBI and other agencies have asked for — and been denied — five users’ data, according to a new transparency report on the company's website, and chain of custody could be a legal obstacle for future requests.
Indigenous peoples must benefit from scienceby Dyna RochmyaningsihNature NewsOctober 20th, 2015The triple helix of science, the private sector, and government have driven the world’s economy since the Industrial Revolution, but to drive sustainable development, science must empower rural communities — not just serve industry and governments.
What's Your DNA Worth? The Scramble to Cash In On The Genome[cites CGS' Marcy Darnovsky]by Alex LashXconomyOctober 20th, 2015Vast pools of genomic data may unlock health secrets, but what is the risk of "sharing" our data for biotech corporate profits, and is it greater than the nebulous future rewards?
For Some Refugees, Safe Haven Now Depends on a DNA Testby Katie WorthPBS FrontlineOctober 19th, 2015The US is requiring refugees to prove they're related through a DNA test — often impossible to obtain in war-torn countries — causing worries about an unreasonably narrow genetic definition of family.
Could Having Your DNA Tested Land You in Court?by Claire MaldarelliPopular ScienceOctober 16th, 2015Police in Idaho accused a man of an unsolved murder via partial DNA matching based on DNA records obtained from Ancestry.com.
Forgotten Stories of the Eugenic Age #4, Part 2: The Black Stork Rises: Dr. Haiselden’s Celebrity and Public Controversyby Natalie OveyssiBiopolitical TimesOctober 14th, 2015After Baby Bollinger’s death under Dr. Haiselden’s care, letter-writers flooded newspapers with both praise and criticism. Haiselden went on to co-write and star in The Black Stork, a film celebrating eugenic medicine.
Feminists, get ready: pregnancy and abortion are about to be disruptedby Eleanor RobertsonThe GuardianOctober 12th, 2015A clinical trial of uterine transplants will begin soon in the UK. Are artificial wombs on the horizon?
UNESCO Calls for More Regulations on Genome Editing, DTC Genetic Testingby StaffGenomeWebOctober 6th, 2015The organization's International Bioethics Committee reaffirms its support for a moratorium on modifying the human germline.
DARPA Gives MIT Lab $32 Million to Program Living Cellsby Alexandra OssolaPopular ScienceSeptember 29th, 2015The contract will allow synthetic biology and computer scientists to join forces with chemical, pharma, food, energy, agriculture, and biotech companies. What DARPA hopes to gain remains vague.
Who has your DNA—or wants itby Jocelyn KaiserScienceSeptember 25th, 2015More and more groups are amassing computer server–busting amounts of human DNA. At least 17 biobanks that hold, or plan to hold, genomic data on 75,000 or more people.
Forgotten Stories of the Eugenic Age #4, Part 1: The Short Life and Eugenic Death of Baby John Bollingerby Natalie OveyssiBiopolitical TimesSeptember 24th, 2015In 1915, Dr. Harry Haiselden refused to operate to save the life of John Bollinger, a baby with disabilities, whom he believed would be a burden on society.
The Life of a Professional Guinea Pigby Cari RommThe AtlanticSeptember 23rd, 2015Phase 1 trials are almost always where the money is. Is paying vulnerable populations to participate in dangerous drug studies the equivalent of coercion?
Prosecutor backs expanded DNA testingby Evan AllenBoston GlobeSeptember 17th, 2015A new Massachusetts bill would allow police officers to obtain genetic material at the point of felony arrest — creating what Justice Scalia calls the "genetic panopticon."
Fast Forward-Pause-Stop: The 3-Speed Human Germline Debateby Lisa C. Ikemoto, Biopolitical Times guest contributorSeptember 10th, 2015CRISPR’s rapid uptake has spurred proposals from moratoria to get-out-of-the-way optimism, but ad hoc responses aren’t enough when there is so much at stake.
Political Notes: CA bill protecting same-sex parents advancesby Matthew S. BajkoBay Area ReporterAugust 27th, 2015Gay, lesbian and unmarried couples who use assisted reproduction and third party gametes would be recognized as parents from the moment their child is born.
Nepal Bans Surrogate Births — Worry for Gay Israelisby JTAThe ForwardAugust 27th, 2015Many gay Israelis now travel to Nepal for surrogacy because Israel bans surrogate pregnancies for same-sex couples.
The Colonial Origins of Conservation: The Disturbing History Behind US National Parksby Stephen CorryTruthoutAugust 25th, 2015Environmental conservation that excludes tribal peoples has deep connections with historical eugenics.
What Will 120 Million CRISPR Dollars Buy?by Elliot HosmanBiopolitical TimesAugust 13th, 2015As Editas Medicine receives major injection of financing, how will the genetics boom impact funding for public health?
How Social Determinants of Health Affect Life Spansby Margaret FarengerThe Detroit NewsHealth was once considered a question of genetics, individual behaviors and medical treatment. New models are illuminating powerful connections between health, resources and environment.
Law Banning Commercial Surrogacy Takes Effect ThursdayBangkok PostJuly 29th, 2015Controversy continues to swirl around children born before Thailand's new law was passed this winter.
Poverty Forces Workers' Wives to Become Surrogate Mothersby Neetu Chandra SharmaIndia TodayJuly 3rd, 201592 per cent of the surrogates in Delhi did not even have a copy of the contract and only 27 per cent of the clinics in Delhi and 11.4 per cent in Mumbai were party to the contract.
Surrogate Children Get Legal Recognition in Franceby Philippe SottoTimeJuly 3rd, 2015While surrogacy will remain banned in France, children born abroad through this practice will now be legally tied to their parents and will be granted birth certificates and French citizenship.
India's Draft Surrogacy Bill Proposes that Would-Be Parents Pay a Bondby Amrit DhillonSouth China Morning PostJuly 3rd, 2015The bill, if passed by parliament, will create a government agency to fix and monitor the standards of cleanliness, medical expertise and ethics of fertility clinics.
How the Law has Failed Children of Anonymous Sperm Donorsby Sarah DingleDaily Life [Australia]June 30th, 2015One of many donor-conceived people created under Australia's anonymous donation regime is fighting for the right to know her biological background.
Warner, Kaine Introduce Legislation To Assist Victims Receiving Eugenics Compensation Paymentsby Press Releasekaine.senate.govJune 25th, 2015The bill, which has bipartisan sponsors, would exclude payments from state eugenics compensation programs from consideration in determining federal benefits.
Why the 'Devious Defecator' Case is a Landmark for US Genetic-Privacy Lawby Natasha GilbertNature NewsJune 25th, 2015A jury awarded $2.25 million to employees whose privacy was violated when their employer conducted genetic testing to determine fault in a job-site incident.
Unregulated Surrogacy: Law Yet to Deliverby Vandana ShuklaThe Tribune [India]June 24th, 2015The Indian Council of Medical Research has to draft an appropriate, more equitable legislation that would look at the rights of the surrogate and her health vis-a-vis technology.
Crime-Scene DNA Errors Spark Complex Legal Questionsby Megan CassidyThe Arizona RepublicJune 22nd, 2015Prosecutors and bureau officials say the mistakes will have a minimal effect on criminal cases, but the real impact of the revelations in courtrooms across the country remains to be seen.
French Families Sue State to Recognize Surrogate Birthsby Philippe SottoAssociated PressJune 19th, 2015The case could change how surrogate births are handled in France, where infertility treatments are highly regulated and where many consider it unethical to make money off human reproduction.
UK Seeks Regulatory Advice for “Mitochondrial Replacement,” Fails to Mention Cross-Generational Implicationsby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJune 17th, 2015How does one go about regulating the world’s first cross-generational biological experiment in human germline modification? The regulating body in charge isn’t exactly sure.
Looking back: Daniel Callahanby Michael CookBioEdgeJune 13th, 2015A retrospective by one of the founders of American bioethics is a reminder of a broader and more communitarian view of the discipline.
Should We Edit the Genetic Essence of Life?by Margaret SomervilleThe Globe and MailJune 8th, 2015Will we create a new class-based society of the “gene rich” and “gene poor”? Is there a human right not to be designed?
The Bioethics of Genetic Diversityby Xavier SymonsBioEdgeJune 6th, 2015The ethical issues surrounding the protection of genetic variation in a population are examined.
Morality, Religion and Experimenting on Youby Robert KlitzmanHuffington PostJune 4th, 2015Experiments on humans have become not only more common, but more complicated and controversial, often raising profound moral dilemmas.
Bill to Protect the Genetic Profiles of Californians Clears Assembly Floor – AB 170by Christopher SimmonsCalifornia NewswireJune 3rd, 2015The legislation will will allow parents to make informed decisions about allowing their newborn’s blood sample to be retained and leased to researchers.
Peruvian Women Haunted by Forced Sterilization Seek State Apologyby Anastasia MoloneyReutersJune 3rd, 2015Some 350,000 women and 25,000 men were sterilized as part of the mid-1990s program.
Human Factory Farming and the Campaign to Outlaw Surrogacyby Mirah RibenDissident VoiceMay 30th, 2015America is known as the most lax country for adoption and surrogacy. It has been called the Wild West for its lack of regulation of these practices. Is this a legacy we want to continue?
The University of Minnesota’s Medical Research Messby Carl ElliottThe New York TimesMay 26th, 2015Rather than dealing forthrightly with these ethical breaches, university officials have seemed more interested in covering up wrongdoing with a variety of underhanded tactics.
The Feminist History of Surrogacy: Should Pregnancy Give a Woman Rights Over a Baby? by GlosswitchNew Statesman May 22nd, 2015Our current thinking, with its impulse towards gender neutrality and the insistence that female reproduction isn't inherently different from its male counterpart, is flawed.
US Science Academies Take on Human-Genome Editing[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Sara ReardonNatureMay 18th, 2015The academies will hold an international summit this autumn, and establish a working group to develop a consensus statement.
Is it Time to Question the Ethics of Donor Conception?by Olivia GordonThe TelegraphMay 18th, 2015Donor-conceived children now have the right to identify their genetic parents. But for some, the change came too late, and not knowing can be "excruciatingly painful."
The Ethics of International Surrogacyby Anne SchiffThe Jerusalem PostMay 17th, 2015Sometimes it takes a tragedy to draw public attention to otherwise unconsidered problems. The recent earthquakes in Nepal, and their consequences for Israelis hiring surrogate mothers there, represent such an instance.
“It’s a Baby Farm.”by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesApril 23rd, 2015A new documentary uncovers the shocking realities of unregulated commercial surrogacy in India.
Public interest group calls for strengthening global policies against human germline modification[Press statement]April 22nd, 2015“No researcher has the moral warrant to flout the globally widespread policy agreement against altering the human germline.”
The Rights of Donor-Conceived Offspringby Naomi Cahn, Biopolitical Times guest contributorApril 15th, 2015While their parents’ choices affect them as children, donor-conceived children grow up, and many become curious about their origins. The law’s tight focus on the parent-child relationship excludes legal questions relating to donor-conceived adults.
Markingson case: University of Minnesota can't regain trust under current leadershipby Arne H. CarlsonStar TribuneApril 13th, 2015We will not see meaningful reform of research on human subjects so long as leaders responsible for years of denials and stonewalling remain in charge.
The Conflict Between Human Rights And Biotechnological Evolutionby Srinivas RamanEurasia ReviewApril 11th, 2015Genetically modifying humans has the potential to violate human rights and freedom and could possibly lead to catastrophic consequences for the human race if legalized and encouraged.
Calling for “More than a Moratorium” on Human Germline Modificationby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesApril 9th, 2015A broader array of critical responses and policy suggestions follows recent reports that the gene-editing technique CRISPR has been used to genetically modify human sperm, eggs or embryos.
Human Genetic Engineering Demands more than a Moratoriumby Sheila Jasanoff, J. Benjamin Hurlbut and Krishanu SahaThe GuardianApril 7th, 2015Expert calls for a moratorium on germline gene engineering are no substitute for richer public debate on the ethics and politics of our biotechnological futures.
Public interest group condemns human germline modification efforts, supports research moratorium, calls for US prohibition[Press Statement]March 19th, 2015We're at a watershed moment in determining whether human genetic technologies will be used in the public interest and for the common good, or in ways that are dangerous and socially pernicious.
With World Watching, UK Allows Experiments to Genetically Alter Babiesby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMarch 4th, 2015Despite several possibly insurmountable legal and safety hurdles, the House of Lords gave the final approval needed to move into fertility clinics the embryo modification techniques referred to as “mitochondrial donation.”
Why Racism is not Backed by Scienceby Adam RutherfordThe Guardian March 1st, 2015As we harvest ever more human genomes one fact remains unshakeable: race does not exist.
A primer on DNA forensicsby Blair CrawfordOttawa CitizenFebruary 18th, 2015Improved technology and automation means DNA profiles can now be done in a matter of days and, in the future, the wait could be reduced to just hours. But DNA evidence is hardly infallible.
Genetic Testing and Tribal Identityby Rose EvelethThe AtlanticJanuary 26th, 2015The question of genetic testing, and particularly genetic testing to determine ancestral origins, is controversial for many Native Americans.
Key Questions About the Social and Ethical Implications of Nuclear Genome Transfer or “3-Person IVF” Techniquesby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJanuary 22nd, 2015As the Institute of Medicine launches an official assessment over the next year, here are eight questions to consider.
Institute of Medicine to Study the Social Policy and Ethics of “3-Person IVF”by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJanuary 22nd, 2015The FDA held a public meeting last year to assess the safety and efficacy of nuclear genome transfer for the prevention of transmission of mitochondrial diseases. Now it has asked the Institute of Medicine to consider the social and ethical issues.
UK May Be Poised for “Historic Mistake” on “3-Person IVF”by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJanuary 22nd, 2015A Parliamentary vote is expected as soon as February.
Two Neuroscientists Who Get It Rightby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJanuary 7th, 2015Two UC San Diego neuroscientists have created a “Roadmap to a New Neuroscience.” It is a status-quo-shifting kind of amazing.
Discovery, Guided by Moralityby John MarkoffThe New York TimesJanuary 5th, 2015A neuroscience lab ponders the purpose of its research.
The Hidden Costs of International Surrogacyby Darlena CunhaThe AtlanticDecember 22nd, 2014Overseas options look cheaper on paper, but they don't account for fraud, travel costs, and legal headaches that inevitably arise.
Yesterday's War; Tomorrow's Technology by Nicholas G. Evans and Jonathan D. MorenoJournal of Law and the BiosciencesDecember 15th, 2014What's wrong with the prospect of the US military using genetic screening and germline genetic engineering to select or "enhance" soldiers?
CRISPR Opportunities ... For What? And for Whom?by Pete ShanksHuffington PostDecember 10th, 2014Money and deals are flowing into companies that promise to edit genes. Human, animal, plant, all kinds of DNA may be on the cutting board.
Ethical Overkill: Institutions should take a unified look at protections for research on human subjectsNature EditorialDecember 9th, 2014Investigators are clamouring for unified procedures to allow them to compile genetic information into databases without creating a legal thicket of differing privacy protections.
US Government Cracks Down on Clinical-Trials Reportingby Sara ReardonNature NewsNovember 19th, 2014Proposed regulations would close loopholes that allow researchers to hide negative data.
The Case for a "New Biopolitics" [VIDEO][With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]Marcy Darnovsky presents the case for a "New biopolitics" at the University of San Francisco's LASER Center speakers series (2014)
Synthetic Biologist Aims to Create Pig with Human Lungsby Lisa M. KriegerSan Jose Mercury NewsNovember 14th, 2014Led by scientists like Venter and Endy, the once-fledgling field of synthetic biology has surged in commercial interest.
Breaking from our Eugenic Pastby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesNovember 13th, 2014As the victims of North Carolina's eugenics program finally receive compensation, we should not celebrate "the new eugenics" as some have argued, but learn carefully from this history.
At Least 11 Women Die After Sterilization in Indiaby Katy DaigleAssociated PressNovember 11th, 2014A total of 83 women, all villagers under the age of 32, had the operations as part of India's free sterilization campaign. Dozens later became ill and were rushed to private hospitals.
Could Genomics Revive The Eugenics Movement?by Meredith SalisburyForbesNovember 8th, 2014There was a time when people in America were sterilized, sometimes unwittingly, by activists aiming to create a healthier, “better” population. As the progress of genomics accelerates, we need to remember the lessons of the past.
North Carolina Compensates Victims of Eugenic Sterilization[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Lily LouThe GuilfordianNovember 7th, 2014The drive behind these sterilizations was the eugenics movement: the pseudoscience of improving a society’s gene pool through reducing populations of people with negative traits.
‘Haunted Files': The Dark Side of Progressivismby Naomi Schaefer RileyNew York PostNovember 4th, 2014With funding from the Carnegie Institution and the Rockefeller Foundation, New York's Eugenics Records Office had the financial backing of the most important and “forward thinking” folks of the time.
What Good is a Scientific Meeting If You Dismiss the Science?by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesOctober 29th, 2014The Science and Technology Committee of the UK Parliament held an evidence hearing last week to examine the science and proposed regulation of so-called “mitochondrial donation,” or “3-person IVF,” but huge swaths of evidence were widely dismissed.
How to Cope With a Positive Genetic Test Resultby Kristine CraneUS NewsOctober 10th, 2014There is help out there for people with a positive genetic test result, as well as something of a protocol for them to follow.
The Real Problem With Sperm Banksby Keli GoffThe Daily BeastOctober 7th, 2014A woman recently sued a sperm bank that mistakenly sent her sperm from a black donor instead of a white donor. The lawsuit highlights the lack of regulation of an industry that has life and death implications and is not regulated accordingly.
State to Send Out About 200 Eugenics Paymentsby Meghann EvansWinston-Salem JournalOctober 1st, 2014The first eugenics compensation payments are to be sent out by Oct. 31, and a second payment will be sent to victims next year.
The FBI Wants Speedy DNA Analysis Added To Its Biometric Dragnetby Tim CushingTechDirtSeptember 30th, 2014It appears the FBI isn't satisfied with the wealth of biometric information it already has access to. It's grabbed everything external it can possibly get. Now, it's coming for what's inside you.
US Doctors Update Gamete Donation Guidelinesby Michael CookBioEdgeSeptember 28th, 2014The American Society for Reproductive Medicine has updated its guidelines for gamete donation in the light of the growing recognition that offspring may have a right to know their genetic parents.
California Bans Coerced Sterilization of Female Inmatesby Corey G. JohnsonCenter for Investigative ReportingSeptember 26th, 2014Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill that protects prisoners in county jails, state prisons and other detention centers, after many abuses were uncovered.
An End to Sterilization Abuses in California Prisonsby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesSeptember 26th, 2014The signing of SB 1135 into California law by Gov. Jerry Brown is an important victory in the fight for the remembrance of our state's eugenic history and its ongoing implications.
Surrogacy Boom in Mexico Brings Tales of Missing Money and Stolen Eggsby Jo TuckmanThe GuardianSeptember 25th, 2014Gestational mothers and new parents tell about the dark side of an industry that operates in a legal grey area.
Richard Dawkins Gets it all Wrong, Yet Again by George EstreichSalonSeptember 25th, 2014As a social media event, the Dawkins kerfuffle was fleeting, but as a conversation, it offers a glimpse of a larger question: How do “we” — that is, the non-disabled — think about people with intellectual disabilities?
Under the Skinby Nathaniel ComfortNatureSeptember 18th, 2014Three recent books focus on whether race is biological and therefore "real." But this question is a dead end, a distraction from what is really at stake in this debate: human social equality.
International Surrogacy, Global Consumerism, Harms to Women and Childrenby Carmel Shalev, Biopolitical Times guest contributorSeptember 15th, 2014Medical associations, nations, and the international community must intervene in the unregulated global market for surrogacy to protect, promote and sanction the human dignity and human rights of women and children.
Defending Human Dignityby Michael CookBioEdgeSeptember 13th, 2014Charles Foster has penned defence of “human dignity” as the foundation of bioethics in the Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics.
“Evolution right now is in the marketplace”by Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesSeptember 11th, 2014George Church is as outrageous as ever, while both transhumanist ideas and concerns about increasing inequality are receiving more attention.
A Manifesto for Playing God with Human Evolutionby Carl ElliottNew ScientistSeptember 8th, 2014Fancy living forever, or uploading your mind to the net? The Proactionary Imperative embraces transhumanist dreams, but reminds why we need medical ethics.
An International Agreement on Commercial Surrogacy? by Marcy DarnovskyBiopolitical 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.
US agency updates rules on sharing genomic databy Richard Van NoordenNature NewsSeptember 1st, 2014Changes clarify procedures for telling participants in NIH-funded studies how their data might be used.
Judge warns privacy of DNA at stake after rulingby Ian DuncanThe Baltimore SunAugust 30th, 2014As Maryland's highest court upheld a rape conviction based on DNA collected at a police station, a veteran judge issued a stark warning about the consequences of the ruling.
When Big Data & Infants' Privacy Collideby  Alison DianaInformation WeekAugust 25th, 2014Technology allows researchers to discover newborns' genetic secrets, but the long-term repercussions worry some parents and privacy advocates.
Interpol Investigates 'Baby Factory' as Man Fathers 16 Surrogate Childrenby Kevin RawlinsonThe GuardianAugust 23rd, 2014Interpol has launched an investigation into an alleged "baby factory" after it emerged that a Japanese businessman had fathered 16 surrogate children and expressed a desire for many more.
Vics to Get Sperm Donor Info with ConsentThe AustralianAugust 21st, 2014Victorians conceived through sperm donation will now be able to find out who their biological father is - but only if he agrees.
California Lawmakers Pass Bill Banning Inmate Sterilizationsby Sharon BernsteinReutersAugust 19th, 2014California lawmakers sent a bill to ban sterilization surgeries on inmates in California prisons to Governor Jerry Brown.
Gender-Biased Sex Selection an Extreme Form and Manifestation of Gender Discrimination and Inequality Against Women, Say UN Women and UNFPAUN WomenAugust 18th, 2014The sharply declining child sex ratio in India has reached emergency proportions and urgent action must be taken to alleviate this crisis.
Misconceptionby Sarah DingleThe 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.
Should We Open the Door to Genetically Modified Babies?by Jessica CussinsCNBCAugust 11th, 2014There has been a lot of confusion around this controversial issue, but as we are now facing a historic crossroads, it is important to set the record straight.
Tuskegee Todayby Jessica CussinsThe Huffington PostAugust 8th, 2014Last week marked the 42nd anniversary of the Tuskegee syphilis study and many people took the opportunity to examine its relevance to the treatment of human research subjects today.
Will my Disabled Daughter have a Place in this Genetic Wonderland?by Ian BirrellThe GuardianAugust 7th, 2014Until society gets to grips with prejudice we cannot start to grapple with the profound questions that medical advances raise.
Tuskegee, Todayby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesAugust 7th, 2014Last week marked the 42nd anniversary of the Tuskegee syphilis study and many people took the opportunity to examine its relevance to the treatment of human research subjects today.
North Carolina and Genetics: From Sterilization to Research Subjectsby Victoria Massie, Biopolitical Times guest contributorAugust 7th, 2014In the twentieth century, North Carolina was one of dozens of states that targeted certain citizens for eugenic sterilization. Today, in a town outside Charlotte, biotech researchers are asking for urine and blood samples and offering $10 gift cards to WalMart in exchange.
California Set to Prohibit Sterilization of Prisonersby Jonathan ChernoguzBiopolitical TimesJuly 24th, 2014With the unanimous approval of Senate Bill 1135 in Sacramento last month, the victims of recent unauthorized sterilizations in California prisons, and their advocates, seem likely to win this important victory.
Eugenic Policies of the Past Teach Sobering Lessonsby Calum MacKellarThe ScotsmanJuly 24th, 2014The support of Scottish thinkers for eugenics is revealed in a new book entitled The Ethics of the New Eugenics.
Making Sense of the BRAINby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJuly 24th, 2014As criticisms of the brain projects on both sides of the Atlantic ramp up, what lessons can be learned from the successes and failures of the Human Genome Project?
A Whisper Past: Childless after Eugenic Sterilization in Albertaby Moyra LangLiving Archives on Eugenics BlogJuly 21st, 2014Leilani Muir, eugenic survivor, has written her biography and launched it at the Alberta Gallery of Art.
Closing the Information Gap on International Surrogacy[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Elayne CliftWomen's Media CenterJuly 16th, 2014The Center for Genetics and Society and Our Bodies Ourselves are teaming up to shed light on the human rights aspects of cross-border surrogacy.
Should We Design Our Babies? [VIDEO] [With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]The Aspen InstituteJuly 2nd, 2014At the Aspen Ideas Festival, Marcy Darnovsky and Nita A. Farahany discuss the possibility and implications of "designer babies."
Deadline Looms for NC Eugenics Victims Paymentsby Jerome Batley jrAssociated PressJune 26th, 2014North Carolina is the first of 33 states that ran forced sterilization programs to compensate victims. 520 people have come forward.
Eugenics Reparations Removed from Budgetby Joyce LiptrapLetter to the Editor, News LeaderJune 25th, 2014Virginia House Bill 1529: Justice for The Victims of Sterilization would have created a fund for reparations to Virginia residents physically mutilated at the hand of state funded institutions.
'Shoebox IVF' Hope for Infertile Couplesby Cathy EdwardsBBCJune 21st, 2014Infertility has been neglected in developing countries, partly because of a focus on controlling overpopulation. But experts argue that true reproductive health has to address both sides.
Female Prison Inmates Sterilized Illegally, California Audit Confirms by Corey G. JohnsonCFIRJune 19th, 2014The California state auditor blasted federal and state oversight of sterilization surgeries for female prison inmates, finding numerous illegal surgeries and violations of the state’s informed-consent law.
Vasectomies Should Not Be Used as Punishmentby Amanda MarcotteSlateJune 18th, 201420 months in prison, five years of probation, and a vasectomy. As part of his plea deal, Jesse Lee Herald had to agree to get snipped when he got out of jail.
Children of Surrogacy Campaign to Outlaw the Practiceby  Jane RidleyNew York PostJune 16th, 2014"You can’t sell your kidney for profit but you can purchase an egg or sell a child. There needs to be more checks and balances."
Who Owns Your Genetic Data? Hint: It's Probably Not Youby Meredith SalisburyThe Huffington PostJune 12th, 2014It seems intuitive to many of us that each person owns his or her genetic data and therefore should control access. But the reality is more complex.
Should Research Subjects Be Given Their Genetic Test Results?by Margaret LutzeGuardian Liberty VoiceJune 12th, 2014Two study groups agree that the answer turns on whether or not the research subject consented to the return of their genetic information.
Eugenicists Never Retreat, They Just Regroup: Sterilization and Reproductive Oppression in Prisonsby Loretta RossRH Reality CheckJune 12th, 2014Women in California prisons have been illegally sterilized, nearly four decades after sterilization abuse guidelines were implemented at the state and the federal level.
Searching Chromosomes for the Legacy of Traumaby Josie Glausiusz NatureJune 11th, 2014The daughter of a Holocaust survivor narrates her own participation in a study of epigenetic inheritance.
A Problem Like No Other: Science And Politicsby Adam FrankNPR BlogJune 10th, 2014Ignoring what scientists are telling us is an ultimately self-destructive act. But when it comes to telling us what we should do, scientists are not in a privileged position.
A Medical Student’s Call for Action Against Research Misconductby Eden AlmasudeThe Hastings CenterJune 3rd, 2014Is research misconduct and abuse the norm in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Psychiatry? A recent investigative report suggests that the answer may well be yes.
US Paediatrician Attacks Surrogacyby Michael CookBioEdgeMay 3rd, 2014A pediatrician at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine has published a blistering rebuttal to the claim that on the whole, women in developing countries benefit from commercial surrogacy.
Preference for Sons Hurts Mothersby Gayle Tzemach LemmonCouncil 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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
International Surrogacy Laws are not Keeping upby Kingsley Napley, Claire Wood and Katie NewburyLexologyNovember 14th, 2013There is currently no worldwide regulation of surrogacy. Unfortunately, therefore, the potential for exploitation is high.
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?
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?
Disability Studies: A New Normalby Cecilia Capuzzi SimonThe New York TimesNovember 1st, 2013Like black studies, women’s studies and other liberation-movement disciplines, disability studies teaches that it is an unaccepting society that needs normalizing, not the minority group.
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 CussinsThe Huffington PostOctober 24th, 2013Mitochondrial replacement raises one of the thorniest questions humanity will ever face: are we willing to genetically modify future generations of humans?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
FDA to Hold First Public Hearing on GM Babies[Quotes CGS's Richard Hayes and Jessica Cussins]by Rady AnandaActivist PostSeptember 16th, 2013Next month, the US Food and Drug Administration will hold a two-day public meeting to discuss genetic modification within the human egg, changes which will be passed on generationally.
Don’t Use India’s Missing Girls to Deny Women Reproductive Rightsby Mallika DuttRH Reality CheckSeptember 16th, 2013The attention to son preference by the U.S. Foreign Relations Committee should be cause for celebration, but the people shaking their fists the hardest about the issue are actually those who are most hostile to women’s rights.
"Me medicine" could undermine public health measuresby Donna DickensonNew ScientistSeptember 16th, 2013The growth of personalised medicine threatens the communal approach that has brought our biggest health gains.
Ethical Minefield of Parents in Controlby Neil McMahonThe Sydney Morning HeraldSeptember 14th, 2013Designer babies - their gender, personality traits and skin color chosen by genetic testing - are a looming reality. But are we ready to confront this minefield of ethics?
FDA to Hold Public Meeting about a Form of Human Germline Modificationby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesSeptember 12th, 2013Next month, for the first time in its history, the FDA will hold a public meeting about techniques that would result in human germline modification. Do you want a say?
Republican Lawmakers Criticize Indian Government for Failing to Stop Sex-Selective Abortionsby Matthew PenningtonAssociated PressSeptember 10th, 2013A Congressional panel convened by a staunch opponent of abortion rights heard conflicting testimony about how to address sex selection in India.
David Langwallner: DNA Database is Welcome but it Will Need Safeguardsby David LangwallnerIndependent.ieSeptember 9th, 2013The Irish Innocence Project welcomes the new Irish DNA database bill, but the retention of DNA from non-convicted persons raises genuine concern as to the length of time such material can be retained.
The Right to Genetic Ignoranceby EditorialNew ScientistSeptember 6th, 2013People should be free to choose whether to be informed about risk factors in their genomes, or those of their children.
Organ Trafficking: A Protected Crime by Nancy Scheper-HughesThe ConversationSeptember 3rd, 2013Organ trafficking and illicit transplant surgeries have infiltrated global medical practice. Despite the evidence of widespread criminal networks, it is still not treated with the seriousness it demands.
Questions in India Cancer Study Still Lingeringby Bob OrtegaThe RepublicAugust 31st, 2013A decade-long study of cervical cancer screening in the slums of Mumbai is under investigation because researchers put half the women in a “control” group that was not screened.
Differences on Display on US Informed Consent Rulesby Meredith WadmanNatureAugust 28th, 2013At an unusual public meeting, senior health officials grappled with the firestorm over the problematic consent forms in an NIH-funded clinical trial o more than 1000 premature infants.
Havasupai, HeLa, and the Fallacy of Neutral Scienceby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesAugust 28th, 2013A recent claim that misuse of Havasupai DNA was a “fairy tale” has stirred up heated debates about informed consent and scientific ethics.
More Concerns Over Familial DNA Searchingby Osagie K. ObasogieBiopolitical TimesAugust 28th, 2013A recent paper by Rori Rohlfs et. al., and two accompanying videos, suggest that real concerns still remain with familial searching in California's DNA databases.
Involuntary Sterilization Then and Nowby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesAugust 28th, 2013North Carolina will be the first US state to offer compensation to victims of state-sponsored forced sterilization programs. The decision marks a milestone in the long struggle for recognition of this tragic history, but what about the questionable sterilizations still taking place today?
Righting a Wrong: NC to Pay Victims of Forced Sterilizationby Kimberly JohnsonAljazeera AmericaAugust 23rd, 2013Many states had eugenics programs; North Carolina will be the first to provide financial compensation.
Is Individuality the Savior of Eugenics?by Nathaniel ComfortScientific AmericanAugust 23rd, 2013Once defined as “the science of human improvement through better breeding,” eugenics has roared back into the headlines in recent weeks in both Mr. Hyde and Dr. Jekyll personae.
California Legislators Urge Speedy Inquiry into Prison Sterilizationsby Corey G. JohnsonCenter for Investigative ReportingAugust 21st, 2013Legislators today fast-tracked an audit into why doctors under contract with the state sterilized nearly 150 female prison inmates from 2006 to 2010 without the required authorizations.
Subject to Questionby EditorialNatureAugust 21st, 2013A fresh question has come to the fore: how best to protect human subjects in trials that examine the effectiveness of existing therapies that are already in widespread use.
As Prenatal Testing For Down Syndrome Increases, So Do Concerns About Counselingby Katherine BindleyHuffington PostAugust 20th, 2013As noninvasive tests become the new norm in prenatal care, medical professionals and genetic counselors hope that women will get the guidance they need.
Rich Nations not Collaborating in Genomics for Public Health, Says OECD by Lynne TaylorPharmaTimesAugust 19th, 2013New reports show that the development of genomics for public health is being prioritised mainly by low and middle income nations, with richer countries not seeking to collaborate in such research.
The Empire Strikes Backby Jonathan MarksAnthropomicsAugust 19th, 2013New claims about the geneticist who collected samples from Native Americans to study diabetes, and then piggybacked research on schizophrenia without consent, compels us to revisit the case.
Study Probes DNA Search Method that Led to 'Grim Sleeper' Suspectby Eryn BrownLos Angeles TimesAugust 15th, 2013DNA-based familial searches may mistakenly identify individuals in a forensic database as siblings or parents of an unknown perpetrator, when in fact they are distant relatives.
North Carolina’s Bold Model for Eugenics Compensationby Peter Hardin and Paul LombardoRichmond Times-DispatchAugust 11th, 2013In a landmark action, North Carolina legislators have voted to spend $10 million to compensate men and women sterilized under the state’s 20th century eugenics program.
Deal Done Over HeLa Cell Lineby Ewen CallawayNatureAugust 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.
Is Eugenics Ever Okay?by Nathaniel ComfortGenotopiaJuly 26th, 2013Recognizing that we are grasping the reins of human evolution as fast as we can raises two sets of concerns. First, “What if it doesn’t work?” Second, "What if it does?"
A Few Notes on the Invisibleby George Estreich, Biopolitical Times guest contributorJuly 23rd, 2013Thoughts about disability, invisibility, Ethan Saylor's death at the hands of private police, and news that the extra chromosome that causes Down syndrome may one day be “silenced.”
Payouts to NC Eugenics Victims Could be Modestby Michael BieseckerAssociated PressJuly 22nd, 2013State lawmakers have agreed to compensate victims of a eugenics program that for decades forced people who social workers said were developmentally disabled to undergo sterilization.
Pitts: Gruesome Bad Old Days of Eugenics Haven't Left Usby Leonard PittsThe ColumbianJuly 15th, 2013We have traveled far, only to wind up in this familiar place where the vulnerable and voiceless, the ones most deserving of our compassion, are regarded instead as inferiors and allowed to be victimized.
'Designer Babies': The Ultimate Privileged Elite?by Heather LongGuardianJuly 9th, 2013A US baby born via IVF and genetically screened could open the door to wealthy parents selecting for ideal traits in their kids.
Legislature Can Still Do Eugenics CompensationCharlotte ObserverJuly 8th, 2013The North Carolina legislature can still include money in this year’s budget to compensate victims of the state’s disgraceful and long-running eugenics program.
Female Inmates Sterilized in California Prisons Without Approvalby Corey G. JohnsonCenter for Investigative ReportingJuly 7th, 2013The Center for Investigative Reporting has found that California doctors sterilized nearly 150 female inmates from 2006 to 2010 without required state approvals.
The Rise of a New Eugenicsby Lloyd Lewis and Julie ReiskinDenver PostJuly 4th, 2013Non-invasive prenatal testing technology is dangerously ahead of society's understanding of people who have Down syndrome.
Center for Genetics and Society - Marcy Darnovsky on Initiative Radio with Angela McKenzie[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Angela McKenzieInitiative RadioJune 30th, 2013Marcy Darnovsky talks about the work to encourage responsible uses and effective governance of the new human genetic and reproductive technologies.
Public Interest Group Urges UK Government Not to Break International Consensus Against Inheritable Genetic Modification[Press statement]June 27th, 2013That the UK may move toward permitting mitochondrial replacement is particularly disturbing when the safety is very much in doubt, when its usefulness is dubious, and when the claim of public support is highly misleading at best.
From Suspects to the Spitterati: A collision of power, profit, and privacyby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJune 27th, 2013DNA collection is increasingly ubiquitous, and the push for access to genetic information is gaining momentum. What questions should we be considering?
Sterilized Transsexuals Sue Swedish governmentby Ann TörnkvistThe LocalJune 24th, 2013Swedish transsexuals who had to accept sterilization to change gender legally are demanding compensation from the government.
Pioneering Icelandic Genetics Company Denied Approval for Data-Mining Planby Jocelyn KaiserScienceJune 20th, 2013A national agency that oversees data privacy in Iceland has rejected a request from deCODE to allow it to estimate the genotypes of 280,000 Icelanders who have never agreed to take part in the company's research.
Inside the Stem Cell Shell Gameby Gina Maranto, Biopolitical Times guest contributorJune 18th, 2013Sociologist Ruha Benjamin examines the California stem cell initiative from a social justice perspective.
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