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About Genetic Selection

Genetic selection procedures are done either on fetuses, through prenatal screening, or on embryos that are outside a woman’s body, through Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD).

PGD tests embryos for the presence of genetic sequences linked to a variety of conditions and characteristics. A cell is extracted from an embryo at its eight-cell stage and analyzed. Embryos with the selected characteristics can be implanted in a woman's uterus to develop into a child. The procedure does not appear to affect embryos’ or fetuses’ subsequent development, though more follow-up studies of children born after PGD are needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Arguments Pro & Con

PGD was developed to allow couples at risk of passing on a serious genetic disease to have children not affected by it. Since its introduction in 1990, it has been most widely used to prevent the birth of children with conditions such as Down's syndrome, Tay-Sachs disease, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell, Huntington's chorea, and Cooley's anemia.

However, PGD is increasingly being used for other reasons. These include social sex selection, creating “savior siblings” who can provide bone marrow or other transplant tissues to sick older siblings, and selecting against embryos with genes correlated with late-onset and non-fatal conditions. Some clinics have even offered the technique for purely cosmetic traits including eye color, hair color, and skin complexion.

A newer variation of PGD, called Preimplantation Genetic Haplotyping, allows for many more genes to be tested, and for greater accuracy.

Many disability rights advocates, in particular, have been critical of PGD and prenatal screening. They point out that the definition of "disease" is to some extent subjective. Most support women’s right to decide whether or not to have a child at a given time, but are critical of basing this decision on the traits of the particular embryo or fetus.

F.D.A. Targets Inaccurate Medical Tests, Citing Dangers and Costsby Robert PearThe New York TimesNovember 23rd, 2015Inaccurate, unreliable medical tests are prompting abortions, unnecessary surgeries, putting tens of thousands of people on unneeded drugs and raising medical costs.
Scientists may soon be able to 'cut and paste' DNA to cure deadly diseases and design perfect babiesby Tanya LewisBusiness InsiderNovember 19th, 2015CRISPR gene editing tools are being proposed for a wide range of uses, many of which pose risks to ecological systems and human society.
CRISPR Gene Editing: Proofreaders and Undo Buttons, but Ever "Safe" Enough?by Elliot Hosman, Biopolitical TimesNovember 19th, 2015Recent trends include research reports of "spellcheck" and "undo" functions associated with CRISPR gene editing, and a shift toward greater caution about germline applications.
Gene Therapy: Comeback? Cost-Prohibitive?by Elliot Hosman, Biopolitical TimesNovember 19th, 2015Recent CRISPR news sometimes confuses germline modification - which should be put off limits - and gene therapy, which presents its own set of social and ethical risks to resolve before rushing to market.
Gene Manipulation In Human Embryos Provokes Ethical Questions: This controversial new research could have some serious, long-term societal implications. [Video][With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]
Gene Manipulation In Human Embryos Provokes Ethical Questions[cites CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Rahel GebreyesHuffPost LiveNovember 17th, 2015CGS's Marcy Darnovsky discusses the social implications of leveraging CRISPR gene editing tools to pursue enhanced children.
Gene therapies offer dramatic promise but shocking costsby Carolyn Y. Johnson & Brady DennisThe Washington PostNovember 11th, 2015Researchers have partially restored a patient's vision by targeting a gene associated with Leber's congenital amaurosis, but the treatment could cost $500,000 per eye.
Powerful 'Gene Drive' Can Quickly Change an Entire Speciesby Rob SteinNPRNovember 5th, 2015Scientists are creating insects genetically engineered to produce only certain types of offspring. Uncertainty about environmental effects is causing widespread and serious concern.
CRISPR Gene Editing to Be Tested on People by 2017, Says Editasby Antonio RegaladoMIT Technology ReviewNovember 5th, 2015The test, to treat a rare form of blindness, would likely be the first to use CRISPR to directly edit the DNA of a person.
Everything you need to know about why CRISPR is such a hot technology[cites CGS]by Dominic BasultoThe Washington PostNovember 4th, 2015Venture capital is responding to the hype surrounding new genetic engineering tools, but many are concerned by the controversial proposition of genetically modifying new humans.
Would you edit your unborn child’s genes so they were successful?by Mairi LevittThe GuardianNovember 3rd, 2015A parent’s desire to do the best for their child could create problems.
Genetic testing evolves, along with health and ethics debatesby Michael HiltzikLos Angeles TimesOctober 30th, 2015The FDA approved 23andMe to provide carrier tests, turning the personal genomics service into a direct-to-consumer family-planning tool, but without the genetic counselor to explain carrier status risks.
Would you take a genetic test that could lay bare your destiny?by Rowan HooperNew ScientistOctober 29th, 2015Plaques and Tangles, a play now at the Royal Court in London, takes on issues of personal genomics, carrier status testing, and Alzheimer's, asking: "Are we architects of our own destiny or prisoners of our genes?"
Genetic Surveillance: Consumer Genomics and DNA Forensicsby Elliot Hosman, Biopolitical TimesOctober 29th, 2015As more biotech companies move to “cash in on the genome,” we need to connect the conversations on personal genomics, DNA forensics, immigration, and biological discrimination.
Human Gene Editing Frequently Asked QuestionsOctober 29th, 2015Should we as a society condone the genetic modification of future human beings? Here we take on some common questions about gene editing the human germline.
NAS Human Gene Editing Meeting: Agenda & Public Participationby Paul KnoepflerThe NicheOctober 26th, 2015The National Academies have released a draft agenda for the upcoming summit on human gene editing.
Making Indigenous Peoples Equal Partners in Gene Researchby Ed YongThe AtlanticOctober 23rd, 2015After leaving a partnership with NIH in 2003, the Akimel O’odham (Pima) tribe is retaining control of their bio samples and shaping the goals of a diabetes project with genomic researchers.
Cops Want To Look At 23andMe Customers’ DNAby Stephanie M. LeeBuzzFeedOctober 21st, 2015The FBI and other agencies have asked for — and been denied — five users’ data, according to a new transparency report on the company's website, and chain of custody could be a legal obstacle for future requests.
23andMe Will Resume Giving Users Health Databy Andrew PollackThe New York TimesOctober 21st, 2015Two years after a forced hiatus from providing consumers with genetic health probabilities, the FDA has cleared 23andMe to provide carrier status and lactose intolerance tests.
What's Your DNA Worth? The Scramble to Cash In On The Genome[cites CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Alex LashXconomyOctober 20th, 2015Vast pools of genomic data may unlock health secrets, but what is the risk of "sharing" our data for biotech corporate profits, and is it greater than the nebulous future rewards?
Expanding Notions of Discrimination: Genetic Information & Competitive Sportsby Craig KlugmanBioethics.netOctober 16th, 2015The International Olympic Committee has new hormonal guidelines to segregate athletes into two competitive sex categories.
The CRISPR Germline Debate: Closed to the Public?by Elliot HosmanBiopolitical TimesOctober 15th, 2015Recent CRISPR media coverage focuses on hype rather than engaging the ethical and social implications of the groundbreaking technology—even as many call for public inclusion in the genome editing debate.
After Asilomarby EditorialNature NewsOctober 14th, 2015Scientist-led conferences are no longer the best way to resolve debates on controversial research, and scientists who wish to self-regulate ignore public outcry at their peril.
A Tale of Do-It-Yourself Gene Therapyby Antonio RegaladoMIT Technology ReviewOctober 14th, 2015An American biotech CEO of BioViva claims she is the first to undergo gene therapy to reverse aging, participating in an experiment that intentionally avoided approval processes.
[Nepal] Gendercideby Geha Nath KhanalKathmandu PostOctober 13th, 2015Sex-selective abortion has increased in Nepal. From 2007-10, 742 girls were born for every 1,000 boys.
Where in the world could the first CRISPR baby be born?by Heidi LedfordNature NewsOctober 13th, 2015Nature surveys the legal landscape of 12 countries with well-funded biological research and finds variety of bans on human genome editing in research or reproduction.
Ancestry.com is talking to the FDA about using DNA to estimate people's risk of diseaseby Arielle Duhaime-RossThe VergeOctober 12th, 2015After the FDA regulated 23andMe, another big player in the personal genomics business who has focused on genetic ancestry is looking to merge into providing lucrative health information.
First 'in womb' stem cell trial to beginby James GallagherBBCOctober 12th, 2015A UK clinical trial injecting fetal stem cells into babies still in the womb will attempt to lessen symptoms of an incurable brittle bone diseases.
Video Review: Talking Biopolitics[cites CGS and CGS fellow Lisa Ikemoto]by Rebecca DimondBioNewsOctober 12th, 2015George Annas spoke with Lisa Ikemoto about his new book on genomic medicine and genetic testing.
Next-Generation Prenatal Genetic Tests Are Turning Fate Into Choiceby Michael WhitePacific StandardOctober 9th, 2015The new tests mean that many more women are grappling with the decision of whether to continue or end a pregnancy based on genetic information.
Gay or Straight? Saliva Test Can Predict Male Sexual Orientationby Jessica HamzelouNew ScientistOctober 8th, 2015Many scientists have expressed caution over the results, and concerns over potential misuse have led the lead researcher to quit the project entirely.
Genes can’t be patented, rules Australia’s High Courtby Michael SlezakNew ScientistOctober 7th, 2015The decision is considered stronger than the similar one by the US Supreme Court.
UNESCO Calls for More Regulations on Genome Editing, DTC Genetic Testingby StaffGenomeWebOctober 6th, 2015The organization's International Bioethics Committee reaffirms its support for a moratorium on modifying the human germline.
Gene-edited 'micropigs' to be sold as pets at Chinese instituteby David CyranoskiNature NewsSeptember 29th, 2015Originally designed as models for testing expensive drugs in smaller quantities, the pigs are now being marketed as customizable pets.
Scientists Find Gene Editing with CRISPR Hard to Resist[quotes Marcy Darnovsky and Pete Shanks]by Cameron ScottHealthlineSeptember 29th, 2015CRISPR is so cheap and easy to use, we may be genetically engineering human embryos before we have time to decide if we should.
Why Some Parents Choose to Have a Deaf Babyby Rich WordsworthMotherboardSeptember 29th, 2015Some deaf parents ask, "What’s wrong with being deaf, anyway? I’m happy to be who I am."
Limits of Responsibility: Genome Editing, Asilomar, and the Politics of Deliberationby J. Benjamin HurlbutHastings Center ReportSeptember 28th, 2015What justifies the notion that CRISPR has caught us off guard or that it is appropriate for experts to retreat into secluded spaces to define the parameters of public debate?
Born that way? ‘Scientific’ racism is creeping back into our thinking. Here’s what to watch out for.by W. Carson Byrd & Matthew W. HugheyWashington PostSeptember 28th, 2015Recent studies show the media and white communities embracing the idea of racial genetic differences, twisting history and circumventing effective policy strategies.
Can 23andMe have it all?by Kelly ServickScienceSeptember 25th, 2015The company has made about 30 deals with biotech and pharma companies, and plans to hire 25 scientists in the next year to begin drug discovery efforts of its own.
New CRISPR Protein Slices through Genomes, Patent Problemsby Antonio RegaladoMIT Technology ReviewSeptember 25th, 2015With patent rights and Nobel Prize announcements pending, the Broad Institute's Feng Zhang reports the development of a new CRISPR gene editing enzyme.
What If Tinder Showed Your IQ?by Dalton ConleyNautilusSeptember 24th, 2015Hypothetical scenarios from a future in which human genetic engineering is pervasive.
British scientists seek to edit the genes of embryos; bioethicists warn of potential dangers[cites CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Ariana Eunjung ChaWashington PostSeptember 18th, 2015In a "troubling and provocative move," UK researchers have applied to genetically modify human embryos, short-circuiting a nascent international conversation.
Center for Genetics and Society comments on First Application to Pursue Genome Editing Research in Human Embryos[Press statement]September 18th, 2015"If scientists and the regulatory agency in the UK are serious about responsible use of powerful new gene altering technologies, they won't be rushing ahead in ways that could open the door to genetically modified humans."
Stem Cell Experts Support Using CRISPR In Human Embryosby Steph YinPopular ScienceSeptember 10th, 2015Bioethicist Art Caplan responds that "human embryo work is interesting, but to me it should be completely theoretical. We don’t know what we’re doing yet."
Genetic testing firms in China happy to sell your DNA secretsby Staff ReporterWant China TimesSeptember 10th, 2015As 23andMe strikes a slew of pharma and biotech deals, it's an open secret that sequencing companies can't make money on tests, but rely on the value of big bio data to drug developers.
GM embryos 'essential', says reportby James GallagherBBCSeptember 10th, 2015A stem cell consortium issues a statement advocating for germline gene editing of human embryos, and that GM babies may be "morally acceptable" under some circumstances in the future.
In Its Focus on Genetics and Race, Global Newspaper Coverage of Athletics is Far from “Post-Racial”by Matthew W. Hughey & Devon R. Goss USAPP Blog [London School of Economics and Political Science]September 10th, 2015A study of English-language newspaper articles about race, sport, and genetics finds a sharp reemergence of scientific racism.
Why there’s an urgent need for a moratorium on gene editingby Vivek WadhwaWashington PostSeptember 8th, 2015Changing human DNA creates a frightening ethical grey zone; no one is prepared for an era when editing DNA is as easy as editing a Microsoft Word document.
The Rhetorical Two-Step: Steven Pinker, CRISPR, and Disabilityby George Estreich, Biopolitical Times guest contributorSeptember 4th, 2015Steven Pinker’s invitation for bioethics to “get out of the way” of the CRISPR revolution typifies a rhetorical pattern: uncritical support for human-focused biotech is paired with a negative view of disability.
Calls for IVF laws to be changed to take advantage of gene editing technique by Steve ConnorThe IndependentSeptember 2nd, 2015A statement by medical research funders in the UK suggests that benefits of modifying the human germ-line could outweigh the ethical objections.
Banning Abortion for Down Syndrome: Legal or Ethical Justification? by Bonnie SteinbockHastings Center Bioethics ForumAugust 26th, 2015Instead of passing an unenforceable and unconstitutional law, Ohio should devote its time to ensuring that all people with disabilities, Down syndrome or otherwise, get the resources and services they need.
Court: $50M verdict in Seattle-area ‘wrongful birth’ doesn't shock the conscienceby Levi PulkkinenSeattlePIAugust 26th, 2015A Washington appeals court upheld a $50 million verdict in favor of a couple whose son was born with severe birth defects that should have been spotted by genetic testing.
CRISPR: The Latest Biotech Hypeby Anne Fausto-SterlingBoston ReviewAugust 24th, 2015What began with an attempt to build a better yogurt now has journalists speculating about Brave New World scenarios, but the bio-hype relies on a false model of genetic determinism.
Ohio Bill Would Ban Abortion if Down Syndrome Is Reasonby Tamar LewinThe New York TimesAugust 22nd, 2015The legislature is expected to approve the measure. Gov. John Kasich, a Republican who is running for president, opposes abortion but has not yet taken a position on this bill.
Conversation with Kelly Hills: Human Genetic Modification & Bioethicsby Paul KnoepflerKnoepfler Lab Stem Cell BlogAugust 20th, 2015“It can be very tempting, when `doing science,’ to merely think about the pieces in front of you: I’m swapping out broken DNA for something better! But…how do we define broken? How do we define better?”
Fertility Clinics Let You Select Your Baby’s Sexby Sumathi ReddyThe Wall Street Journal“Family balancing” can become a smoke screen for families who want boys. Nonmedical sex selection is legal in only a few countries, including the US; medical organizations are split on the issue.
It's Time for an Uncomfortable Discussion about What it Really Means to Engineer a 'Better Baby'[Australia] by Kevin LoriaBusiness Insider [Australia]August 13th, 2015“Humans have more flaws than we know what to do with ... One of them is that we don’t know what it would mean to make a better baby.”
Stars, Bars, and Embryosby Emma ManiereBiopolitical TimesJuly 28th, 2015Controversies about the confederate flag and prenatal genetic testing are far more complex than "choice" and "intent" suggest.
Slipping Into Eugenics? Nathaniel Comfort on the History Behind CRISPRby Elliot HosmanBiopolitical TimesJuly 23rd, 2015A historian unravels the social and political context of genetic research and eugenics in the United States.
This Company Is Trying To Make More Perfect Babiesby Azeen GhorayshiBuzzFeedJuly 12th, 2015As startup GenePeeks partners with a fertility clinic to screen egg donors for nearly 450 genetic changes linked to disease, critics worry about an emerging market for designer babies.
Eliminating Intersex Babies Is not a Legitimate Use of Genetic Embryo Testingby Celeste OrrThe GuardianJuly 11th, 2015Using preimplantation genetic diagnosis to select against embryos with culturally devalued bodies, like intersex people and people with disabilities, is simply a contemporary example of eugenics.
Ethics of Gene Editing[with CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Betty RollinKQED Religion & Ethics NewsweeklyJuly 2nd, 2015Marcy Darnovsky of the Center for Genetics and Society discusses possible consequences of human germline gene editing for future generations.
Pre-Implantation Diagnosis to be Allowedby Jeannie WurzSwissInfo [Switzerland]June 14th, 2015About 62% of Swiss voters have said yes to genetic screening of embryos before implantation in a woman’s uterus.
The Bioethics of Genetic Diversityby Xavier SymonsBioEdgeJune 6th, 2015The ethical issues surrounding the protection of genetic variation in a population are examined.
CIRM Pursues “Prudent Path” Forward with Genome Editing Technologiesby Jonathan ThomasThe Stem CellarJune 1st, 2015CIRM Board Chair Jonathan Thomas will convene a public workshop on genome editing technologies this November.
Reframing "De-extinction" by Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesMay 28th, 2015Beth Shapiro is advocating for a new definition of "de-extinction" that stresses the ecological niche over genetic identity. She envisages using novel creatures to change entire ecologies.
Academies Wrestle with Germline Editing[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Alex PhilippidisGenetic Engineering & Biotechnology NewsMay 27th, 2015“We need many Asilomar-type meetings" and participants should include "both scholars and non-scholars — people from public interest organizations of different kinds, labor unions, community groups, and church groups."
Let’s Talk About the Ethics of Germline Modificationby Gregor WolbringImpact EthicsMay 27th, 2015We need clarity about where the public discussion should take place, what exactly it should focus on, and who should participate.
Public Polling on Human Genetic Modification: Mixed, but Favor Moratoriumby Paul KnoepflerKnoepfler Lab Stem Cell BlogMay 23rd, 2015The results make a case for more inclusion of the public in the dialogue on the use of gene editing in humans.
Eugenics Lurk in the Shadow of CRISPRby Robert PollackScienceMay 22nd, 2015This opening to germline modification is, simply put, the opening of a return to the agenda of eugenics: the positive selection of “good” versions of the human genome and the weeding out of “bad” versions.
Why We Need To Talk Now About The Brave New World Of Editing Genesby Carey GoldbergWBURMay 22nd, 2015Suddenly, it’s no longer purely science fiction that humankind will have the ability to tinker with its own gene pool. But should it?
The New Ethical Frontier: DIY Eugenicsby Michael CookMercatorNetMay 21st, 2015A disruptive technology promises both medical advances and moral controversy.
US 'Will Not Fund Research For Modifying Embryo DNA'[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by James GallagherBBCApril 30th, 2015Modifying the DNA of embryos is a "line that should not be crossed", a leading figure in US research says.
Statement on NIH Funding of Research Using Gene-Editing Technologies in Human Embryosby Francis CollinsNational Institute of HealthApril 29th, 2015There are unquantifiable safety issues, ethical issues presented by altering the germline in a way that affects the next generation without their consent, and a current lack of compelling medical applications justifying the use of CRISPR/Cas9 in embryos.
CRISPR Patent Fight Now a Winner-Take-All Matchby Antonio RegaladoMIT Technology ReviewApril 15th, 2015Lab notebooks could determine who was first to invent a revolutionary gene-editing technology.
Masters of our Future: Genetic Tweaking with Mitochondrial Donationby Max GorynskiShout Out UKApril 14th, 2015It raises a question that itself provokes as much awe as anxiety: can we really modify our nature, and to what end?
Genome Editing: Time to Ask the Tough Questionsby Silvia CamporesiThe Huffington PostApril 14th, 2015It is a bit disheartening that we seem not to have made any progress when it comes to governing science in 40 years, and that we refer to Asilomar as the exemplar of practice of governing science.
Panel discussion on the Ethical and Social Policy Considerations of Novel Techniques for Prevention of Maternal Transmission of Mitochondrial DNA Diseases (March/April 2015) [VIDEO][With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]
Genetic Engineering, Humankind Creeps Toward A 'Planet Of The Apes' by Laurent AlexandreWorld CrunchApril 7th, 2015The astounding developments in nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive science are posing problems that we thought only existed in science fiction.
Human Genetic Engineering Demands more than a Moratoriumby Sheila Jasanoff, J. Benjamin Hurlbut and Krishanu SahaThe GuardianApril 7th, 2015Expert calls for a moratorium on germline gene engineering are no substitute for richer public debate on the ethics and politics of our biotechnological futures.
Why is the Scientific World Abuzz about an Unpublished Paper? Because it Could Permanently Change Human DNAby Ashley CsanadyNational PostApril 6th, 2015Scientists around the world are anticipating the results of a Chinese study that would mark the first time DNA in a human embryo has been modified in a way that would carry into future generations.
Who Owns CRISPR?by Jenny RoodThe ScientistApril 3rd, 2015“The technology seems so powerful, the technology seems so profitable, and the intellectual property issues seem so irreconcilable that it’s a big mystery as to what’s going to happen.”
Who’s Getting Rich Off Your Genes?by Patricia J. WilliamsThe NationApril 3rd, 2015The post-war aversion to eugenics — the understanding that despite great variability from one human to another, no one life is worth more than another — has eroded.
Doudna’s Caribou Bio Raises $11M To Expand Uses For Gene Editing Techby Bernadette TanseyXconomyApril 2nd, 2015The money will help the company speed up its efforts to adapt a versatile genome editing technique for uses including drug research and development, and industrial technology.
Mini Enzyme Moves Gene Editing Closer to the Clinicby Heidi LedfordNature NewsApril 1st, 2015The discovery expands the potential CRISPR toolbox for treating genetic diseases in humans.
Genome Editing Poses Ethical Problems that we Cannot Ignoreby Anthony Wrigley and Ainsley NewsonThe ConversationMarch 31st, 2015With great power comes great responsibility – and few subjects elicit such heated debates about moral rights and wrongs.
Strategy: Lines in the Sandby C. Simone FishburnBioCenturyMarch 26th, 2015With some researchers calling for restraint on the use of gene editing while ground rules are laid, schisms are already surfacing on whether there's any case to be made for using the technology in human germline cells.
Lisa Ikemoto Guest Piece on Human Germline Genetic Modificationby Lisa C. IkemotoKnoepfler Lab Stem Cell BlogMarch 23rd, 2015The call for a moratorium is as much a game changer as the technology itself. It creates an opportunity for research transparency and open exchange between the scientific community and the lay public.
Public interest group condemns human germline modification efforts, supports research moratorium, calls for US prohibition[Press Statement]March 19th, 2015We're at a watershed moment in determining whether human genetic technologies will be used in the public interest and for the common good, or in ways that are dangerous and socially pernicious.
Engineering the Perfect Babyby Antonio RegaladoMIT Technology ReviewMarch 5th, 2015Scientists are developing ways to edit the DNA of tomorrow’s children. Should they stop before it’s too late?
FDA Regulation and Early Prenatal Testingby George Estreich, Biopolitical Times guest contributorFebruary 5th, 2015The information that accompanies prenatal testing should be accurate, complete, useful, and most of all nondirective. The ads for early prenatal tests do not meet these criteria.
'Designer Babies' Debate Should Start, Scientists Sayby James GallagherBBC NewsJanuary 18th, 2015New gene editing techniques make "designer babies" more feasible, but that does not mean it's inevitably the way we have to go as a society.
The Future of Conceptionby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJanuary 8th, 2015Numerous writers took advantage of the ending year to look broadly at just how drastically we are changing the process of baby-making, and what it all means for society.
2014 in Biomedicine: Rewriting DNA, Decoding the Brain, and a GMO Paradoxby Antonio RegaladoMIT Technology ReviewDecember 30th, 2014From genetically modified foods to gene therapy, 2014 was a big year for rewriting biology.
Cell Free DNA Screening is not a Simple Blood TestSociety for Maternal Fetal MedicineDecember 18th, 2014By its very nature, a screening test does not tell with 100% certainty whether or not a fetus will be affected by a given disorder.
Prenatal Tests: Oversold and Misunderstoodby George Estreich, Biopolitical Times guest contributorDecember 16th, 2014A scathing investigative report on the accuracy of noninvasive prenatal testing is likely to shift the terms of this important conversation.
Yesterday's War; Tomorrow's Technology by Nicholas G. Evans and Jonathan D. MorenoJournal of Law and the BiosciencesDecember 15th, 2014What's wrong with the prospect of the US military using genetic screening and germline genetic engineering to select or "enhance" soldiers?
CRISPR Opportunities ... For What? And for Whom?by Pete ShanksHuffington PostDecember 10th, 2014Money and deals are flowing into companies that promise to edit genes. Human, animal, plant, all kinds of DNA may be on the cutting board.
Commercialisation and the Moral Obligation to Create 'Designer' Babiesby John GallowayBioNewsDecember 8th, 2014Julian Savulescu made the case for a new 'eugenics', without ever using the word, at Progress Educational Trust's 2014 annual conference.
Couple Spends $50K to Choose Baby's Sex, Shining Light on Trend[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Beth GreenfieldYahooDecember 5th, 2014What if a boy wants to write poetry? What if a girl wants to play basketball? Not wear dresses? Announce that she’s transgender?
Extinct Species Should Stay Extinctby Ben A. MinteerCenter for Humans and NatureDecember 1st, 2014How far should we go to bring back lost species?
When Making Babies Goes High Tech: A Future Tense Event Recap[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Ariel BogleSlateNovember 24th, 2014From pre-implantation genetic screening to exo-wombs, these changes could even evolve our most basic notions of family and society.
Why Worry About Genetically Modified Babies?by Marcy Darnovsky and Jessica CussinsGeneWatchNovember 24th, 2014The terms "genetically modified babies" and "designer babies" are attention-getters. But beyond the catchy sound bites, what do they really mean - and are they something we need to worry about?
Breaking from our Eugenic Pastby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesNovember 13th, 2014As the victims of North Carolina's eugenics program finally receive compensation, we should not celebrate "the new eugenics" as some have argued, but learn carefully from this history.
Could Genomics Revive The Eugenics Movement?by Meredith SalisburyForbesNovember 8th, 2014There was a time when people in America were sterilized, sometimes unwittingly, by activists aiming to create a healthier, “better” population. As the progress of genomics accelerates, we need to remember the lessons of the past.
North Carolina Compensates Victims of Eugenic Sterilization[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Lily LouThe GuilfordianNovember 7th, 2014The drive behind these sterilizations was the eugenics movement: the pseudoscience of improving a society’s gene pool through reducing populations of people with negative traits.
Geneticists Tap Human Knockoutsby Ewen CallawayNature NewsOctober 29th, 2014Sequenced genomes reveal mutations that disable single genes and can point to new drugs.
Genetic Testing for Alzheimer’s — Without Revealing the Resultsby Shirley S. WangThe Wall Street JournalOctober 13th, 2014Doctors are devising new ways to shield patients from information about their odds for developing inherited disease as genetic testing becomes more common.
Eugenics: The Academy's Complicityby Nathaniel Adam Tobias ColemanTimes Higher EducationOctober 9th, 2014The University of London will face up to its complicity in constructing unjust racial hierarchy, 110 years to the day that the university legitimised Francis Galton's research on eugenics.
Reproducing Raceby Dov FoxThe Huffington PostOctober 6th, 2014It is troubling for donor services to accentuate race in ways that invite parents to exclude wholesale from their consideration all donors of a particular race.
The Troubling Persistence of Eugenicist Thought in Modern America by Michael Brendan DoughertyThe WeekSeptember 30th, 2014We no longer talk of "unfit" children, but we'll still destroy them in the name of quality of life.
A New Generation of GMOsby Josie GarthwaiteEnsiaSeptember 18th, 2014Is synthetic biology on its way to our farms, markets and tables?
Shame and Scandal in the 23andMe Familyby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesSeptember 17th, 2014In response to its problems with the FDA and news about family traumas triggered by its tests' "close relatives" option, 23andMe is hiring new executives, including a Chief Privacy Officer.
“Evolution right now is in the marketplace”by Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesSeptember 11th, 2014George Church is as outrageous as ever, while both transhumanist ideas and concerns about increasing inequality are receiving more attention.
A Manifesto for Playing God with Human Evolutionby Carl ElliottNew ScientistSeptember 8th, 2014Fancy living forever, or uploading your mind to the net? The Proactionary Imperative embraces transhumanist dreams, but reminds why we need medical ethics.
Disability Will Never Be Immoral by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesAugust 29th, 2014Prenatal genetic testing can be a valuable tool, but it provides strikingly limited data. Events of this summer, including the abandonment of Baby Gammy and shockingly intolerant comments from Richard Dawkins, speak to the risk of conflating one type of information with a broader reality.
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.
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.
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."
Advancing the Disability Rights Perspective on Bioethics Issuesby Marcy DarnovskyBiopolitical TimesJune 26th, 2014Reproductive technologies were on the agenda of the first-ever Disability Rights Leadership Institute on Bioethics.
Quantified and Analyzed, Before the First Breathby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJune 26th, 2014Could whole genome sequencing in utero ever become the norm? Should it?
For One Baby, Life Begins with Genome Revealedby Antonio RegaladoMIT Technology ReviewJune 13th, 2014A professional blogger says sequencing his son in utero “was more cool than practical.” He did it to show where technology is headed and because he likes “pushing the envelope.”
Genetic Information is Irrelevant to Most People's Care[Press Release]GeneWatch UKJune 4th, 2014"Plans to sequence everybody's genomes in the NHS are driven by commercial interests and are not in the public interest," said Dr Helen Wallace of GeneWatch UK.
Making Babiesby Alexis C. MadrigalThe AtlanticMay 21st, 2014Some guesses about how the future may change what’s involved in making a person—from the ease of getting pregnant, to the mechanics of procreation, to our very definition of family.
NIPS SPINby Robert RestaThe DNA ExchangeApril 21st, 2014Every few years a new screening technology comes zooming down the prenatal pike, sometimes arriving more quickly than we might like. The latest iteration – Non-Invasive Prenatal Screening – stands head and shoulders above the rest.
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?
Meet your unborn child – before it's even conceived[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Catherine de LangeNew ScientistApril 9th, 2014A service that creates digital embryos by virtually mixing two people's DNA will allow parents to screen out genetic disorders – and perhaps much more.
Editorial: Genome editing for allNature BiotechnologyApril 8th, 2014CRISPR-Cas is about to transform how we interrogate genetic variants and model disease.
Startup Offering DNA Screening of 'Hypothetical Babies' Raises Fears Over Designer Children[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Catherine de LangeThe GuardianApril 5th, 2014Anne Morriss and Lee Silver are about to launch a company called Genepeeks that uses the DNA of sperm donors and recipients to create "virtual babies."
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?
A Disturbing Trend: Conscience Clauses Threaten Genetic Counselingby Alex SternHuffington PostApril 2nd, 2014Conscience clauses place genetic counselors in an untenable predicament: State laws and hospital directives are in conflict with professional ethics and best practices.
A Disturbing Trend: Conscience Clauses Threaten Genetic Counselingby Alex SternHuffPostApril 2nd, 2014Genetic counselors are increasingly being officially recognized and licensed, but some states are imposing "conscience clauses" that in practice may conflict with their professional ethics.
Breast Cancer Genes and Patient Protection in an Era of Personalized Medicineby Karuna JaggarHuffington PostMarch 20th, 2014Genetic testing is often heralded as a cornerstone of personalized medicine, but progress has lagged while persistent medical, ethical and scientific issues abound.
Can You Pass the (Deoxyribonucleic) Acid Test?[with CGS's Pete Shanks]Center for Environmental HealthMarch 17th, 2014Discussion with Kira Peikoff, Dr. David Ng, Dr. Stuart Newman, and Pete Shanks on 23andMe, direct-to-consumer genetic testing, epigenetics, and GMO humans.
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.
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.
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?
Is Genetic Testing Humans Playing God?by Robert KlitzmanCNNFebruary 22nd, 2014Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis allows doctors to test embryos before they are implanted into a woman's womb, to help ensure that certain gene mutations are not passed on. But this procedure is raising myriad complex ethical and social issues.
Old Songs, New Tests, and Expensive Childrenby George Estreich, Biopolitical Times guest contributorFebruary 20th, 2014The CEO of AOL justified a restructuring of the company’s 401(K) plan by citing two "distressed babies." This tone-deaf insensitivity was answered by a disapproving choir, but it sadly resembles too many descriptions of the "cost" of people with disabilities.
To Catch a Killer Gene: Sisters Race to Stop Mystery Disease[Quotes CGS's Osagie K. Obasogie]by Tony DokoupilNBC NewsFebruary 6th, 2014This story of a family banding together to stop a disease before it cuts a path through society illustrates the promise of genomic medicine, but also the soul-troubling questions that arise when people have a hand in their own evolution.
Right on target: New era of fast genetic engineeringby Colin BarrasNew ScientistJanuary 27th, 2014If we ever decide to genetically modify people, this is the tool to do it with.
Is genius in the genes?by Steven RoseTESJanuary 24th, 2014The debate about genes and intelligence has resurfaced, and it’s more fervent than ever. Can achievement truly be inherited? Should education be tailored to individuals’ genetic potential?
A Chinese Prodigy's Quest For The Genetic Roots Of Geniusby Ursula GauthierWorldcrunchJanuary 22nd, 2014Zhao Bowen’s mission is to sequence the genome of prodigies like himself to find the genetic roots of genius.
Building the Better Babyby Craig KlugmanBioethics.netJanuary 21st, 2014BGI, the Chinese company, is hoping that it will soon be able to offer parents an option like that in GATTACA — choosing the “smartest” embryo.
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.
Google, Tell Me. Is My Son a Genius?by Seth Stephens-DavidowitzNew York TimesJanuary 18th, 2014Google searches suggest that American parents are far more likely to want their boys smart and their girls skinny. Among those looking for information on sex selection, there is about a 10 percent preference for boys.
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.
Non-Invasive Method Devised to Sequence DNA of Human Eggsby Erika Check HaydenNatureDecember 19th, 2013Scientists have begun a clinical trial to test whether a new DNA-sequencing technique for human egg cells can improve in vitro fertilization success rates.
New Ways to Engineer the Germlineby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesDecember 18th, 2013A look at a number of emerging techniques that could compromise the international consensus against human inheritable genetic modification.
23andMe's Troubles: The Spat over Spit by Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesDecember 5th, 2013First a warning letter from the FDA, then a class action lawsuit. What's next for Google-backed 23andMe, the only direct-to-consumer genetic testing company still in the game?
What Huxley Knewby J. P. HarpigniesLetter to the New York TimesNovember 24th, 2013Huxley’s assembly-line baby factories were an exaggeration, but it’s a mistake to dismiss too quickly his fears about the genetic manipulation of the species.
Adrienne Asch, Bioethicist and Pioneer in Disability Studies, Dies at 67by Margalit FoxThe New York TimesNovember 23rd, 2013Adrienne Asch, an internationally known bioethicist who opposed the use of prenatal testing and abortion to select children free of disabilities, died on Nov. 19 at her home in Manhattan.
Company Patenting Tech for Designing Babies[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by John FowlerKTVUNovember 20th, 2013Biotechnology may give parents unprecedented choices. Fertility clinics already use pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to select traits for some in-vitro babies, but intentional manipulation might create ethical nightmares.
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?
You Can't Predict Destiny by Designing Your Baby's Genomeby Megan Allyse and Marsha MichieThe Wall Street JournalNovember 8th, 2013New genetic and reproductive techniques will only reveal that human life is too multifaceted to be reduced to a mathematical formula.
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.
Future Past: Disability, Eugenics, & Brave New Worldsby Jessica CussinsNovember 7th, 2013The public symposium Future Past: Disability, Eugenics, & Brave New Worlds, held on November 1 at San Francisco State University, provided a rare and important opportunity to engage with the history and ongoing implications of eugenic ideologies and practices for people with disabilities.
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.
Are We Too Close to Making Gattaca a Reality?by Ferris JabrScientific AmericanOctober 28th, 2013An era of market-based eugenics would exterminate any lingering notions of meritocracy. But that could never happen this side of the silver screen, right?
The Science And Ethics Of Personal Genetic Testing[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Diane RehmThe Diane Rehm ShowOctober 28th, 2013Direct-to-consumer gene tests now cost just a few hundred dollars. A panel of experts discusses the science and ethics of personal genetic testing.
A Former IVF Baby on "Three-Parent IVF"by Jessica CussinsThe Huffington PostOctober 24th, 2013Mitochondrial replacement raises one of the thorniest questions humanity will ever face: are we willing to genetically modify future generations of humans?
New Tests, Same Old Bias and Misinformationby Rachel AdamsThe Huffington PostOctober 21st, 2013October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month, so the timing of a lazy and poorly researched New York Times piece on prenatal screening was particularly unfortunate.
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.
Company Seeks to Make Sperm Banks Saferby Carolyn Y. JohnsonThe Boston GlobeOctober 14th, 2013A new company will test a woman’s DNA and the genes of potential sperm donors to produce a personalized list that strikes out donors who may be a bad match for about 600 genetic childhood diseases.
Proposed Treatment To Fix Genetic Diseases Raises Ethical Issues[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Rob SteinNPROctober 9th, 2013The FDA will consider whether to allow scientists to take a controversial step: make changes in some of the genetic material in a woman's egg that would be passed down through generations.
The Arlene Bynon Show[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Arlene BynonThe Arlene Bynon ShowOctober 7th, 2013Marcy Darnovsky discusses 23andMe's recent "designer baby" patent with on a national affairs program broadcast on SiriusXM.
My Problem with "Taboo" Behavioral Genetics? The Science Stinks!by John HorganScientific AmericanOctober 4th, 2013Last spring, I kicked up a kerfuffle by proposing that research on race and intelligence, given its potential for exacerbating discrimination, should be banned. Now Nature has expanded this debate with "Taboo Genetics."
Three parent babies 'incompatible with human dignity'by Nick CollinsThe Telegraph [UK]October 4th, 2013A group of 34 European politicians has signed a declaration attacking plans that would make the UK the first country in the world to permit the technique.
23andMe Says It's Not (Now) in the Designer Baby Businessby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesOctober 4th, 2013The direct-to-consumer genetic testing company was awarded a patent for "gamete donor selection based on genetic calculations," but now says it has no intention of using the technology.
Center for Genetics and Society Calls on 23andMe to Disavow “Designer Babies”: Controversial New Patent Raises Critical Questions [Press statement]October 2nd, 201323andMe's new patent is an irresponsible step that amounts to shopping for designer donors in an effort to produce designer babies.
[VIDEO] Debating Embryonic Genetic Testing[With CGS Advisory Board member Francine Coeytaux]The DoctorsOctober 1st, 2013New genetic tests, including Next Generation Sequencing, can radically improve the odds of a healthy, full term pregnancy … but where do we draw the line? Hear more from The Doctors.
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.
On Designer Babiesby Sheldon KrimskyTufts Medicine, Summer 2013It is unimaginable that any humane society would permit a human trial of genetic modification where the potential risks so outweigh the social benefits.
At the End of the Slippery Slope: Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam Trilogyby George Estreich, Biopolitical Times guest contributorSeptember 24th, 2013Atwood says her trilogy "invents nothing we haven’t already invented or started to invent" — suggesting that though her work is fiction and not a tract, she also intends to do far more than entertain.
Ethical Minefield of Parents in Controlby Neil McMahonThe Sydney Morning HeraldSeptember 14th, 2013Designer babies - their gender, personality traits and skin color chosen by genetic testing - are a looming reality. But are we ready to confront this minefield of ethics?
Is Individuality the Savior of Eugenics?by Nathaniel ComfortScientific AmericanAugust 23rd, 2013Once defined as “the science of human improvement through better breeding,” eugenics has roared back into the headlines in recent weeks in both Mr. Hyde and Dr. Jekyll personae.
Edge of the Map: An Experiment in Science and in Theaterby Alice WexlerUCLA Center for the Study of WomenAugust 6th, 2013A group of Harvard students created a theater piece called Edge of the Map, a collage based on real-life and invented scenarios involving ethical and social dilemmas in genetics.
Is Eugenics Ever Okay?by Nathaniel ComfortGenotopiaJuly 26th, 2013Recognizing that we are grasping the reins of human evolution as fast as we can raises two sets of concerns. First, “What if it doesn’t work?” Second, "What if it does?"
Made With Loveby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJuly 22nd, 2013The first baby has been born following “next generation genetic sequencing” of IVF embryos. What are the implications?
In Search of Fair Babies, Indians Chase Caucasian Donors for IVFby Shobita DharThe Times of IndiaJuly 21st, 2013Mayuri Singhal married into a fair-skinned family. When she couldn't conceive, she walked into an IVF clinic with her demand: a 'white' baby.
The Ethics of Three-Genetic-Parent Embryos[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Margaret SomervilleOttawa CitizenJuly 17th, 2013The human germline must be held on trust as the common heritage of humankind, no matter how much good we believe we could do by altering it.
Designer Babies are on the Horizon but Aren't Here Yet by EditorialNew ScientistJuly 10th, 2013IVF is inexorably opening the door to a future where parents can choose desirable traits in their children.
'Designer Babies': The Ultimate Privileged Elite?by Heather LongGuardianJuly 9th, 2013A US baby born via IVF and genetically screened could open the door to wealthy parents selecting for ideal traits in their kids.
Eight Misconceptions about “Three-Parent Babies”by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical 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.
A Slippery Slope to Human Germline Modificationby Marcy DarnovskyNatureJuly 9th, 2013The United Kingdom’s decision to trial the technique of mitochondrial replacement is premature and ill-conceived.
First Baby Born After Full Genetic Screening of Embryos by Linda GeddesNew ScientistJuly 8th, 2013"There is the potential for getting an unprecedented amount of information about an embryo before it's transferred to the womb. We need to be very careful that this isn't used for trivial, non-medical reasons."
The Rise of a New Eugenicsby Lloyd Lewis and Julie ReiskinDenver PostJuly 4th, 2013Non-invasive prenatal testing technology is dangerously ahead of society's understanding of people who have Down syndrome.
Three Person IVFby Paula BoddingtonPractical EthicsJune 29th, 2013Unfortunately, this debate, like so many others in announcements of developing science and technology related to health in general and genetics in particular, is marred by hype and by urgency.
Three Parent Baby[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]KPIX HealthWatchJune 27th, 2013Mitochondrial replacement would create "three parent babies," and could be attempted in humans soon, but carries risks to the child and broad societal consequences.
Public Interest Group Urges UK Government Not to Break International Consensus Against Inheritable Genetic Modification[Press statement]June 27th, 2013That the UK may move toward permitting mitochondrial replacement is particularly disturbing when the safety is very much in doubt, when its usefulness is dubious, and when the claim of public support is highly misleading at best.
Powerful Gene-Editing Tool Appears to Cause Off-Target Mutations in Human Cellsby Massachusetts General HospitalScience CodexJune 23rd, 2013A team of researchers has found a significant limitation to the use of a group of synthetic proteins, which had generated great excitement in the scientific community as a gene-editing tool.
U.S. Approves a Label for Meat From Animals Fed a Diet Free of Gene-Modified Productsby Stephanie StromThe New York TimesJune 20th, 2013The Agriculture Department has approved a label for meat and liquid egg products that includes a claim about the absence of genetically engineered products.
The Bleak New World of Prenatal Geneticsby Marcy Darnovsky and Alexandra Minna SternThe Wall Street JournalJune 12th, 2013Like so many other powerful technologies, fetal gene tests must be used with caution and care.
Quest for 'Genius Babies'?by Colleen FlahertyInside Higher EdMay 29th, 2013Controversy about a cognitive genomics project raises concerns that a new generation of eugenicists may be coming of age.
“World's First GM Babies Born”: 12-Year-Old Article Continues to Cause Confusionby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesApril 25th, 2013An undated Daily Mail article that is actually over a decade old continues to spread misinformation about human genetic modification.
The Baby Blueprint [VIDEO][With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]Al Jazeera EnglishApril 22nd, 2013Would you choose your child's genetic potential? Live debate with Marcy Darnovsky, Stuart Newman, Julian Savulescu, and Nita Farahany.
Lord Robert Winston Warning Over Child ‘Eugenics’ by Lyndsay BucklandScotsmanApril 11th, 2013A leading fertility expert warns that reproductive technologies could enable a form of eugenics with serious implications for the individuals involved and society in general.
Three-Parent Children in UK Possible After HFEA Report[Quotes the Center for Genetics and Society]by Michael CookBioEdgeApril 6th, 2013The UK fertility regulator's report to the government misrepresented its own findings about public opinion.
Tough Calls on Prenatal Tests by Christopher WeaverWall Street JournalApril 3rd, 2013New prenatal gene tests are reshaping care for expectant mothers, but their rapid rollout has raised fears that poorly understood results could lead to confusion among patients and doctors.
Are Parents Entitled To Create A Dream Child? [VIDEO][With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]HuffPost LiveMarch 29th, 2013What if science allowed prospective parents to create smarter and healthier babies? This idea is just as exciting as it is alarming, but is it realistic? Should it be?
GM Crops Evil, GM Children OK?by Chris BennettWestern Farm PressMarch 27th, 2013China is surging ahead with a research project aimed at identifying millions of genetic variations in order to boost intelligence.
HealthWatch: Britain Considers Allowing Babies From 3 Parents [Video][With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Kim MulvihillCBS San FranciscoMarch 20th, 2013Britain's fertility regulator says it has found broad public support for in vitro fertilization techniques that allow babies to be created with DNA from three people for couples at risk of passing on potentially fatal genetic diseases.
Three-Person IVF Moves Closer in UKby James GallagherBBC NewsMarch 20th, 2013The UK has moved closer to becoming the first country to allow the creation of babies from three people.
Eugenics Fear Over Gene Modification[Letter to the Editor]by David King et al.The GuardianMarch 15th, 2013The benefits of mitochondrial replacement are heavily outweighed by the risks to the child and to society.
Experiments with Inheritable Genetic Modificationby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMarch 13th, 2013A developmental biologist looks carefully at research on mitochondria replacement that would be an experimental form of human inheritable genetic modification.
The British Embryo Authority and the Chamber of Eugenicsby Stuart A. NewmanHuffington PostMarch 11th, 2013Mitochondria replacement would be a misuse of technology with clear potential for individual and social harms.
Major Grocer to Label Foods With Gene-Modified Contentby Stephanie StromThe New York TimesMarch 8th, 2013Whole Foods Market will become the first US retailer to require labeling of all genetically modified foods sold in its stores, a move that some experts said could radically alter the food industry.
GM Babies?by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMarch 5th, 2013A debate about genetically engineered babies is hijacked by slick rhetoric.
Meet the New Eugenics, Same as the Old Eugenicsby Gina Maranto, Biopolitical Times guest contributorBiopolitical TimesMarch 4th, 2013According to a new wave of eugenic advocacy, “we” have a “moral obligation” to enhance future generations.
"Genius Genes" to be Named in Three Months, Says Chinese "Wunderkind"by Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesFebruary 20th, 2013BGI, the Chinese gene-sequencing behemoth, is working with Stephen Hsu and Robert Plomin in an attempt to identify genes for intelligence.
How Soon Is Now? Prenatal Tests Racing from Theory to Practice by Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesFebruary 5th, 2013The rapid development and deployment of non-invasive prenatal genetic tests may be outstripping the ability of society to respond to them.
Interview with George Church: Can Neanderthals Be Brought Back from the Dead?by Philip Bethge and Johann GrolleDer SpiegelJanuary 18th, 2013The English translation of the interview in which George Church of Harvard University explains how genetic technology and synthetic biology might permit the creation of a Neanderthal-like clone that could be gestated by a woman.
Fetal Genome Screening Could Prove TragicScientific AmericanJanuary 18th, 2013Parents will soon be able to have their fetus' genes mapped. Without proper guidance, they might decide to end the pregnancy based on a misguided reading of the genetic tea leaves.
"Adventurous Female Human" Needed to Give Birth to NeandertalGenome WebJanuary 17th, 2013Harvard's George Church on recreating Neandertals, engineering humans to live to 120, making people resistant to viruses, and exchanging DNA with other species.
A Rebuttal to Mark Lynas’ GMO Reversalby Jason MarkEarth Island JournalJanuary 11th, 2013Organic farmer, writer, and environmental policy advocate delves into Lynas' rationale for turning pro-GMO and finds scientific, environmental, economic, and social reasons not to agree.
Eric Hoffman on a Very Discreet Newcomer: Synthetic Biologyby Eric HoffmanA World of ScienceJanuary 11th, 2013An interview on the dangers of synthetic biology published in UNESCO's Natural Sciences Sector's quarterly journal.
Biotech's 10 Biggest PR Disasters of 2012GMWatchDecember 31st, 20122012 was the year the lights came up on the biotech industry. Its claims, its tactics and its products all came under scrutiny and some of its biggest PR fairytales bit the dust. Here are some prime examples.
Brave New Cells?by Donna DickensonProject SyndicateDecember 29th, 2012Supporters of mitochondria replacement neglect a crucial factor in the debate: the techniques being developed involve permanent genetic alterations passed on to future generations.
FDA Moves Closer to Approval of GMO Fish, Critics Outragedby Carey GillamReutersDecember 21st, 2012A controversial genetically engineered salmon has moved a step closer to the consumer's dining table after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said the fish didn't appear likely to pose a threat.
Year of the Fetusby Beth Marie MoleThe ScientistDecember 18th, 20122012 saw the introduction of a handful of non-invasive genetic prenatal tests, but the young industry faces growing pains as legal and ethical questions loom.
Anatomy of a Webpage: A Peek into a Possible Genetic Futureby George Estreich, Biopolitical Times guest contributorDecember 11th, 2012A biotech start-up wants to use a "proprietary algorithm" to provide information about hypothetical children.
New Business Plans for the Direct-to-Consumer Gene Testing Industry? by Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesDecember 9th, 2012The direct-to-consumer gene testing industry is still evolving, and searching for ways to profit.
Genome Sequencing For Babies Brings Knowledge And Conflictsby Rob SteinNPRDecember 3rd, 2012Sequencing an individual's genome at birth would enable doctors to screen for far more genetic conditions than they do now, but what do parents do with all the information?
Embryos for Sale: When You Want Them, How You Want Them, or Your Money Backby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesNovember 28th, 2012A California fertility clinic is using “desirable” sperm and eggs to create batches of embryos that it then splits among multiple infertile couples.
Selecting Against Disease[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Urmila RamakrishnanFin MagazineNovember 26th, 2012Although we may not have control over the end of the world, genetic counseling and selection will give us power to manipulate the quality and extent of individual lives.
Mitochondria Replacement Would Forever Alter the Human Germline. Do You Want a Say? by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesNovember 15th, 2012The Center for Genetics and Society has sent a letter strongly recommending against changing the United Kingdom law that – like those in dozens of other countries – prohibits procedures that would alter the genes we pass on to our children.
Anatomy of a Webpage, Part 3: Selling “Peace of Mind”by George Estreich, Biopolitical Times guest contributorNovember 13th, 2012New developments in prenatal tests are triggering aggressive - and often misleading - marketing. Thankfully, there are signs of push-back from a society that is learning that people are more than their syndromes.
Of Yeast Genes and Tinker Toysby Abby Lippman, Biopolitical Times guest contributorOctober 31st, 2012A recently published paper sounds a serious warning to those who want to tinker around with human genes.
Genetic Breakthrough at OHSU[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Allison FrostOregon Public RadioOctober 29th, 2012Researchers in Oregon have created a viable human embryo by combining genetic material from two women's eggs, raising safety and ethical questions.
Geneticists Breach Ethical Taboo By Changing Genes Across Generations[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Rob SteinNPROctober 24th, 2012Geneticists reported Wednesday that they had crossed a threshold long considered off-limits: They have made changes in human DNA that can be passed down from one generation to the next.
Anatomy of a Webpage, Part 2: Preconception Servicesby George Estreich, Biopolitical Times guest contributorOctober 17th, 2012People living with genetic diseases become medicalized abstractions of risk and defect in the slick marketing of fetal gene tests. More than a matter of semantics, such simplification has negative consequences for all.
We are More Than the Sum of our Genesby Stella YoungRamp UpOctober 9th, 2012As a disabled feminist, I'm often asked about my views on medical procedures like pre-natal screening and preimplantation genetic diagnosis.
New Director's Experience a Plus for MSU, but his Controversial Views Concern Someby Matthew MillerLansing State JournalOctober 6th, 2012The newly appointed vice president of research at Michigan State University holds controversial views about genes and intelligence.
Prenatal Test Presents Dilemmas to Expectant Mothersby Maureen SalamonUS NewsSeptember 28th, 2012Some women label information about fetal chromosomal abnormalities "toxic knowledge" they wish they hadn't received, a small new study shows.
Anatomy of a Webpage: Marketing Fetal Gene Tests and Sequenom’s MaterniT21by George EstreichBiopolitical Times guest contributorSeptember 24th, 2012In the age of genomics, whole-chromosome conditions are only the beginning. Our ability to sample fetal DNA from maternal blood means that not only Down syndrome, but before long any condition with a genetic component, any “risk,” can be forecast.
More Questions on Fetal Gene Testsby Osagie ObasogieBiopolitical TimesSeptember 20th, 2012Harriet Washington considers the anxiety and dilemmas that new prenatal testing may bring.
How To Buy A Daughter[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky] HuffPost LiveSeptember 18th, 2012Gender selection procedures make up a $100 million per year industry. But are women embracing a new reproductive freedom or paying for risky, high-tech eugenics?
How To Buy a Daughter: Choosing the sex of your baby has become a multimillion-dollar industry[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Jasmeet SidhuSlateSeptember 14th, 2012The US is one of the few countries that allows preimplantation genetic diagnosis for prenatal sex selection, which could have negative consequences for parents and children alike.
Bioethicist Pushes Us Toward Our Eugenic Dutyby Anna Hamilton, Biopolitical Times Guest ContributorSeptember 6th, 2012A professor of ethics takes his campaign for "breeding better babies" to the Reader's Digest.
Health Ministry to Expand Pregnant Women's Genetic Testing Subsidies by Yaron KelnerYNet NewsAugust 31st, 2012A new initiative in Israel will subsidize advanced genetic testing for pregnant women, providing prenatal diagnosis of genetic abnormalities.
European Rights Court Raps Italy on Embryo Screeningby Gilbert ReilhacReutersAugust 28th, 2012The European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday that Italy violated the rights of a couple carrying cystic fibrosis by preventing them from screening in vitro fertilization embryos.
British Couples Flying to US For Banned Baby Sex Selectionby  Stephen AdamsTelegraph [UK]August 28th, 2012Dozens of couples are flying to the US every year to choose the sex of their babies, a practice banned in Britain three years ago.
Synthetic 'Upgrade' for Fruit Fly's DNA by Linda GeddesNew ScientistAugust 13th, 2012The genetic code of the fruit fly Drosophila has been hacked into, allowing it to make proteins with properties that don't exist in the natural world.
As Prices for Prenatal Genome Sequencing Tests Fall, Researchers Worry About Consequences for Families in a Real-Life 'Gattaca' by Makini BriceMedical DailyAugust 13th, 2012Genome sequencing of fetuses would drastically increase the volume and scope of prenatal data, but its meaning would be unclear.
Researcher Accused of Misleading Pregnant Women by Sara ReardonNew ScientistAugust 9th, 2012A doctor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine has been prescribing a controversial drug to pregnant women to treat a rare genetic disorder in female fetuses.
Clinical Trial Is Favorable for a Prenatal Gene Testby Andrew PollackThe New York TimesAugust 8th, 2012A new method of prenatal testing that can detect more genetic problems in a fetus than ever before could be headed toward wider use after encouraging results from a clinical trial.
Changes for India’s ART Industry?by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesAugust 6th, 2012The recent death of a surrogate in India, along with new information about the 2010 death of a 17-year-old who had repeatedly sold her eggs, have built support for regulation of assisted reproduction. A draft bill would provide some safeguards, but Indian women’s health advocates say other provisions “leave much to be desired.”
Rolling the Dice of a Genetic Legacyby Ellen Painter DollarThe New York TimesJuly 20th, 2012A mother with brittle bone disease chooses to accept that risk for her children.
More Couples Seek to Select Child Gender / 90 Couples Went to Thailand for Diagnosis in '12by The Yomiuri ShimbunThe Daily Yomiuri July 17th, 2012At least 90 Japanese couples have traveled to Thailand to receive preimplantation diagnosis for sex selection purposes this year, a procedure not allowed in Japan.
India Suspends Doctors Over Banned Fetal 'Sex Tests'Daily NewsJuly 17th, 2012Twelve Indian doctors have been suspended for allegedly conducting prenatal sex tests, a practice banned to stop the abortion of female fetuses that has widened India's gender gap.
Euroscience Open Forum 2012: DNA Gene Testing 'Will Screen Out Lovers'by Telegraph ReportersThe TelegraphJuly 13th, 2012A British professor has suggested that couples will soon be able to choose their life partner solely based on the compatibility of their genes instead of through love.
Conflict Potential Seen in Genetic Counselorsby Andrew PollackNew York TimesJuly 13th, 2012Is it ethical for genetic counselors, who advise patients on whether to undergo testing, to be paid by the companies that perform the tests?
One of Five Million: Contemplating Fertility Treatment and Embryo Selectionby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJuly 12th, 2012Five million people have been born using in vitro fertilization. Though the technology has become safer and less expensive, it warrants attention because of the open door it provides for embryo selection.
Fetal Genome Blood Test: Lots of Issues, Scientists Sayby Rosie MestelLos Angeles TimesJuly 6th, 2012The ability to extract the fetal genome from the blood of the mother raises a plethora of new ethical concerns.
Couples Use IVF to Pick Genesby Julia MedewThe AgeJuly 3rd, 2012Fertile women with genes that predispose them to breast and ovarian cancers are using preimplantation genetic diagnosis to select embryos without the genes.
Fetal Tests Spur Legal BattleA newborn industry based on non-invasive genetic testing turns combativeby Erika Check HaydenNatureJune 27th, 2012Genetic tests that analyze fetal DNA from a pregnant woman's blood are arriving in a rush. Their commercialization has already spurred a tangled legal battle.
Judge Says Montana Parents Can Sue Over Lack of Genetic Testingby The Associated PressGreat Falls TribuneJune 21st, 2012A Montana couple who say they would have aborted their pregnancy if they knew the child would be born with cystic fibrosis are suing their healthcare providers for not conducting a more thorough genetic screening.
Designer Babies in Popular Cultureby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJune 21st, 2012The Whitest Kids U’Know’s comedic parody of genetic counseling is reminiscent of a similar scene in GATTACA.
Nuffield Council Gives Green Light to the Prevention of Inherited Mitochondrial Diseaseby Antony Blackburn-StarzaBioNewsJune 12th, 2012The UK-based Nuffield Council on Bioethics has declared that the benefits of new techniques which aim to prevent the transmission of faulty mtDNA from mother to child outweigh any risks.
Genetic Screening of Unborn Babies 'May be Inaccurate'by Nick CollinsThe Telegraph (UK)June 7th, 2012The blood test that may be used to routinely screen foetuses for more than 3,000 genetic conditions raises "many ethical questions" and is not a clear indicator of how severe a disability may be.
UW Researchers Map DNA of Fetus from Mom's Blood[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Sandi DoughtonThe Seattle TimesJune 6th, 2012Researchers have mapped the entire genome of an 18-week old fetus using only a blood sample from the mother and a saliva sample from the father.
DNA Blueprint for Fetus Built Using Tests of Parents[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Andrew PollackThe New York TimesJune 6th, 2012Using only a blood sample from the pregnant woman and a saliva specimen from the father, researchers explain that “Our capacity to generate data is outstripping our ability to interpret it in ways that are useful to physicians and patients.”
Gene Test Results to Be Passed on Without Consentby Anna PattySydney Morning HeraldMay 30th, 2012If passed, a new law in the Australian state of New South Wales would require doctors to inform a patient's close relatives of genetic dispositions towards specific diseases, even if the patient wishes to keep the information private.
Genomic Medicine Stumbles Forwardby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesMay 29th, 2012Recent reports that all of us have large numbers of rare genetic variants complicate the prospects for therapies.
The Real Chen Guangcheng Story: Forced Abortion, Eugenics, and the One-Child Policyby Daniel SharpBiopolitical TimesMay 16th, 2012Amidst focus on the domestic and international political aspects of the Chen Guangcheng affair, the media have missed the real issue: forced abortion and forced sterilization in China.
Will Gattaca Come True?[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Mara HvistendahlSlateApril 27th, 2012Noninvasive, early fetal tests for sex, paternity, and chromosomal conditions will change pregnancy dramatically — and raise tricky ethical questions.
Baby Sex Selection Ad Targets Indo-Canadiansby Annie Burns-PieperCBC NewsApril 17th, 2012A Washington-based fertility clinic is advertising sex selection services - "Create the Family You Want: Boy or Girl" - in a Canadian newspaper that targets South Asian communities.
Genetic April Foolery on NPR and in The Economistby Osagie K. ObasogieBiopolitical TimesApril 5th, 2012The mainstream media is increasingly getting into the April Fools game. This year featured at least two established news organizations suddenly finding a sense of humor and using genetic technologies to, at least for one day, betray their loyal readers’ trust.
Bioengineer Humans to Tackle Climate Change, Say Philosophersby Leo HickmanGuardianMarch 14th, 2012The authors of a controversial recommendation say their critics have misunderstood the nature of philosophical inquiry.
The Plot to Create Britain’s Super Raceby Jonathan FreedlandThe Telegraph [UK]February 12th, 2012Yale University has been accused of trying to create a super race of British children during World War Two.
Unnatural Selection: Is Evolving Reproductive Technology Ushering in a New Age of Eugenics? [Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Carolyn AbrahamThe Globe and MailJanuary 7th, 2012Modern day assisted reproduction offers a whole new approach to baby-making, one that gives people an unprecedented power to preview, and pick, the genetic traits of their children.
Errors During PGD Testing Raise Wrongful Conception Concerns [Quote CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Krystina SteffenSEO Legal NewsDecember 15th, 2011The booming industry of PGD allows would-be parents to avoid passing on certain genetic traits. However, users should be wary of false results, and increased regulation may be necessary.
Genetic Testing for Down Syndrome: What It Can and Cannot Tell You by Emily BeitiksBiopolitical TimesNovember 10th, 2011Sequenom's new genetic test predicts the presence of Down syndrome at an earlier stage in pregnancy, but parents need more information to accompany the diagnosis.
Sex Selection Game-Changer? New Fetal Gene Test Reveals Sex at 7 Weeksby Doug PetBiopolitical TimesNovember 9th, 2011New non-invasive prenatal testing will enable parents to know a fetus's sex, Down's status, and possibly other traits dramatically earlier in a pregnancy.
The quest for the perfect babyby Meir BrezisHaaretz [Israel]Should parents be able to sue doctors for failing to prevent the birth of a child with a defect? That is a question facing the [Israeli] Supreme Court, which has been asked to recognize 'wrongful birth.'
Turning 40, Going Globalby Gina Maranto, Biopolitical Times guest contributorSeptember 28th, 2011Born in Boston, Our Bodies, Ourselves has become an international force for women's rights.
A California Fertility Clinic Promotes High-Tech Sex Selectionby Marcy DarnovskyBiopolitical TimesSeptember 22nd, 2011High-tech methods legitimize sex selection in general, and serve as a rhetorical door-opener for the prospect of selecting other traits.
Embryo testing stokes concern over designer babiesby Sharon Kirkey, Postmedia NewsMontreal GazetteSeptember 19th, 2011The era of designer babies may be closer than most people think, one of Canada’s leading figures in reproductive medicine is warning.
Sperm Bank Turns Down Redheadsby Richard OrangeTelegraph [UK]September 16th, 2011Cryos, the world's largest sperm bank located in Denmark, has started turning down redheaded donors because there is too little demand for their sperm.
Sex Selection: Not only Asia’s Problem, Says Council of Europe by Doug PetBiopolitical TimesSeptember 15th, 2011A committee of the Council of Europe approved a draft resolution and recommendations for addressing the growing problem of sex selection in Europe.
Pro-choice women's health and public interest advocates voice concerns regarding fetal gene tests for sex and trait selectionAugust 22nd, 2011Tests raise concerns about the well-being of children, women and families and the prospect of testing for additional traits other than sex.
Boy or Girl? Down Syndrome? What to Expect When You’re Testing[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Susan GilbertBioethics ForumAugust 11th, 2011For decades, doctors and expectant parents have wondered if “one day” there will be a “simple blood test” for prenatal testing. That day is almost here. But the implications are anything but simple.
Test Can Tell Fetal Sex at 7 Weeks, Study Saysby Pam BelluckNew York TimesAugust 9th, 2011A simple blood test can determine a baby’s sex as early as seven weeks into pregnancy. Will it encourage the more ethically controversial step of selecting the sex of children?
Unnatural Selection [Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Ilana YurkiewiczScience ProgressJuly 18th, 2011Is Prenatal Testing A Triumph for Reproductive Freedom—or Brazen Discrimination?
Council for Responsible Genetics Explores New Fetal Gene Test Methodby Emily BeitiksBiopolitical TimesJuly 6th, 2011A recent report by the Council for Responsible Genetics assesses non-invasive prenatal genetic diagnosis and emerging ethical questions.
Americans Prefer Sons To Daughters, Survey FindsHuffington PostJune 24th, 2011If Americans could have only one child, they would prefer that it be a boy rather than a girl, by a 40% to 28% margin, with the rest having no preference or no opinion on the matter.
X-Men Recharge: People in the Margin or Powers on a Pedestal?by Brendan ParentBiopolitical TimesJune 22nd, 2011Last week's release of 'X-Men: First Class" may be cause for questioning the whole premise of the X-Men series: Would people marked by genetic advantages actually experience group discrimination?
Could prenatal DNA testing open Pandora's box?[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Malcolm RitterThe Associated PressJune 12th, 2011Some ethics experts say it's time to start talking now about what early-pregnancy fetal gene tests could mean for parents and society.
Comfort or conflict: Earlier Down syndrome testby Malcolm RitterSan Francisco ChronicleJune 11th, 2011Companies are racing to market a blood test that could detect Down syndrome very early in pregnancy.
New GeneWatch Issue: Bioengineering Animalsby Emily StehrBiopolitical TimesJune 8th, 2011The new issue of GeneWatch explores the ethics of designing animals' traits.
The Consequence of Unnatural Selection: 160 Million Missing Girlsby Marcy DarnovskyMs. Magazine BlogJune 6th, 2011Mara Hvistendahl's new book provides a deeper understanding of sex selection around the world and makes an urgent case for confronting it.
Dreams of the Weekby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesMay 18th, 2011Several recent announcements and studies appear to presage renewed interest in manipulating the biology that is thought to control longevity and especially our children's happiness and intelligence.
One Step Closer to Designer BabiesNew Noninvasive Prenatal Genetic Testing Could Change Human Pregnancy Foreverby Marcy DarnovskyScience ProgressApril 22nd, 2011A new approach to testing the genes of early-stage fetuses could radically alter the experience of pregnancy and parenting from as early as five weeks, leading to a potentially dangerous moral quandary.
Genetic counselors help patients understand DNA issuesby Eryn BrownLos Angeles TimesApril 18th, 2011The job isn't wildly lucrative — the average starting salary in 2010 was $63,712, according to the National Society of Genetic Counselors — but practitioners say they love it.
A Campaign Against Girls in Indiaby Nilanjana S. RoyThe New York TimesApril 13th, 2011Women’s groups have been documenting this particular brand of gender violence for years.
Pre-pregnancy genetic screening backed by government advisers[United Kingdom]by James MeikleThe Guardian (UK)April 6th, 2011Tests will allow couples or individuals to assess their own risk of carrying genetic conditions such as cystic fibrosis.
Identical Twins Are Genetically Differentby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesApril 5th, 2011Researchers looking for a genetic basis for schizophrenia report that monozygotic twins, always assumed to be genetically identical, in fact have different DNA.
Gene of the Week: Christianityby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesApril 1st, 2011Gay scientists are reported to have isolate the 'Christian gene' and to have successfully removed it from experimental rats.
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