|A primer on DNA forensics, Ottawa 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.|
|Two Neuroscientists Who Get It Right, Biopolitical TimesJanuary 7th, 2015Two UC San Diego neuroscientists have created a “Roadmap to a New Neuroscience.” It is a status-quo-shifting kind of amazing.|
|Breaking from our Eugenic Past, Biopolitical 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.|
|Could Genomics Revive The Eugenics Movement?, ForbesNovember 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.|
|What Good is a Scientific Meeting If You Dismiss the Science?, Biopolitical 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.|
|The Real Problem With Sperm Banks, The 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.|
|US Doctors Update Gamete Donation Guidelines, BioEdgeSeptember 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.|
|An End to Sterilization Abuses in California Prisons, Biopolitical 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.|
|Richard Dawkins Gets it all Wrong, Yet Again , SalonSeptember 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 Skin, NatureSeptember 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.|
|Defending Human Dignity, BioEdgeSeptember 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”, Biopolitical TimesSeptember 11th, 2014George Church is as outrageous as ever, while both transhumanist ideas and concerns about increasing inequality are receiving more attention.|
|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.|
|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.|
|Tuskegee Today, The 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. |
|Tuskegee, Today, Biopolitical 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 SubjectsAugust 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 Prisoners, Biopolitical 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.|
|Making Sense of the BRAIN, Biopolitical 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?|
|'Shoebox IVF' Hope for Infertile
Couples, BBCJune 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.|
|US Paediatrician Attacks Surrogacy, BioEdgeMay 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 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.|
|When Science Doesn't Have all the Answers, BloomMarch 6th, 2014My son’s rare genetic deletion is on the list of disorders identified by microarray analysis of a fetus’s DNA. It makes me sad to think that the lives of children like my son are being targeted for termination. Is this a step forward?|
|Old Songs, New Tests, and Expensive ChildrenFebruary 20th, 2014The CEO of AOL justified a restructuring of the company’s 401(K) plan by citing two "distressed babies." This tone-deaf insensitivity was answered by a disapproving choir, but it sadly resembles too many descriptions of the "cost" of people with disabilities.
|A Short History of Biological Explanations for Poverty, Biopolitical TimesJanuary 2nd, 2014“The Biological Inferiority of the Undeserving Poor” sketches the history of biological explanations for social ills, and warns that we should pay close attention to their current resurgence. |
|The Three-Parent Dilemma
, MomsRisingDecember 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.
|Are Three Parents One Too Many?[Quotes CGS], BloombergNovember 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.|
|In Defence of Privacy, BioNewsNovember 18th, 2013Not everyone is convinced that the public disclosure policy of the Personal Genome Project is the best response to the difficulties of safeguarding genomic confidentiality. |
|A Conception Conundrum[Quotes CGS's Diane Tober], Psychology 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 Normal, The 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. |
|The Genomic Oracle, SlateOctober 21st, 2013If your DNA is sequenced at birth, how would if affect your life? A new project aims to find out.|
|Reproductive Rights and Responsibilities[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky], Dissident VoiceOctober 17th, 2013Medical science and reproductive technologies are imploring us to consider if our genetic material is ours – solely – once it has been shared through natural reproduction or in a laboratory resulting in another life.|
|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.|
|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.|
|Blinded By Science[Mentions CGS's Jessica Cussins]Center for Environmental HealthSeptember 30th, 2013Three stories of science gone wrong: distorted science, unethical science, and just plain nutty science. We learn about geoengineering, flame retardant chemicals, and the controversy over misuse of Havasupai DNA.|
|Your Body, Their Property, Boston ReviewSeptember 30th, 2013When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down human gene patents it took one aspect of the debate over property interests in human biological materials off the table. But other body parts are still considered fair game.|
|More DNA Samples, More Debate, The 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.|
|FDA to Hold First Public Hearing on GM Babies[Quotes CGS's Richard Hayes and Jessica Cussins], Activist 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.|
|Organ Trafficking: A Protected Crime , The 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.|
|More Concerns Over Familial DNA Searching, Biopolitical 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 Now, Biopolitical 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?|
|Subject to Question, NatureAugust 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.|
|The Empire Strikes Back, AnthropomicsAugust 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. |
|Deal Done Over HeLa Cell Line, NatureAugust 7th, 2013Over the past four months, the director of the US National Institutes of Health met with Henrietta Lacks's family members to discuss what should be done with genome data from the HeLa cells.|
|Is Eugenics Ever Okay?, GenotopiaJuly 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 InvisibleJuly 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.”|
|Welcome to the “Genetic Panopticon”, Biopolitical TimesJune 5th, 2013In a forceful blow to the Fourth Amendment, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that police can collect DNA from people who have been arrested – but who have not been convicted, and may never be.|
|Made-to-Order Embryos: You Want to Sell What?!, Biopolitical TimesMay 2nd, 2013The fact that a fertility clinic can own and sell made-to-order embryos for profit raises novel concerns that should not be collapsed into predefined frameworks used to assess other assisted reproductive technologies.
|The Baby Blueprint [VIDEO][With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]Al Jazeera EnglishApril 22nd, 2013Would you choose your child's genetic potential? Live debate with Marcy Darnovsky, Stuart Newman, Julian Savulescu, and Nita Farahany.|
|Shifts in the Global Body Market: Access or Exploitation?, Biopolitical TimesApril 1st, 2013PlanetHospital claims that new surrogacy regulations in India have ruined a “golden opportunity” and paints Mexico and Thailand as the surrogacy frontiers – where it happens to have business arrangements.
|Fixing Psychiatric Research At A University[Op-Ed], PharmalotMarch 20th, 2013University of Minnesota bioethicist Carl Elliott has explored a controversial episode over a clinical trial and a suicide at his own university over the past few years; he explains why now is the time to get involved.|
|The Throwaways, GuernicaMarch 1st, 2013In Kenya, doctors are force-sterilizing HIV-positive women—in some cases, without their knowledge.|
|DNA and the Constitution[Editorial]The New York TimesFebruary 24th, 2013The substantial harm to innocent people that could result from the misuse of DNA greatly outweighs the benefits. And the safeguard against such harm is the Fourth Amendment, whose fundamental protections the Maryland court upheld. The Supreme Court should do likewise. |
|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.
|Too Much InformationSupreme Court 2013: Why collecting DNA from people who are arrested won’t help solve more crimes., SlateFebruary 12th, 2013Research shows that police solve more crimes not by taking DNA from suspects who have never been convicted, but by collecting more evidence at crime scenes.|
|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.|
|Neo Neanderthal[With CGS's Pete Shanks], HuffPost LiveJanuary 25th, 2013A leading geneticist at Harvard Medical School says he can clone a Neanderthal and resurrect the extinct species. What are the ethical issues, risks and benefits?|
|Gene-ism and Mass Murder, Biopolitical TimesJanuary 22nd, 2013Proposals to analyze the genes of a mass murderer have rightly drawn criticism from experts, including the editors of Nature. |
|Sickle Cell Test Gets NCAA OK Despite Docs, MedPage TodayJanuary 21st, 2013The National Collegiate Athletic Association has approved mandatory confirmation of sickle cell trait status in Division III student athletes, despite the objections of the American Society of Hematology.|
|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. |
|Appeals Court Backs Scientist in Pfizer Retaliation Case , The DayDecember 14th, 2012An appeals court has refused to overturn a verdict against Pfizer Inc. and in favor of whistleblower molecular biologist Becky McClain. Her efforts have drawn public attention to worker-safety issues in the biotechnology industry.|
|Welcome to DownTown Abbey, Page Six MagazineDecember 6th, 2012New York City's modern-day dukes and duchesses blur the lines between upstairs and downstairs, demanding their household help provide everything from donated eggs to properly behaved aquatic animals.
|Selecting Against Disease[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky], Fin MagazineNovember 26th, 2012Although we may not have control over the end of the world, genetic counseling and selection will give us power to manipulate the quality and extent of individual lives.|
|Anatomy of a Webpage, Part 3: Selling “Peace of Mind”November 13th, 2012New developments in prenatal tests are triggering aggressive - and often misleading - marketing. Thankfully, there are signs of push-back from a society that is learning that people are more than their syndromes.
|Anatomy of a Webpage, Part 2: Preconception ServicesOctober 17th, 2012People living with genetic diseases become medicalized abstractions of risk and defect in the slick marketing of fetal gene tests. More than a matter of semantics, such simplification has negative consequences for all.|
|Forensics on the Hill: Part I , Huffington PostSeptember 5th, 2012Donald Eugene Gates' fate was sealed by two stray hairs and he spent nearly three decades in prison, before his innocence was finally proven. How often is DNA forensics wrong?|
|DNA Test Jailed Innocent Man for Murder, BBC NewsAugust 31st, 2012Scientists, lawyers and politicians have raised concerns over the quality of forensic evidence testing - is the criminal justice system too reliant on lab tests without seeing their limitations?|
|Stop and Swab: Dramatic Increases in DNA Police Databases, Biopolitical TimesAugust 20th, 2012DNA databases continue to grow exponentially as more U.S. states allow police to seize DNA samples from people who have been arrested but not convicted, and from those suspected of misdemeanors as well as felonies.
|"Tainted Families" Ancient and Modern, Biopolitical TimesJuly 11th, 2012Paul Lombardo has well summarized the use of the "Jukes family" myth to promote eugenics, in the 19th, 20th and now 21st century.|
|California Considers DNA Privacy Law, NatureMay 18th, 2012California lawmakers are considering a bill that would require written consent for the collection, retention, and sharing of individual genetic information. Academic researchers fear the measures would prohibit work with genetic databases.
|Non-Consenting AdultsThe Nuremberg Code, set up to protect the human subjects of research, is being routinely ignored, SlateJanuary 22nd, 2012Marginalized groups have frequently been coerced into studies that violate their right to consent. Now such practices are spreading.|
|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.|
|Genetic Discrimination and Ron Paul, Biopolitical TimesJanuary 9th, 2012Genetic discrimination in Canada today is similar to what the US faced prior to the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, opposed by presidential candidate Ron Paul.|
|Payment for Bone Marrow Donors?, Biopolitical TimesDecember 8th, 2011A federal appeals court has ruled that in certain circumstances it may be legal to pay for materials used in bone marrow transplants; Professors Greely and Capron respond.|
|Moral Obligations For Thee But Not For Me?, Biopolitical TimesOctober 27th, 2011Calls for the general public to volunteer for clinical trials sit strangely with the behavior of some pharmaceutical companies and physicians.|