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About Biopolitics, Parties, Pundits & Human Biotechnology


Policy decisions about human biotechnologies have typically been debated among elite commissions and experts. But controversy is increasingly spilling over into mainstream news media and political debates.

This trend has been most notable in the United States, with the emergence of human embryonic stem cell research as a political issue. Stem cell debates at the policy level have made this discussion far more visible to the public.

The Bush Administration's restrictions on federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research elevated the issue to the front pages of newspapers. Shortly after its announcement in 2001, partisan battle lines were drawn in ways that mirror the abortion rights divide.

Republicans hoped that opposition to research that destroys embryos would increase support among their party's religious conservative base. Democrats countered by assembling a coalition of patient advocates, biomedical researchers, and biotechnology entrepreneurs and appealed to moderate swing voters and Republicans who they believed would be swayed by promises of cures.

There were some notable exceptions to this partisan line-up. Some conservatives support embryonic stem cell research; some liberals and progressives who support the research in principle criticize aspects of its conduct and regulation. Unfortunately, the polarized debate has frequently distorted facts while obscuring a range of important social issues unrelated to the moral status of embryos.



From “the Dangerous Womb” to a More Complex Realityby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesAugust 21st, 2014Heightened attention to epigenetics, while important, also carries the danger of being used to place undue blame on pregnant women. A special issue in Science on parenting provides a more complex overview of parental and societal influence.
"We're All One of Troy's Babies": A Celebration of Troy Dusterby Victoria Massie, Biopolitical Times guest contributorAugust 21st, 2014On Friday, August 15th, I was one among a multitude of people finding a seat in Booth Auditorium in Boalt Hall for the event “Celebrating Troy Duster.”
Troy Duster’s Garden of Plugged-In Scholarship, and How it Grewby Barry BergmanNewsCenterAugust 20th, 2014An overview of the CGS co-sponsored event to honor Troy Duster's landmark works on the racial implications of drug policies and genetic research, role as adviser and friend, and fierce activism.
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.
High-Risk Brain Research Wins NSF Backingby Sara ReardonNature NewsAugust 18th, 2014The US National Science Foundation is supporting new research into the properties of neural circuits.
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.
Australia Could Recognise Multiple Parentsby Michael CookBioEdgeAugust 16th, 2014Adoption and new reproduction technologies are placing new strains on what “parent” means in contemporary society. If recommendations in a major report are accepted, Australian law could be revised to allow more than two.
Society: Don't Blame the Mothersby Sarah S. Richardson, Cynthia R. Daniels, Matthew W. Gillman, Janet Golden, Rebecca Kukla, Christopher Kuzawa & Janet Rich-EdwardsNature CommentAugust 13th, 2014There is a long history of society blaming mothers for the ill health of their children. The latest wave in this discussion flows from studies of epigenetics.
Thailand to Ban Commercial Surrogacy in Wake of Gammy ScandalThe GuardianAugust 13th, 2014Military government approve draft law that will effectively stop foreign couples paying for pregnancies in the country.
Questions Raised Over DNA Evidence to Secure Murder Convictionsby Candice MarcusABCAugust 13th, 2014A High Court ruling that DNA evidence was not enough to convict a man of murder could have wider implications on DNA convictions across Australia.
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.
Geneticists Say Popular Book Misrepresents Research on Human Evolutionby Ewen CallawayNature News BlogAugust 8th, 2014More than 130 leading population geneticists have condemned a book arguing that genetic variation between human populations could underlie global economic, political and social differences.
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.
More Heart-Wrenching Chapters in the Baby Gammy Storyby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesAugust 7th, 2014Inadequate regulation of cross-border surrogacy has led to some truly awful stories, from coercion and exploitation of impoverished women, to children left stateless, to couples whose life savings have been embezzled by unscrupulous agencies. The unfolding story of Baby Gammy adds new dimensions to the complexities of contract pregnancies.
Banks of Blood and Spermby Rebecca J. RosenThe AtlanticJuly 31st, 2014Banking on the Body investigates how the idea of a "bank" shapes the way we think about storing and distributing blood, sperm, and breast milk.
F.D.A. Acts on Lab Tests Developed In-Houseby Andrew PollackThe New York TimesJuly 31st, 2014The FDA will start regulating medical laboratory testing, saying that tests used to make important treatment decisions must be vetted before they go into use.
The Best-Selling, Billion-Dollar Pills Tested on Homeless Peopleby Carl ElliottMediumJuly 28th, 2014How the destitute and the mentally ill are being used as human lab rats.
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.
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?
Failures and Risks in Biosafety Regulationby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesJuly 24th, 2014Accidents at CDC and elsewhere point up the difficulties in regulating potentially dangerous releases of genetically modified organisms, which scientists are, quite responsibly, discussing.
Biopolitics [PDF]by Marcy Darnovsky and Emily Smith BeitiksEncyclopedia of Bioethics, 4th editionAn entry from the newly released Encyclopedia of Bioethics (Bruce Jennings, editor) looks at the emerging use of the term biopolitics to address broad social and political dynamics.
Procedure to Create Babies with Three People's DNA Could be Legalised in April [UK]by Ian SampleThe Guardian July 22nd, 2014The Department of Health will press ahead with regulations on mitochondrial transfer after public consultation, but several hurdles remain.
Safety Concerns Remain Over Three-Person IVFby Ted MorrowThe GuardianJuly 22nd, 2014There is a lack of data from species more closely related to humans – a gap in our knowledge that would be wise to fill before proceeding to clinical trials.
California's Stem Cell Scandal Gets Worseby Michael HiltzikLos Angeles TimesJuly 18th, 2014Anyone who cares about the advance of medical science and about the promise of biotechnology should be dismayed by how badly the California stem cell agency has handled its latest conflict-of-interest scandal.
Race, Genetics and Voting?by Ian Haney LópezMoyers & CompanyJuly 18th, 2014Naturalistic assumptions about race mislead liberals in their effort to fathom race’s astringent power, shifting the focus from social dynamics to inherited essences.
The Wild West of Zoning: Go Ahead, Create DNA-Altered Glow-in-the-Dark Roses in SoMa. Nobody’s Watching.by Zelda Bronstein48 HillsJuly 11th, 2014Nobody in the San Francisco Planning Department seems to know - or care - that a startup company is making DNA-altered glow-in-the-dark roses in SoMa.
The Perfect 46: A “Science Factual” Film about our Near Futureby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJuly 10th, 2014A new science fiction film called “a sort of prequel to Gattaca” highlights the rise and fall of a genetic startup that analyzes people’s genomes to assess their ability to produce disease-free children.
A Paragraph in Slow Motion: Three-Person IVF in The New York Timesby George Estreich, Biopolitical Times guest contributorJuly 10th, 2014A close look at the rhetoric used to justify experimental technologies, and particularly at the way reasonable objections are dismissed.
What-Syn-a-Name?by Jim ThomasThe GuardianJuly 8th, 2014Synthetic biology is attracting attention from both scientists and regulators. But there is little agreement on what it is. Can we find a road out of synthetic biology’s definitional quagmire?
Seedy Tale: Chinese Researchers Stole Patented Corn, U.S. Prosecutors Allegeby Mara HvistendahlScienceJuly 7th, 2014Over a span of years, a Chinese company allegedly came up with various ways of stealing coveted seed lines developed by agricultural giants DuPont Pioneer, Monsanto, and LG Seeds.
Scientists Threaten to Boycott €1.2bn Human Brain Projectby Ian SampleThe GuardianJuly 6th, 2014Researchers say a European commission-funded initiative to simulate the human brain suffers from 'substantial failures.'
China Approves DNA-Sequencing Devices to Detect Genetic Defects in Unborn Babiesby Angela MengSouth China Morning PostJuly 3rd, 2014Controversial testing products for prenatal detection of birth defects get the green light.
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."
Quantified and Analyzed, Before the First Breathby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJune 26th, 2014Could whole genome sequencing in utero ever become the norm? Should it?
Isolated Nucleic Acids are Patent Eligible in Australiaby Shelley RowlandLexologyJune 25th, 2014Applicants opposed to the patenting of human genetic material have lodged an appeal against Australia's Full Federal Court.
Seralini Republished: Roundup-Ready GMO Maize Causes Serious Health Damageby Oliver TickellThe EcologistJune 25th, 2014A scientific study has been republished following its controversial retraction under strong commercial pressure.
Ombudsman Warns Surrogacy Law Could Leave Children Statelessby Ruadhán Mac CormaicThe Irish TimesJune 24th, 2014The Irish Government should explain what will happen to children whose parents break the law by entering into a commercial surrogacy deal, advised the Children’s Ombudsman.
Selling the Next False Hope? How Experimental IVF Techniques Could be Legalized Despite Increasing Evidence of Potential Harmby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJune 24th, 2014Contrary to official reports, new evidence shows that “3-person IVF” could pose serious risks to women and children. So why are we being told that it’s a “not unsafe” option?
Passport Delay Leaves Surrogate Babies Stranded in IndiaBBCJune 20th, 2014The British government is being urged to allow a couple whose babies were born in a surrogacy arrangement to issue them passports.
Regulation: Sell Help not Hopeby Paolo Bianco & Douglas SippNatureJune 16th, 2014Stem cells are being used as a wedge in calls to allow unproven medical interventions onto the market.
Lord Winston Criticises 'Jungle' World of British Fertility Treatmentby Steve ConnorThe IndependentJune 15th, 2014In his strongest attack yet on the UK's "incompetent" IVF watchdog, the fertility medicine pioneer says the field is now being driven by profit, often at the expense of patients.
Social Egg Freezing in the Race Against the Biological Clockby Vardit RavitskyImpact EthicsJune 13th, 2014Elective egg freezing offers an individual solution to a social problem that should be addressed not only through high-tech medical intervention but also through policy change.
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 Three People be Allowed to Make a Baby?by Arielle Duhaime-RossVergeJune 12th, 2014Researchers might soon make a child with three genetic parents, but the ethics of "designer babies" haven't been worked out.
Forensic Science Isn’t Scienceby Mark Joseph SternSlateJune 11th, 2014Far from an infallible science, forensics is a decades-long experiment in which undertrained lab workers jettison the scientific method in favor of speedy results that fit prosecutors’ hunches.
Jordan’s Stem-Cell Law Can Guide The Middle Eastby Rana DajaniNatureJune 11th, 2014The law bans payment for donations of stem cells and eggs, and says that modified and manipulated cells are not to be used for human reproduction.
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.
Property Rights and the Human Bodyby Jennifer K. WagnerGenomics Law ReportJune 11th, 2014A Canadian court decided that human tissue removed from the body for diagnostic medical tests is “personal property” that belongs to the hospital.
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.
CRG Led Forensic Genetics Policy Initiative Publishes Article in the Egyptian Journal of Forensic Scienceby JeegCouncil for Responsible GeneticsJune 9th, 2014Some safeguards are implemented at the national or regional level for DNA databases but there is an ongoing lack of global standards and a need for more societal engagement and debate.
On the New Alphabet of Lifeby George Estreich, Biopolitical Times guest contributorJune 6th, 2014On metaphors, stories, and synthetic nucleotides: rewriting the code of life.
A $4.5 Billion Price Tag for the BRAIN Initiative?by Emily UnderwoodScienceJune 5th, 2014An NIH-convened working group has offered an appraisal of the funding needed: $4.5 billion over the course of a decade, or roughly quadruple the project’s currently planned budget.
"3-Person IVF” Update Reveals How Little We Knowby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJune 5th, 2014A new report on the safety and efficacy of three-person IVF confirms that it would be dangerous and misguided to allow these techniques into UK fertility clinics anytime soon.
The Genome's Big Data Problemby Joseph CoxMother BoardJune 4th, 2014Serious concerns around genetic data need to be handled before we all jump on the genome band wagon. How will the data be stored? Who will be able to access it? What security will be in place?
Report Debunks Conservative Case for Sex-Selection Abortion Bansby  Jessica Mason PiekloRH Reality CheckJune 4th, 2014The new report identifies six major inaccuracies commonly associated with legislation seeking to ban sex-selection abortions.
Genetics In Court Is a Very Messy Businessby Alexandra SifferlinTimeJune 4th, 2014Courts may soon face the challenge of determining whether genetics can be linked to criminal behavior.
Making Embryos from 3 People Doesn't Look Unsafe[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Maria ChengAssociated PressJune 3rd, 2014Britain's fertility regulator called for further experiments before patients are treated. If approved, Britain would become the first country in the world to allow embryos to be genetically modified this way.
Is the UK Being Too Hasty Over Three-Parent Babies?by Marcy Darnovsky and Donna DickensonNew ScientistJune 3rd, 2014The rush to permit controversial "three-person embryo" methods raises serious questions.
Spinal Cord, HIV Stem Cell Treatments Fundedby Bradley J. FikesUT San DiegoMay 29th, 2014A potentially groundbreaking trial to treat spinal cord injuries with tissue grown from human embryonic stem cells will resume, after being funded by the California's stem cell agency.
Venter Institute-Led Team Details Synbio Policy Challenges and OptionsGenetic Engineering and Biotechnology NewsMay 29th, 2014A new report details the challenges faced by regulators with the increased use of more sophisticated synthetic biology.
Orphan Black: The Best Show You’ve Never Seenby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMay 29th, 2014A BBC America television series about clones is seriously good.
Genomic Controversy in Iceland: Déja Vu All Over Againby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesMay 28th, 2014DeCODE Genetics has launched another attempt to gather the population of Iceland into a genetic database.
Uninformed Tech Regulations Will Either Kill Innovation or Risk Human Livesby Jason KoeblerViceMay 27th, 2014How is the United States going to regulate new technologies that let people enhance and clone themselves, create synthetic organisms, and, perhaps, even cheat death?
$3B Fertility Industry the Wild West of U.S. Medicineby Justine GriffinSarasota Herald-TribuneMay 25th, 2014What began as a way to honor a childhood friend who passed away devolved into a tangle of broken promises, scary science and questionable experiences.
Loophole in Genetic Testing Lawby Rachel GlaserWHAM TVMay 23rd, 2014People who undergo increasingly popular genetic testing could be penalized, forced to pay higher premiums or denied coverage for certain policies.
One Can Always Say ‘No’by Xavier SymonsBioEdgeMay 23rd, 2014An important question in contemporary bioethics concerns the role of genetic and neurobiological determinism in crime. What role do genes and the wiring of one’s brain play in criminal action?
DNA Bill Assaults our Liberties in R.I. by Steven Brown and Mary McElroyProvidence JournalMay 22nd, 2014The presumption of innocence lies at the heart of our system of criminal justice, but a bill now in the Rhode Island House of Representatives deeply undercuts that presumption.
Could a California Bill Make Going From Sperm Donor to Father as Easy as Filling Out a Form? Not so Fast.by Abby PhillipWashington PostMay 20th, 2014Want to make sure a sperm donor can’t claim to be a father? Check here. And vice versa. Or at least that’s the hope of the “Modern Family Act.”
Familial DNA is Debatable Procedureby Andy ThompsonPost-Crescent MediaMay 20th, 2014Wisconsin has joined a handful of states in allowing familial DNA testing — a powerful but debatable procedure — to identify suspects in murders and sexual assaults.
RADIO: Mothers for a Human Future[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Dr. Gordon AtherleyVoiceAmericaMay 19th, 2014Enola Aird and Marcy Darnovsky discuss the ways in which human genetic engineering and assisted reproductive technologies are developing.
On Dialogue: Disability Studies and Science & Technology Studiesby Laura MauldinSomatosphereMay 19th, 2014The intersection of disability studies with science and technology studies can illuminate how we understand, act upon, cope with, and expect others to cope with human bodies.
Why I Won’t Give a Sample of my DNA to Decode Geneticsby Alda SigmundsdóttirThe Iceland Weather ReportMay 19th, 2014Decode Genetics wants 100,000 Icelanders to give them DNA samples to put into their database. Here is why I have decided NOT to.
Charging Into the Minefield of Genes and Racial Differenceby Arthur AllenThe New York TimesMay 15th, 2014Few areas of science have contributed more to human misery than the study of racial difference. In A Troublesome Inheritance, Nicholas Wade argues that scientists need to get over their hang-ups and jump in.
Desperate for a Baby: Scammed in Global Surrogacy's Newest Frontierby Caroline Cooper, Adam May and Anna ChristiansenAl Jazeera AmericaMay 15th, 2014The prominent international surrogacy agency Planet Hospital is now in bankruptcy and under federal investigation, accused of leaving clients with a pile of bills and no babies.
Free Dolly!by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMay 15th, 2014The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has ruled that cloned animals cannot be patented.
Lawsuit Alleges Unauthorized Publication of Personal Genetics Databy Cyrus FarivarArs TechnicaMay 14th, 2014An Alaska man is the lead plaintiff in a proposed class-action lawsuit against the makers of Family Tree, a Texas-based DNA testing company.
Will the UK Disrupt the Global Consensus against Human Germline Modifications?by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMay 14th, 2014What might be the short and long-term effects on global policy if the UK allows the creation of embryos with permanently altered genetic makeup?
Government Cracks Down on Fake DNA-Based Medicineby Eric Hal SchwartzIn The CapitalMay 13th, 2014The Federal Trade Commission has taken the first steps to quashing the 21st century snake-oil salesmen of direct-to-consumer genetic testing in a settlement finalized Tuesday.
Things to Know When Talking About Race and Geneticsby Agustín FuentesPsychology TodayMay 13th, 2014The assertion that humans are divided into “continental races” and that these lead to differences in genetically based social behaviors is just bad science.
The Genes Made Us Do Itby Jonathan MarksIn These TimesMay 12th, 2014A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History is a paranoid, anti-intellectual screed. According to author Nicholas Wade, scientists are misleading you about race in order to set their own egalitarian political agenda.
Dolly the Sheep’s Clones Deemed Unpatentable by U.S. Courtby Susan DeckerBloombergMay 8th, 2014The Scottish scientists famous for concocting Dolly the sheep lost a bid to get U.S. patent protection for the cloned animal. A court said their creations are just genetic copies of naturally occurring beings.
Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing: a Case of Potential Harmby Nancy FlieslerVectorMay 5th, 2014A case report in Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics provides what may be the first evidence of potential harm caused by errors in test interpretation by a DTC company.
Consumer Gene Tests Face Uncertain Futureby Andrea KissackKQEDMay 5th, 2014Direct-to-consumer genetic testing took a blow last year when the government cracked down on Mountain View company 23andMe. Now, the company is working to be able to offer health information again.
Genome Sequencing: A Costly Way to Saveby Randy ShoreVancouver SunMay 4th, 2014The promise of genome sequencing is letting doctors pick the right cancer drug the first time. But the ability to target specific cancer types is giving rise to new and expensive specialty drugs.
Ending Discrimination in Surrogacy Lawsby Anil MalhotraThe HinduMay 3rd, 2014Recent government meetings on India's draft Assisted Reproductive Technology Bill have resulted in a proposal for significant changes, including restricting surrogacy to “infertile Indian married couples” only.
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.
Hidden Clinical Trial Data about Lupronby Lynne MillicanImpact EthicsMay 2nd, 2014For 25 years, Lynne Millican has been promoting awareness of, and trying to prompt investigations into, the serious problems associated with the drug Lupron.
Advancing the Disability Rights Perspective on Bioethics Issuesby Diane ColemanNot Dead YetMay 2nd, 2014The first ever Disability Rights Leadership Institute on Bioethics drew more than 60 participants.
State Stem Cell Agency Hasn't Lived up to its Hype[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by EditorialSan Francisco ChronicleMay 2nd, 2014How good should California taxpayers feel about the state stem cell institute's use of their $3 billion? The answer is a decidedly mixed one.
Stephen Hawking: 'Transcendence Looks at the Implications of Artificial Intelligence - But are we Taking AI Seriously Enough?'by Stephen Hawking, Stuart Russell, Max Tegmark, Frank WilczekThe IndependentMay 1st, 2014Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history. Unfortunately, it might also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks, says a group of leading scientists.
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.
Parents and Children Deserve Genetic Privacyby Twila BraseUS News & World ReportMay 1st, 2014Newborn screening has many health benefits. But ownership of infant samples and the DNA they carry must not be transferred from newborns to the state.
Transcendence: See it for its Cultural Relevance, Not its Plot Lineby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMay 1st, 2014Transcendence won’t win you over with its dialogue or love scenes, but it’s a great springboard for pondering what quickly approaching developments in artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, and regenerative medicine may actually mean for society.
Former Osiris President Chosen as New CEO at California's Stem Cell Agencyby David JensenCalifornia Stem Cell ReportApril 30th, 2014The new president of the $3 billion research enterprise has a strong private sector background that will become increasingly important as the agency pushes to commercialize.
Stem Cell Revival: The 1990s are BackNew ScientistApril 30th, 2014More than 17 years later, what worked in Dolly the sheep finally appears to be working in humans. But after endless hope, hype and failure, it is hard to feel there is anything brave or new in this line of research.
More Cloning and Even More Eggsby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesApril 30th, 2014For the third time in less than a year, human embryonic stem cells have been derived by cloning, underlining the need to establish federal prohibitions against human reproductive cloning and protections for women who provide their eggs for the research.
Synthetic Criticisms of Real Attempts to Regulate Biologyby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesApril 30th, 2014Richard Lewontin has written an article about synthetic biology for the New York Review of Books. Unfortunately, it’s not very good.
Science’s Shameful Secretby Victoria ParsonsMediumApril 28th, 2014Scientific research drives society forwards. We pay for it with our taxes and it is the gateway for our tomorrows, but there are problems at every step in the way science verifies itself.
Policy: Regulate Embryos Made for Researchby Insoo HyunNatureApril 28th, 2014As technical barriers fall, the United States should adapt existing measures to govern the generation of human embryos for research.
Science Media Centre Spins Pro-GMO Lineby Rebekah WilcePR WatchApril 28th, 2014Though the Science Media Centre calls itself an independent media briefing center, many question its independence from GMO corporations. Now it's headed to the United States.
State Stem Cell Agency’s at a Crossroadsby David JensenThe Sacramento BeeApril 28th, 2014In a few days, the $3 billion California stem cell agency is slated to pick a new president who will oversee what could be the last years of its life.
Why it’s Time to Ditch the Word ‘Revolution’ in Techby Alice BellBBCApril 28th, 2014If there is an idea associated with technology that needs to be ditched, it's that we are, or will be, witnessing a ‘revolution’.
Beyond-DNA Dayby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesApril 25th, 2014With a patent now issued for CRISPR genome-editing technology, and the first gene therapy approved by the FDA, this DNA Day will be remembered not for increased understanding of the human genome, but for increased attempts to change it.
Bracing For A Battle, Vermont Passes GMO Labeling Billby Eliza Barclay and Jeremy BernfeldNPRApril 24th, 2014The Green Mountain State is poised to become the first to require food companies to label products containing genetically modified ingredients.
Guidelines for Finding Genetic Variants Underlying Human Diseaseby Daniel MacArthur and Chris GunterGenomes UnzippedApril 24th, 2014New DNA sequencing technologies are rapidly transforming the diagnosis of rare genetic diseases, but they make it potentially easy for researchers to spin a causal narrative around genetic changes that have nothing to do with disease status.
Invoking ‘Choice’ When Discussing Surrogacy as a Feminist Concern is a Mistakeby Susan Berke Fogel, Francine Coeytaux, Marcy Darnovsky, Lisa Ikemoto, and Judy NorsigianRH Reality CheckApril 23rd, 2014It is troubling to see the vexing question of commercial surrogacy treated as a litmus test for feminists. It can’t be understood in a simplistic pro-choice versus anti-choice framework, or as only a matter of self-determination.
Geneticist Cynthia Kenyon is Heading to Googleby Stephanie M. LeeSan Francisco ChronicleApril 20th, 2014Google's mysterious health venture dedicated to extending human life has quietly lured an acclaimed biochemistry and biophysics professor away from UC San Francisco.
Should the U.S. Prohibit Reproductive Cloning?[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Tim SandleDigital JournalApril 18th, 2014Researchers have produced stem cell lines using somatic cell nuclear transfer, making human reproductive cloning more technically feasible. Is this a good idea?
Scientists Make First Embryo Clones From Adults[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Gautam NaikThe Wall Street JournalApril 17th, 2014Scientists for the first time have cloned cells from two adults to create early-stage embryos, and then derived tissue from those embryos that perfectly matched the DNA of the donors.
Advocates for Children and Childhood Mobilizing on Concerns about GM Babiesby Marcy DarnovskyBiopolitical TimesApril 17th, 2014Concern about "three-person embryo" techniques is growing among advocates for children and childhood.
Doctors Weigh in on So-Called "Designer Babies" Debateby Erin BillupsTime Warner Cable NewsApril 16th, 2014Should scientists be allowed to alter the mitochondria in a mother's egg to produce a healthy baby? NYU Langone Fertility specialist Dr. David Keefe, who helped pioneer the technique, says there are still many lingering questions.
Weighing the Scales on Genetic Informationby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesApril 15th, 2014More people are choosing not to know what’s in their genome and more people are sharing the complexities and challenges of knowing. How can their choices and experiences inform policy?
The Baby Makers: Critics Push for Regulation of India's Booming Surrogacy IndustryABCApril 15th, 2014Candidates are being urged to finally push through legislation to regulate the country's booming commercial surrogacy industry. "The human rights of the surrogates are not being protected," said author and critic Kishwar Desai.
Guarantee Privacy to Ensure Proper Treatmentby Jeremy GruberThe New York Times, Room for DebateApril 14th, 2014As more and more of this personal information becomes public knowledge, it can be bought and sold by any commercial interests interested in predictive information about an individual's future health status.
Conceiving Identities[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Matt McCallThe Columbia ChronicleApril 14th, 2014In spite of my curiosity, today, at age 19, I do not know anything about my biological father. The absence of this data is the result of a series of errors in both federal and professional oversight of sperm and egg donation.
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.
Stocking the Genetic Supermarket: Reproductive Genetic Technologies and Collective Action Problemsby Chris Gyngell and Thomas DouglasWiley Online LibraryApril 10th, 2014Reproductive genetic technologies targeting non-medical traits could lead to collective action problems. Does this risk justify state intervention in the genetic supermarket?
DNA Dreamsby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesApril 9th, 2014The documentary film that explores the inner workings of BGI Shenzhen, “the world’s largest genomics organization,” is now available in full on YouTube.
Fearing Punishment for Bad Genesby Kira PeikoffThe New York TimesApril 7th, 2014People are avoiding genetic testing because of a major omission in the 2008 federal law that bars employers and health insurers from seeking the results of the tests.
Stress Alters Children's Genomesby Jyoti MadhusoodananNatureApril 7th, 2014Growing up in a stressful social environment leaves lasting marks on young chromosomes, a study of African American boys has revealed.
Stop Calling Science a ‘Frontier’ by Leah CeccarelliThe Seattle TimesApril 6th, 2014The notion of a special relationship between Americans and a metaphorical “frontier of science” is troubling because of the historical baggage it subtly imprints on its listeners.
Genetic Inheritance: How Much do you Want to Know?by Stuart JeffriesThe GuardianApril 4th, 2014Scientist Sharon Moalem says we will soon be able to alter our children's lives with genetic manipulation – would you do it if you could?
DARPA Carves Out New Division to Entice Biotech Talentby Kelly ServickScienceApril 3rd, 2014The US Department of Defense is making a concerted grasp at biotechnology. DARPA will consolidate biology research scattered across its existing divisions and possibly expand the arsenal of projects.
Reproductive Justice Advocates: Don’t Roll Back Sterilization Consent Rulesby Deborah ReidRH Reality CheckApril 2nd, 2014Given the historic context and lingering reproductive inequalities involving underserved women, an informed dialogue is a critical first step in any re-evaluation of the Medicaid sterilization consent requirement.
California Bill Tackles Sterilization of Female InmatesAljazeera AmericaApril 2nd, 2014A bill was presented to the California Senate Health Committee that aims to close loopholes that allowed doctors to sterilize hundreds of female inmates without state approval.
Inconvenient Truths About Commercial Surrogacyby Kathleen Sloan and Jennifer LahlTwin CitiesApril 1st, 2014It's time for the shenanigans and propaganda to stop and for the inconvenient truths about commercial surrogacy to be told.
South Dakota Governor Signs Sex-Selective Abortion Banby Teddy WilsonRH Reality CheckMarch 31st, 2014South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed a bill Wednesday to punish any physician in the state who is found to perform sex-selective abortions.
Discriminatory “DNA Sweeps”by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMarch 31st, 2014A DNA sweep of “all black and brown migrant workers” at farms in Canada has led to a complaint against the Ontario Provincial Police department alleging misconduct and racial profiling.
Synthetic Chromosomesby Gregory E. KaebnickBioethics ForumMarch 28th, 2014A team of scientists announced this week that it had successfully created one of the sixteen chromosomes found in yeast cells, marking a meaningful step forward in that part of genetic engineering dubbed synthetic biology.
Surrogacy Births Bill Sails Through House Committeeby Michelle MillhollonThe Advocate [Louisiana]March 27th, 2014The compromise includes criminalizing financial compensation other than medical, legal and travel expenses for the surrogacy.
Texas High School’s “Issues Day” Takes on Human Genetic Engineeringby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMarch 26th, 2014A private San Antonio high school, Saint Mary’s Hall, holds an annual “Issues Day.” The topic this year, chosen by a committee of the junior class, was human genetic engineering.
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.
In Research Involving Genome Analysis, Some See a ‘New Racism’by Paul VoosenThe Chronicle of Higher EducationMarch 24th, 2014Variation among geographic populations is real, but there are no categories of race that segment human populations, and there are no mysterious qualities ‘in the blood’ that justify the belief in racial superiority.
Stem Cell Guidelines Prohibit Research in Many Areas Including Human Germ Line Gene Therapy & Reproductive Cloningby Ramesh ShankarPharmaBizMarch 24th, 2014India's 'National Guidelines for Stem Cell Research' provide ethical and scientific directions to scientists and clinicians.
Hitler’s Favorite American: “Biological Fascism” in the Shadow of New York Cityby Paul MartinSalonMarch 23rd, 2014Eugenicists advocated three ways of dealing with the perceived problem of bad genes: immigration restrictions, the prevention of “unfit” marriages, and involuntary sterilization of “defective” individuals in state care.
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.
Slowing the Rush to Genetically Modified Babiesby Enola AirdMomsRisingMarch 22nd, 2014The United Kingdom is moving closer to allowing scientists to create genetically modified children – something no country in the world currently authorizes.
A Surrogate Storyby Debesh BanerjeeThe Indian ExpressMarch 21st, 2014A documentary shot in Delhi tells of a surrogate mother’s life and the lucrative industry of commercial surrogacy.
Appeals Court OKs California DNA Swabs of Felony ArresteesAssociated PressMarch 20th, 2014A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld California's law requiring people arrested for felonies to submit samples of their DNA to police.
OPP Faces Scrutiny Over DNA Testing Sweep that Brought Racial-Profiling Complaintby Tim AlamenciakThe StarMarch 17th, 2014Ontario’s independent police watchdog says seeking DNA from 100 farm workers whose sole similarity was skin colour raises "the spectre of racial profiling."
Stirring the Simmering “Designer Baby” Potby Thomas H. MurrayScienceMarch 14th, 2014Good ethics begins with good facts, but the effort by the FDA to get the facts straight is just the beginning of the conversation we must have on the wisdom of new reproductive technologies.
Whole Genome Sequencing only Halfway Thereby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMarch 14th, 2014A new report in the Journal of the American Medical Association has found that whole genome sequencing has large hurdles to overcome before it can be integrated into clinical care, but there’s another point to consider: Do we want it there in the first place?
23andMe and the FDAby George J. Annas and Sherman EliasThe New England Journal of MedicineMarch 13th, 2014The debate has been framed as a struggle between medical paternalism and individuals' rights, but that is inappropriate until the diagnostic and prognostic capability of genomic information has been clinically validated.
New Polling Raises Public Safety Concerns About Three Parent Children Proposalsby Press ReleaseCareMarch 13th, 2014A new opinion poll supports the concern that the Government is rushing ahead with its plans to allow the creation of 3-parent children without public support or the necessary safety tests.
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?
Adrienne Asch: A Career at the Intersection of Bioethics and Disability Studiesby Sara BergstresserVoices in BioethicsMarch 12th, 2014Recognizing Adrienne Asch's pioneering work: Remembrances by three people who knew her both professionally and personally.
Time For Law to Protect Egg Donorsby Durgesh Nandan JhaThe Times of IndiaMarch 12th, 2014After the death of an egg provider in Delhi, experts and women's health advocates say women in need of money are at the receiving end of irresponsible medical practices.
In Me We Trust: Public Health, Personalized Medicine, and the Common Goodby Donna DickensonThe Hedgehog ReviewMarch 12th, 2014We should not underestimate the strength of the commercial and biotechnological interests supporting Me Medicine. We need to reclaim biotechnology for the general good and break down the enclosures that threaten to circumscribe the genetic commons.
Sex-Selective Abortion Bans Highlight Faultlines in the Reproductive Rights Movementby Eesha PanditRH Reality CheckMarch 12th, 2014The South Dakota bill that would ban “sex-selective” abortions is a means to an end — the end, of course, being banning all abortions.
Another Legal Setback for Myriadby Kerry GrensThe ScientistMarch 11th, 2014A U.S. District Court judge denied an injunction to stop Myriad Genetics' competitors from selling tests for BRCA mutations because Myriad’s patent claims may not hold up in an ongoing lawsuit.
The Technologists' Siren Songby W. Patrick McCrayThe Chronicle of Higher EducationMarch 10th, 2014The prevailing belief of technologists is that technology is the solution to all problems. It is a view especially attractive to those best positioned to reap the benefits of innovation and avoid its unattractive consequences.
Critiquing the California Stem Cell Story: 'Continuums' vs. Curesby David JensenCalifornia Stem Cell ReportMarch 10th, 2014What cures has the California stem cell agency produced, as was promised during the 2004 ballot campaign that created the state program?
Consider Ethical Questions of 'Designer Babies' by Elizabeth M. MeadeThe Morning CallMarch 10th, 2014The leap from selecting out diseases to selecting out traits you would not want your child to have is very small indeed.
FDA Halts 23andMe Personal Genetic Testsby Marcy Darnovsky and Jessica CussinsMedical Laboratory ObserverMarch 10th, 2014After a series of setbacks, what will the future hold for direct-to-consumer genetic testing?
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?
Three-Parent Babies and Eugenicsby Nathaniel ComfortGenotopiaMarch 6th, 2014The “three-parent baby” is most certainly genetic engineering — it just modifies “cassettes” of genes, if you will, rather than tweaking single genes or nucleotides. It is exactly as eugenic as going through conventional IVF and selecting the traits you want in your offspring.
UK Opens Public Consultation on Draft Regulations to Permit “Three-Person Embryos”by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMarch 6th, 2014The UK Department of Health has released draft regulations and begun a three-month public consultation for what it terms “mitochondrial donation.”
Litany of Unknowns Surface at FDA Meeting on Germline Mitochondrial Techniquesby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMarch 6th, 2014An FDA committee held a historic public meeting last week to discuss the scientific, technologic, and clinical issues related to experimental procedures that would alter the human germline.
The Rent-a-Womb Boomby Adrienne VogtThe Daily BeastMarch 3rd, 2014Who really profits from India’s multimillion-dollar surrogacy industry? Adrienne Vogt explores the uncertain future of the subcontinent’s baby business.
FDA Weighs Unknowns of 3-Person Embryo Fertilization[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Matthew PerroneAssociated PressFebruary 26th, 2014Genetic experts cautioned that it could take decades to confirm the safety of an experimental technique, meant to prevent children from inheriting debilitating diseases, that would create babies from the DNA of three people.
The New Science Of Three-Parent Babies[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Tom AshbrookNPR On PointFebruary 26th, 2014Mixing DNA from three people to produce one healthy baby. We’ll look at the controversial world of mitochondrial manipulation therapies to avoid inherited disease.
GOP Lawmaker: We Need to Ban Sex-Selective Abortions Because of Asian Immigrantsby Molly ReddenMother JonesFebruary 25th, 2014"The racism and the stereotypes and the stigma is laid so bare here," says Miriam Yeung, the director of the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum.
Robert Klein, the California Stem Cell Agency and a $5 Billion Proposalby David JensenCalifornia Stem Cell ReportFebruary 23rd, 2014The California stem cell agency has put a little distance between it and its former chairman who is currently touting a new $5 billion bond measure to rescue the agency from its financial demise.
Genetically Modified Babiesby Marcy DarnovskyThe New York TimesFebruary 23rd, 2014An advisory committee of the Food and Drug Administration is set to consider radical biological procedures that, if successful, would produce genetically modified human beings. This is a dangerous step.
DNA Collection Aids Arrests — But What About Privacy?by Noreen MoustafaAljazeera AmericaFebruary 21st, 2014Privacy advocates warn that warrantless searches of a person’s DNA, especially for misdemeanor arrests, is a slippery slope.
FDA Asked to Approve Creation of Genetically Modified Childrenby Stuart A. NewmanHuffington PostFebruary 20th, 2014The creation of "three-parent babies" has been touted as a relatively trivial tweaking of the reproductive process to enable women with compromised eggs to become genetic mothers of unaffected children. These claims of high impact health benefits from a low-risk procedure cannot be squared with scientific reality.
Opinions about scientific advances blur party-political linesby Matthew Nisbet and Ezra MarkowitzThe ConversationFebruary 19th, 2014We analysed a series of surveys to better understand what the US public thinks about stem cell research and how they formed these opinions, and were able to distinguish between the different factors influencing their beliefs.
Sex Science and Gender Cultureby Katherine XueHarvard MagazineFebruary 19th, 2014In her new book Sex Itself: The Search for Male and Female in the Human Genome, Sarah S. Richardson examines science’s claims to reveal “what is really real about male and female.”
Letter Signed by Hundreds Sent to the FDA: Preserve the global consensus against human germline modificationby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesFebruary 19th, 2014A sign-on letter prepared by the Center for Genetics and Society and the International Center for Technology Assessment has been sent to the FDA in anticipation of next week's discussion of a form of human germline modification.
Osagie K. Obasogie Speaks With Skip Gates About Colorblindness and Race[with CGS's Osagie Obasogie]by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.Oxford University Press's BlogFebruary 18th, 2014No one had done research on race and blindness. The question simply had not been asked, which speaks to the strength of the assumption that race isn’t all that important to blind people.
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.
FDA to Study “Three-Parent Embryos”[Quotes CGS]by Michael CookBioEdgeFebruary 16th, 2014On February 25 and 26 the US Food and Drug Administration will discuss a technique that is a form of human germline modification.
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.
'There is no DNA Test to Prove You're Native American'by Linda GeddesNew ScientistFebruary 13th, 2014DNA testing is changing how Native Americans think about tribal membership. Yet anthropologist Kim Tallbear warns that genetic tests are a blunt tool, and tribal identity not just a matter of blood ties.
Let’s Keep the Door to Biotechnological Eugenics Closed by Enola AirdMomsRisingFebruary 10th, 2014The Food and Drug Administration will hold a public meeting this month to discuss oocyte modification and "three-parent babies." Here are three reasons to forego this kind of experimentation.
The Great Indian Egg Bazaarby Pritha Chatterjee and Mayura JanwalkarThe Indian ExpressFebruary 9th, 2014The death in Delhi has brought the spotlight back on the fast rising but largely unregulated egg donation industry in India, riding on lucrative money and word of mouth.
Myriad Settles Gene Patent Lawsuit Against Texas Firmby Tom HarveyThe Salt Lake TribuneFebruary 7th, 2014Myriad Genetics has reached a settlement with Gene by Gene Ltd. and vows to continue legal battles against other competitors trying to jump into the market.
First Transgenic Monkeys Born Via “Precision Gene Editing”by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesFebruary 6th, 2014Chinese scientists announced the birth of the first primates created with a precision gene modification technique, raising both hopes about new insights into human diseases and concerns about new attempts at human inheritable genetic engineering.
Judges Side with FDA on Stem Cellsby Kerry GrensThe ScientistFebruary 6th, 2014A US federal appeals court maintains that stem cells proliferated in a lab must be regulated as a drug.
The $1,000 Genome: Game Changer or PR Stunt?by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesFebruary 6th, 2014The DNA sequencing company Illumina announced a new product capable of sequencing an entire human genome for under $1,000. What are the hidden costs? What are the implications of reaching this long-awaited benchmark?
Worlds, and Wombs, Collide in Kansas Bill Criminalizing Surrogate Pregnancy Contractsby Patricia J. WilliamsThe NationFebruary 5th, 2014There is danger in turning surrogacy into a sexless crime.
Genetics for the People?by Donna DickensonProject SyndicateFebruary 5th, 2014The rhetoric of personal ownership and control touted by 23andMe hides their flimsy data and actual business plan.
Review: The Big Lie: Motherhood, Feminism, and the Reality of the Biological Clock by Amy Richards, Biopolitical Times guest contributorFebruary 4th, 2014A generational wake-up call directed to those raised to think that medical breakthroughs are always in humanity’s best interest.
On Race, Medicine, and Reproduction: An Interview with Dorothy Robertsby Sophia SeawellBluestockings MagazineFebruary 4th, 2014The idea that social inequality has innate causes is a powerful way of trying to justify an unjust power arrangement.
New Rule Allows Patients to Get Test Results Directly From Labs, Without Doctors’ Clearanceby  Sandhya SomashekharThe Washington PostFebruary 3rd, 2014Patients may obtain their test results directly from the laboratory that produced them, without having to go through their doctors, under regulations announced Monday by the Obama administration.
Global Patent War Looms With Epoch-Making Discovery of STAP Cellsby Tatsuyuki Kobori and Akiyoshi AbeThe Asahi ShimbunFebruary 3rd, 2014Japanese researcher Haruko Obokata's recent breakthrough in the creation of pluripotent stem cells in mice is set to trigger an all-out global patent war.
Ireland Publishes Draft Surrogacy Legislationby Antony Blackburn-StarzaBioNewsFebruary 3rd, 2014The Irish Government has agreed to put forward for consultation proposals for a wide-ranging bill that features provisions on surrogacy and parenthood.
On Race and Medicineby Keith NorrisThe ScientistFebruary 1st, 2014While age and gender are strongly associated with biological differences that may have a significant impact on disease susceptibility and treatment response, the role of race/ethnicity is far less clear.
Why we Should Opt Out of the Government's New Patient Databaseby Edward HockingsThe GuardianJanuary 31st, 2014Medical records in England and Wales will soon be linked to whole-sequenced genomes. Choosing to "opt out" is also taking a stand on what kind of society we want in the future.
Kercher Trial: How Does DNA Contamination Occur?by Melissa HogenboomBBCJanuary 30th, 2014Potential for the contamination of forensic DNA evidence has been highlighted by the Meredith Kercher murder trial. But just how much of a problem is it and what lessons should be drawn?
Stem Cell Timeline: The History of a Medical Sensationby Andy CoghlanNew ScientistJanuary 30th, 2014Human embryonic stem cells have attracted controversy since they were first grown in the lab. This timeline takes you through the ups and downs of the stem cell rollercoaster.
Genetic Determinism: Why we Never Learn — And Why it Mattersby Nathaniel ComfortGenotopiaJanuary 29th, 2014Studying the history of genetics and popularization has led me to the surprising conclusion that genetic oversell is independent of genetic knowledge. We see the same sorts of articles in 2014 as we saw in 1914.
Stanford Consortium Wins $40 Million to Create Stem Cell Genomics Centerby David JensenCalifornia Stem Cell ReportJanuary 29th, 2014Directors of the California stem cell agency have approved a $40 million proposal ultimately targeted at creating medical treatments tailored to a patient's genetic makeup.
Whistle-Blower Breaks his Silenceby David CyranoskiNatureJanuary 28th, 2014A South Korean researcher reveals the fallout he faced after his tip-offs about cloning fraudster Woo Suk Hwang.
How FDA and 23andMe Dance Around Evidence That Is Not Thereby Cecile JanssensHuffington PostJanuary 27th, 2014Almost all former direct-to-consumer genetic testing companies have closed up shop. In the wake of criticism from all sides will 23andMe be next?
The Era Of Genetically-Altered Humans Could Begin This Yearby David DiSalvoForbesJanuary 26th, 2014By the middle of 2014, the prospect of altering DNA to produce a genetically-modified human could move from science fiction to science reality.
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.
[UK] NHS patient data to be made available for sale to drug and insurance firmsby Randeep RameshThe GuardianJanuary 19th, 2014Drug and insurance companies will from later this year be able to buy information on patients – including mental health conditions and diseases such as cancer, as well as smoking and drinking habits – once a single English database of medical data has been created. Harvested from GP and hospital records, medical data covering the entire population will be uploaded to the repository controlled by a new arms-length NHS information centre, starting in March. Never before has the entire medical history of the nation been digitised and stored in one place.
DNA Dreamingby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJanuary 13th, 2014A new documentary looks at the Chinese company that styles itself "the world’s largest genomics organization,” and its hunt for the genetic basis of intelligence.
Chinese Scientists, “Genius Genes,” and the Future of Genomicsby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJanuary 7th, 2014The New Yorker delves into the “biological data mill” that is BGI: the world’s largest, and arguably most controversial, genomics headquarters.
Leaked Files Slam Stem-Cell Therapyby Alison AbbottNatureJanuary 7th, 2014Disclosures and resignations reveal scientific concerns over stem cell treatments conducted by Italy’s Stamina Foundation.
Gene Patent Case Fuels U.S. Court Test of Stem Cell Rightby Susan DeckerBloombergJanuary 5th, 2014As scientists get closer to using embryonic stem cells in new treatments for blindness, spinal cord injuries and heart disease, a U.S. legal debate could determine who profits from that research.
Genetic Testing Sparks Ethics Debate[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]CCTV AmericaJanuary 5th, 2014Mark Niu reports on the ethical debate surrounding genetic testing and the FDA's ruling on 23andMe.
FDA Meeting on Mitochondrial Replacement Rescheduledby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJanuary 3rd, 2014The FDA public meeting to discuss “oocyte modification in assisted reproduction” that was postponed due to the government shutdown in October has now been rescheduled for February 25-26.
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 Biological Inferiority of the Undeserving Poorby Michael B. KatzSocial Work and Society International Online JournalDecember 24th, 2013The biological definition of poverty reinforces the idea of the undeserving poor, which is the oldest theme in post-Enlightenment poverty discourse.
Screening Newborns For Disease Can Leave Families In Limboby Nell GreenfieldboyceNPRDecember 23rd, 2013Patient advocacy groups have been pushing states to adopt mandatory newborn screening for more and more diseases, including ones that have no easy diagnosis or treatment.
The (Unknown) Costs of Private-for-Profit IVFby Alana CattapanImpact EthicsDecember 21st, 2013How much IVF should cost is controversial. What is not controversial is that profits in the range of $14 million and a $1.7 million dollar annual salary are too much.
Past Sperm and Egg Donors Split on Losing Anonymityby Shereen JegtvigReutersDecember 20th, 2013A recent study in Australia found that donors were split on the idea of possible contact from their donor children.
Patient’s Suicide Forces Belated University Investigationby David CyranoskiNatureDecember 19th, 2013Controversy over the death of a patient in an anti-psychotic drug trial at the University of Minnesota has rumbled on for years. An independent investigation may finally begin.
Biopolitical News of the Year 2013by Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesDecember 19th, 2013For better and worse, 2013 has been a year in which several related issues familiar to those who follow human biotechnology moved into the wider sphere of public discussion.
Tania Simoncelli: Gene Patent Foeby Heidi LedfordNatureDecember 18th, 2013A US science policy expert, and former CGS staffer, is one of Nature’s People of the Year.
Selling Tests, Selling Treatments: A Few Reflections on Medical Advertisingby George Estreich, Biopolitical Times guest contributorDecember 18th, 2013The questions raised by the recent New York Times article about aggressive selling of ADD drugs should also be posed to those marketing non-invasive prenatal gene tests.
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.
Ensure That Genetic Tests are Accurate: Our Viewby The Editorial BoardUSA TodayDecember 16th, 2013Opening the door to genetic testing and its potential health benefits is an exciting prospect. But only if the tests are accurate, the interpretations meaningful, and the results understandable.
Professor Plomin Goes to Parliamentby John GillottBioNewsDecember 16th, 2013The House of Commons Education Committee, currently investigating 'underachievement in education of white working class children,' heard about the genetics of children with learning disabilities.
Going Too Far on DNA Searches by The Times editorial boardThe Los Angeles TimesDecember 16th, 2013A ballot measure approved by California voters in 2004 allows police to collect DNA from anyone arrested on suspicion of a felony - before being charged or convicted.
Similar But Not Identical: Study Reveals More About Twins Than About Educationby Steve ConnorIndependentDecember 13th, 2013The headlines this week about a new study of the role of genetics in educational achievement told only part of the story.
The Case for a New Biopoliticsby Marcy DarnovskyYouTubeDecember 11th, 2013A talk at UC Berkeley Extension for Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvouz (LASERs), a national program of evening gatherings that bring artists and scientists together for informal presentations and conversation with an audience.
Utah’s Myriad Genetics Ramps up Gene Patenting Disputeby Tom HarveyThe Salt Lake TribuneDecember 9th, 2013Myriad Genetics is enveloped in a spate of lawsuits over its gene patents, this time sparring with companies that want to erode its dominant position in testing genes related to breast and ovarian cancer.
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.
Virginia Under Renewed Pressure to Give Reparations for Those Sterilized Under State Lawby Fredrick KunkleThe Washington PostDecember 8th, 2013A drumbeat from both the left and the right of the political spectrum has revived outrage over eugenics and 20th-century forcible sterilizations.
Genetic Tester to Stop Providing Data on Health Risksby Andrew PollackThe New York TimesDecember 6th, 2013Bowing to the Food and Drug Administration, 23andMe said it would stop providing consumers with health information while its test undergoes regulatory review.
The California Stem Cell Agency: A Blueprint for Living Without $300 Million a Yearby David JensenCalifornia Stem Cell ReportDecember 5th, 2013The likely future of the $3 billion California stem cell agency is an enterprise no longer tied to state funding and much more closely linked with industry.
Overhaul Recommended for Gene-Therapy Reviewby Erika Check HaydenNatureDecember 5th, 2013A report recommends that the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee should no longer review most gene-transfer research.
Die, Selfish Gene, Dieby David DobbsAeon MagazineDecember 3rd, 2013How vital, really, are actual changes in the genetic code? Do we even need DNA changes to adapt to new environments? Is the importance of the gene as the driver of evolution being overplayed?
The Failed Promise of 23andMeby Robert KlitzmanBloombergDecember 3rd, 2013The FDA should take stronger action to protect consumers from the risks associated with direct-to-consumer testing - especially overpromises about partial testing.
San Diego Woman Sues 23andMe Over DNA Testby Gary RobbinsUT San DiegoDecember 3rd, 2013A class-action lawsuit alleges that 23andMe knowingly misled consumers into thinking that its DNA test kits produce a reliable look at a person’s relative risk for hundreds of diseases and disorders.
Genetic Testing Should Adhere to Medical, Not Business, Ethics: FDA's Regulation of 23andMe Is a Welcome Move for Consumersby Karuna JaggarHuffington PostDecember 1st, 2013The truth is that we still understand very little about how our genes interact with our environment, and our individual choices, to impact our health.
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.
23andMe Is Terrifying, But Not for the Reasons the FDA Thinksby Charles SeifeScientific AmericanNovember 27th, 2013As the FDA frets about the accuracy of 23andMe’s tests, it is missing their true function, and consequently the agency has no clue about the real dangers they pose.
FDA Bans 23andme Personal Genetic Tests[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]BBC NewsNovember 26th, 2013The US Food and Drug Administration has imposed a ban on a company offering personal genetic screening to the general public.
FDA’s Warning to 23andMe is a Welcome Step toward Responsible Oversight, says Center for Genetics and Society [Press statement]November 26th, 2013The US Food and Drug Administration has ordered 23andMe to “immediately discontinue marketing” its direct-to-consumer genetic tests.
F.D.A. Demands a Halt to a DNA Test Kit’s Marketingby Andrew PollackThe New York TimesNovember 25th, 2013The F.D.A. said that 23andMe has failed to provide adequate evidence that its Personal Genome Service provides accurate results.
AquaBounty Facing Environmental Complaint in PanamaThe GuardianNovember 23rd, 2013A company creating GM salmon with the hopes of selling it for human consumption in the U.S. is facing a complaint in Panama alleging that it is in breach of the country’s environmental regulations.
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.
Philanthropy's Original Sinby William A. SchambraThe New AtlantisNovember 15th, 2013For all of philanthropy's wonderful qualities, it's important to understand that the first American foundations were deeply immersed in eugenics — the effort to promote the reproduction of the “fit” and to suppress the reproduction of the “unfit.”
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.
Death-Row Organ Donations Pose Practical, Ethical Hurdlesby Daniella Silva and Tracy ConnorNBC NewsNovember 14th, 2013Ohio's governor has postponed the execution of a child-killer so he can study his offer to donate organs — a proposal that experts say would be a logistical nightmare and an ethical minefield.
Limits Lifted on Number of Twins and Triplets Born Through IVFby Charlie CooperThe IndependentNovember 13th, 2013The UK's IVF regulator announced that clinics will no longer have to ensure that multiple births account for only 10 per cent of their successful cases.
Designing Childrenby Jonathan WebberGenomics Law ReportNovember 12th, 2013Some degree of mastery over the genetic future of the human species seems to be a possibility. For whom and for what does this technology exist?
Weak Statistical Standards Implicated in Scientific Irreproducibilityby Erika Check HaydenNatureNovember 11th, 2013The plague of non-reproducibility in science may be mostly due to scientists’ use of weak statistical tests, as shown by an innovative method developed by a statistician.
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?
Future Past: Disability, Eugenics, & Brave New Worldsby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesNovember 7th, 2013A public symposium held on November 1 at San Francisco State University provided a rare and important opportunity to engage with the historical and ongoing implications of eugenic ideologies and practices for people with disabilities.
NIH Seeks Comments on Plan to Share Genomic Databy Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesNovember 7th, 2013The National Institutes of Health is accepting public comments until November 20 on a draft Genomic Data Sharing Policy that promotes the wide-scale sharing of human and non-human genomic data.
Call for Independent Inquiry of Suicide in Clinical Trial at University of Minnesotaby Jessica CussinsBiopolitcal TimesNovember 6th, 2013Over 170 leading scholars have urged the University of Minnesota to undertake a public, independent investigation of the controversial suicide of psychiatric research subject Dan Markingson.
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?
The Future of the California Stem Cell Agency: Cures, Priorities and Brain Drain by David JensenCalifornia Stem Cell ReportNovember 3rd, 2013The California stem cell agency is nearing the end of its “normal” life span, and the topic of its future comes up with some regularity nowadays within the Golden State's stem cell community.
Designer Babies: Fact or Fiction?[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Franki WebbIPPro Life SciencesOctober 31st, 2013To what extent is 23andMe’s “designer babies” patent scientifically and morally dubious? IPPro speaks to experts about the controversial subject.
Judge Invalidates Patent for a Down Syndrome Testby Andrew PollackThe New York TimesOctober 31st, 2013A federal judge has invalidated the central patent underlying a noninvasive method of detecting Down syndrome in fetuses without the risk of inducing a miscarriage.
Stem Cell Person of the Year 2013: Elena Cattaneoby Paul KnoepflerKnoepfler Lab Stem Cell BlogOctober 30th, 2013Beyond her great achievements in stem cell science, she has a track record of taking important public stands on key issues over the years.
No More Tourist Visa for Commissioning Surrogacy in India: Home MinistryIBN LiveOctober 30th, 2013Foreign nationals intending to visit India for commissioning surrogacy will not be allowed to come on a tourist visa, with the Home Ministry ordering strict adherence of surrogacy laws.
Root of Maths Genius Soughtby Erika Check HaydenNatureOctober 29th, 2013In a study dubbed ‘Project Einstein’, entrepreneur Jonathan Rothberg and physicist Max Tegmark have set their sights on finding the genes that underlie mathematical genius.
‘Ethical Failure’ Leaves One-Quarter of all Clinical Trials Unpublishedby Daniel CresseyNature News BlogOctober 29th, 2013Hundreds of thousands of patients have been exposed to potential harm in clinical trials whose results have yet to be published since their completion nearly five years ago.
Advocating Eugenics in the UK Department of Educationby Pete ShanksHuffington PostOctober 28th, 2013A senior adviser to the UK Secretary of State for Education has provoked a flurry of complaints about his technocratic, effectively eugenic, definitely gene-focused approach to public policy.
Science has Lost its Way, at a Big Cost to Humanityby Michael HiltzikLos Angeles TimesOctober 27th, 2013Scientists at the biotech firm Amgen set out to double-check the results of 53 landmark papers in their fields of cancer research and blood biology. Of the 53, only six could be proved valid.
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 CussinsHuffington PostOctober 24th, 2013Mitochondrial replacement raises one of the thorniest questions humanity will ever face: are we willing to genetically modify future generations of humans?
Biology's Brave New WorldThe Promise and Perils of the Synbio Revolutionby Laurie GarrettForeign AffairsOctober 24th, 2013Synthetic genomics has spawned a dizzying array of new possibilities, challenges, and national security threats. The global bioterrorism and biosecurity establishment remains well behind the curve.
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.
Case Explores Rights of Fetus Versus Motherby Erik EckholmThe New York TimesOctober 23rd, 2013Alicia Beltran was accused of endangering her unborn child because she refused her doctor's order to start an anti-addiction drug. She had already beat the addiction on her own.
FDA Meeting on Germline Mitochondrial Replacement Postponedby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesOctober 22nd, 2013The FDA public meeting to discuss a form of human inheritable genetic modification has been postponed because of the aftermath of the government shutdown; now there is more time to spread the word and get involved.
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.
Health Chiefs Plan to Ban Adverts for Overseas Baby Sex-Selection Tripsby Christy ChoiSouth China Morning PostOctober 20th, 2013Health chiefs are set to slap an advertising ban on Hong Kong businesses that offer medical tourism packages for the growing number of couples who want to choose the sex of their babies.
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.
How Science Goes WrongThe EconomistOctober 19th, 2013Modern scientists are doing too much trusting and not enough verifying — to the detriment of the whole of science, and of humanity.
School Achievement Isn't Just in Your Genesby Steven RoseNew ScientistOctober 18th, 2013Anyone who asserts that educational attainment is in large part inherited needs a lesson in modern genetics, says a professor of biology.
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.
Regulators Weigh Benefits of ‘Three-Parent’ Fertilization[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Erika Check HaydenNatureOctober 15th, 2013Scientists and other critics say mitochondrial replacement carries safety and ethical concerns.
Dominic Cummings may Disagree, but Wealth is Considerably More Heritable than Genesby Polly ToynbeeThe GuardianOctober 14th, 2013His section on genetics implies that human fate is sealed at birth, as the Calvinists and eugenicists thought.
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.
23andMe's 'Build-a-Baby' Patent Criticised[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]BBC NewsOctober 3rd, 2013A US patent for a database that uses DNA testing to tell prospective parents which traits their future offspring may inherit has been criticised by experts.
23andMe's Designer Baby Patent is 'a Serious Mistake,' Critics Charge [Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Karen KaplanLos Angeles TimesOctober 3rd, 2013What’s even more repulsive than the idea of using DNA tests to help people create a designer babies? Getting a patent for the idea.
Genetic Testing to be Easier Under Obamacareby Veronica LinaresUPI.comOctober 2nd, 2013Genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer will be a lot easier under the Affordable Care Act.
Dangerous Workby EditorialNatureOctober 2nd, 2013Behavioural geneticists must tread carefully to prevent their research being misinterpreted.
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.
Scientists Warn Against “Three-Parent IVF” Experimentby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesSeptember 25th, 2013Three evolutionary biologists enumerate a number of scientific studies and methodological shortcomings that have been overlooked in the debate on mitochondrial replacement. Their study has elicited numerous defensive responses, despite bringing important details to bear.
Wealthy Chinese Seek U.S. Surrogates for Second Child, Green Cardby Alexandra HarneyReutersSeptember 23rd, 2013Wealthy Chinese are hiring American women to serve as surrogates for their children, creating a small but growing business in "designer" American babies for China's elite.
Gendercide in the CaucasusThe EconomistSeptember 21st, 2013The practice of aborting female foetuses is found mostly in China and other Asian countries. But it is prevalent in the Caucasus, too. Two new studies look at why—and suggest the practice may spread.
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.
Science: The Religion that Must Not be Questionedby Henry GeeThe GuardianSeptember 19th, 2013It's time for the priesthood to be taken to task – and journalists aren't up to the job.
Still Chasing Ghosts: A New Genetic Methodology Will Not Find the “Missing Heritability”by Evan CharneyIndependent Science NewsSeptember 19th, 2013One of the hopes and promises of the Human Genome Sequencing Project was that it would uncover the supposed “genetic bases” of human behavior. With a few exceptions, however, this search has borne little fruit.
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.
Recent Surrogacy Disputes in Focusby Louisa GhevaertBioNewsSeptember 16th, 2013Surrogacy law and policy differs considerably between countries. Some jurisdictions ban or restrict the practice of surrogacy, whilst others have no legal regulation and some permit it on a commercial basis.
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.
No Point in Testing Controversial Stem Cell Treatment, Italian Panel Saysby Laura MargottiniScienceSeptember 12th, 2013An expert panel of Italian scientists has concluded that a controversial stem cell therapy, a focus of intense public debate, has no scientific foundation.
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.
The Campaign Against Sex-Selective Abortion is a Cynical Effort to Take Choice Away from Pregnant Women by Sarah DitumNewStatesmanSeptember 9th, 2013Sex selective abortion is abhorrent, and it must be prevented. But the Telegraph's campaign against it is part of its long-running attack on abortion provision.
Pro-Choice Feminists Should be More Appalled than Anyone by the Sex-Selection Abortion Storyby Tom ChiversThe TelegraphSeptember 6th, 2013Earlier this year, undercover reporters for this newspaper found that doctors in British clinics were willing to perform abortions on foetuses for no other reason than its sex. Pro-choice feminists need to address this honestly.
Gender Abortions: Criminal Charges Not in 'Public Interest' Says CPSby John Bingham, and Claire NewellThe TelegraphSeptember 4th, 2013UK doctors who agreed to arrange illegal abortions based on the fetus' sex won't face criminal charges, despite prosecutors admitting there is enough evidence to take them to court.
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