|Weighing the Scales on Genetic Information, Biopolitical 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? |
|Conceiving Identities[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky], The 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.|
|DNA Dreams, Biopolitical 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.|
|Discriminatory “DNA Sweeps”, Biopolitical 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 Chromosomes, Bioethics 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. |
|Stirring the Simmering “Designer Baby” Pot, ScienceMarch 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 There, Biopolitical 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 FDA, The 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.|
|Another Legal Setback for Myriad, The 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.|
|When Science Doesn't Have all the Answers, BloomMarch 6th, 2014My son’s rare genetic deletion is on the list of disorders identified by microarray analysis of a fetus’s DNA. It makes me sad to think that the lives of children like my son are being targeted for termination. Is this a step forward?|
|Three-Parent Babies and Eugenics, GenotopiaMarch 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.|
|The Rent-a-Womb Boom, The 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], Associated 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], NPR 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.|
|Genetically Modified Babies, The 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. |
|FDA Asked to Approve Creation of Genetically Modified Children, Huffington 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.|
|Sex Science and Gender Culture, Harvard 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.”|
|The Great Indian Egg Bazaar, The 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.|
|First Transgenic Monkeys Born Via “Precision Gene Editing”, Biopolitical 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.
|The $1,000 Genome: Game Changer or PR Stunt?, Biopolitical 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?
|On Race and Medicine, The 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.|
|Kercher Trial: How Does DNA Contamination Occur?, BBCJanuary 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?|
|[UK] NHS patient data to be made available for sale to drug and insurance firms, The 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 Dreaming, Biopolitical 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. |
|FDA Meeting on Mitochondrial Replacement Rescheduled, Biopolitical 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 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. |
|Biopolitical News of the Year 2013, Biopolitical 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.|
|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.
|Professor Plomin Goes to Parliament, BioNewsDecember 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.|
|The Case for a New Biopolitics, YouTubeDecember 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.|
|Die, Selfish Gene, Die, Aeon 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 23andMe, BloombergDecember 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 Test, UT 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.|
|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.|
|Philanthropy's Original Sin, The 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.”|
|Designing Children, Genomics 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?|
|Future Past: Disability, Eugenics, & Brave New Worlds, Biopolitical 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 Data, Biopolitical 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.|
|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?|
|Root of Maths Genius Sought, NatureOctober 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.
|Biology's Brave New WorldThe Promise and Perils of the Synbio Revolution, Foreign 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.|
|FDA Meeting on Germline Mitochondrial Replacement Postponed, Biopolitical 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 Oracle, SlateOctober 21st, 2013If your DNA is sequenced at birth, how would if affect your life? A new project aims to find out.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.
|Dangerous Work, NatureOctober 2nd, 2013Behavioural geneticists must tread carefully to prevent their research being misinterpreted.|
|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.|
|Scientists Warn Against “Three-Parent IVF” Experiment, Biopolitical 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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|Recent Surrogacy Disputes in Focus, BioNewsSeptember 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.|
|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?|
|Corporate Genetics, Technology ReviewAugust 21st, 2013In June the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that patents on genes were invalid. Yet corporate intellectual-property claims can still harm patients.|
|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. |
|Should Sperm Donors Have Parental Rights?, KQEDAugust 19th, 2013A bill prompted by a custody dispute involving actor Jason Patric would allow certain sperm donors to seek paternity rights. Opponents say it could undercut the rights of same-sex couples and single mothers. |
|US Brain Project Puts Focus on Ethics, NatureAugust 14th, 2013The BRAIN Initiative will develop technologies to understand how the brain’s billions of neurons work together. It could force scientists and society to grapple with a laundry list of ethical issues.|
|Bursting the Neuro-Utopian Bubble, The New York TimesAugust 11th, 2013Could proponents of neuroscience, and in particular of the Brain Initiative, be naïve about the corporate wolves with whom they run, as well as the pristine fantasy that guides the initiative?|
|DTC Monopoly and Me, Biopolitical TimesAugust 6th, 2013A recent study shows yet again that results from different direct-to-consumer genetic testing companies vary. So what will the emerging monopoly of 23andMe mean for accuracy?
|The Fallibility of DNA, The New York TimesJuly 31st, 2013The myth of DNA infallibility has another dimension: when the government warehouses DNA samples on a large scale, we increase the chances that innocent citizens might be arrested and jailed.|
|The Gene For Hubris, GenotopiaJuly 10th, 2013Genetics and reproduction are intensely potent, and wherever we find abuse of power we should be alert to the harnessing of biology in the service of tyranny.|
|Trial and Error, NatureJuly 9th, 2013Italian officials should not go ahead with expensive clinical tests of an unproven stem-cell therapy that has no good scientific basis.|
|Eight Misconceptions about “Three-Parent Babies”, Biopolitical TimesJuly 9th, 2013Amid the talk about “mitochondria replacement” or “three-parent babies," here are the top misconceptions proliferating about the efficacy, safety, public support, and societal implications.|
|Lieber Adoptieren, The EuropeanJune 26th, 2013Die Keimbahntherapie weckt falsche Hoffnungen. Den Nutzen, den sie für eine winzige Minderheit bedeuten könnte, wiege das hohe Risiko keineswegs auf.|
|Myriad Ruling Causes Confusion, NatureJune 18th, 2013The Supreme Court decision ended a long-running, emotionally charged legal challenge to gene patents, but the grey area between this ruling and the court’s second point — that patents can be claimed on modified DNA — has puzzled observers.|
|Supreme Court Strikes Down Gene Patents, Biopolitical TimesJune 13th, 2013The Supreme Court's ruling against Myriad Genetics is a triumph for common sense and the common good, and for scientific research and legal fundamentals as well.|
|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.|
|Pregnant at 60Where there's a uterus, there's a way? , The AtlanticMay 22nd, 2013A look behind the headlines reveals a 35-year landscape of assisted reproductive technologies that continue to fail far more often than is reported, particularly in older women. |
|Cloning-Derived Stem Cells Raise Policy Questions, Biopolitical TimesMay 16th, 2013Yesterday’s announcement that stem cells have been derived from cloned human embryos set off a media flurry, but important questions about reproductive cloning and women’s health were not widely addressed.|
|Cloning, Stem Cells Long Mired In Legislative Gridlock[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky], NPRMay 16th, 2013The news that U.S. scientists have successfully cloned a human embryo seems almost certain to rekindle a political fight that has raged, on and off, since the announcement of the creation of Dolly the sheep in 1997.|
|Talking Biopolitics is Back!, Biopolitical TimesMay 13th, 2013A series of live web-based conversations with cutting-edge thinkers on the social meaning of human biotechnologies will be kicking off next week. RSVP now to join the conversations!
|The Real Problems With Psychiatry, The AtlanticMay 2nd, 2013A psychotherapist contends that the DSM, psychiatry's "bible" that defines all mental illness, is not scientific but a product of unscrupulous politics and bureaucracy.|
|Earth Day in Biopolitics, Biopolitical TimesApril 22nd, 2013In honor of Earth Day, let’s hope for a move away from “greenwashed” PR stunts and techno-fixes toward conservation, sustainability, and social responsibility.|
|Can Human Genes Be Patented?, ScienceApril 17th, 2013The question has been debated for years but not addressed directly by the U.S. Supreme Court—until this week. The decision, expected later this year and from which there is no appeal, could have an impact on hundreds of companies and thousands of researchers.|