|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.|
|Sex Selection Blares on World Bank’s Radar, Biopolitical TimesSeptember 21st, 2011The World Bank’s 2012 World Development Report, entitled “Gender Equality and Development” recognizes sex selection as a global issue perpetuating gender inequality.
|Dorothy Roberts book presentation [video]Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century Co-sponsored by Center for Genetics and Society and Generations Ahead
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 | Berkeley, CA|
|More on the Guatemala Syphilis Scandal, Biopolitical TimesSeptember 1st, 2011The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues concluded its investigation of the horrifying Guatemalan syphilis experiments this week, and began to consider some new regulations.|
|New Book on the Biopolitics of Race, Biopolitical TimesAugust 18th, 2011Dorothy Roberts' new book meets an urgent need: encouraging greater thought and public discussion on what new genetic technologies mean for society’s understanding of racial difference and its commitment to racial justice. |
|Regulating the "Global Baby", Biopolitical TimesAugust 4th, 2011George Annas analyzes last year's Canadian Supreme Court decision about regulating assisted reproduction, and the implications for the U.S. and other countries.|
|Al Jazeera’s Fault Lines on Outsourcing Clinical Trials, Biopolitical TimesJuly 19th, 2011Fault Lines’ Zeina Awad offers a compelling inside look into the questionable business of using vulnerable populations from the developing world to test drugs that will not benefit them and will largely be consumed by Westerners.|
|Hijacking Human Rights in Latin AmericaMay 3rd, 2011Prominent Catholic politicians and scholars are using human rights discourse to strengthen a transnational initiative to restrict reproductive rights.|
|Doctor Abandons US Patent Application[Solomon Islands]Solomon Times April 11th, 2011The Network of the Indigenous Peoples-Solomons welcomes the abandonment of a US patent application that uses genetic samples from Solomon Islanders, in a case that raises major ethical questions.|
|Ethical ImaginariesMarch 30th, 2011John Harris and others suggest that each of us is morally obligated to volunteer as a subject for biomedical research. On examination, this is a very problematic idea, which largely benefits researchers and their employers.|
|Profits, Princes and Police DNA Databases, Biopolitical TimesMarch 16th, 2011A new investigation reveals disturbing commercial pressures to establish forensic DNA databases that may go well beyond legal limits in Europe and the US.|
|Are We Protecting Human Subjects? , Biopolitical TimesMarch 7th, 2011A panel has been created to review the adequacy of current human subjects protections at home and abroad.
|More on Genetic Rights in the States, Biopolitical TimesMarch 4th, 2011California and Vermont have joined Massachusetts in introducing legislation intended to safeguard genetic privacy.|
|Appeals Court Overturns Sentence Based on "Porn Gene", Biopolitical TimesFebruary 2nd, 2011A judge increased a sentence because he believed the offender had a gene that would eventually be identified; the Court of Appeals called this a "plain error" and sent the case to a different judge for re-sentencing.|
|Clinical trials on trial[Commentary], The New ScientistJanuary 22nd, 2011Vulnerable people are increasingly targeted as subjects for clinical research. Have we forgotten the lessons of past abuses?
|"They are just the wombs", Biopolitical TimesDecember 6th, 2010Sociologist Amrita Pande documents the experiences of surrogates.
|Europeans Want Regulation for Biotech, Biopolitical TimesNovember 18th, 2010The latest Eurobarometer report on biotechnology shows that Europeans, in general, support medical uses of technology as long as they are carefully regulated.|
|Time to Nationalize IRBs? , Biopolitical TimesNovember 11th, 2010Alice Dreger makes a proposal worth paying attention to: nationalize institutional review boards (IRBs).|
|Fiction in Science, Biopolitical TimesMay 7th, 2010The journal Science cheapens its coverage of an important paper by including speculation, which it refutes, about the cloning of Neanderthals.|
|When Cultures Collide, Biopolitical TimesApril 28th, 2010The lawsuit brought by 41 members of the Havasupai Indian tribe against Arizona State University has implications that go far beyond last week's settlement.|
|Pretending to be Tough, Biopolitical TimesApril 19th, 2010The English forensic DNA database has been dragged into the current UK election campaign with false accusations that supporting reform means being "soft" on crime.|
|Genes and Jobs: U of Akron Tests the Testing Laws, Biopolitical TimesNovember 4th, 2009The University of Akron (UA) has a policy that could require any candidate for employment to submit a DNA sample, despite the Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act.|
|ACLU Challenges California Prop. 69 , Biopolitical TimesOctober 16th, 2009Prop. 69’s arrestee provision marks a radical expansion of the government’s power to indefinitely retain intimate information about citizens – many of whom may have done nothing more than be accused of committing a crime.|
|The Gray Areas at the Edges of Regulation, Biopolitical TimesAugust 26th, 2009The UK experience with regulation continues to offer lessons, as sperm sellers are arrested, US companies promote sex selection to Britons, and an MP has his DNA removed from the police database.|
|Next Steps for Progressive Stem Cell Politics, Science ProgressDecember 16th, 2008In the wake of the Bush administration’s policies, we will have the political space to craft a pro-research stand that simultaneously highlights the need for consistent and enforceable regulation, for hope without hype, and for developing human biotechnologies according to principles of social justice and human rights.|
|Prisoners and Clinical TrialsCruel and Unusual Ethics?, Genetic CrossroadsJune 29th, 2007Much ink has been spilled over the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) recent recommendation to loosen federal restrictions on using prisoners as human subjects in medical research. The committee's approach raises serious questions about the more permissive framework it recommends.|
|200 and Counting for the Innocence Project, Biopolitical TimesApril 27th, 2007The Innocence Project recently reached a remarkable milestone: its 200th exoneration. But it may be tempting to use these 200 stories to justify broadening the use of DNA forensics in criminal justice.|