|Why Some Parents Choose to Have a Deaf Baby, MotherboardSeptember 29th, 2015Genetic deafness is one of many conditions that can be screened for using PGD. That’s led to a surprising phenomenon: deaf parents using PGD not to avoid deafness, but to deliberately select for it.|
|Can 23andMe have it all?, ScienceSeptember 25th, 2015Amid 30 recent deals with biotech and pharma companies, 23andMe hired Genentech retiree Richard Scheller who plans to hire 25 scientists in the next year to begin drug development based off the direct-to-consumer genomic database.|
|What If Tinder Showed Your IQ?, NautilusSeptember 24th, 2015In a future society where human genetic engineering is pervasive, humans are like a mono-culture staple crop, and screening embryos for desirable traits is a trade-off governed more by politics than health concerns.|
|GM embryos 'essential', says report, BBCSeptember 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.|
|CRISPR: The Latest Biotech Hype, Boston 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. |
|Stars, Bars, and Embryos, Biopolitical TimesJuly 28th, 2015Controversies about the confederate flag and prenatal genetic testing are far more complex than "choice" and "intent" suggest.
| Reframing "De-extinction" , Biopolitical 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. |
|Eugenics Lurk in the Shadow of CRISPR, ScienceMay 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.|
|Who Owns CRISPR?, The 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?, The 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. |
|Strategy: Lines in the Sand, BioCenturyMarch 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. |
|FDA Regulation and Early Prenatal TestingFebruary 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. |
|The Future of Conception, Biopolitical 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.|
|Why Worry About Genetically Modified Babies?, GeneWatchNovember 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 Past, Biopolitical TimesNovember 13th, 2014As the victims of North Carolina's eugenics program finally receive compensation, we should not celebrate "the new eugenics" as some have argued, but learn carefully from this history.|
|Could Genomics Revive The Eugenics Movement?, ForbesNovember 8th, 2014There was a time when people in America were sterilized, sometimes unwittingly, by activists aiming to create a healthier, “better” population. As the progress of genomics accelerates, we need to remember the lessons of the past.|
|Reproducing Race, The 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.|
|Shame and Scandal in the 23andMe Family, Biopolitical 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”, Biopolitical TimesSeptember 11th, 2014George Church is as outrageous as ever, while both transhumanist ideas and concerns about increasing inequality are receiving more attention.|
|Disability Will Never Be Immoral , Biopolitical 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.|
|Making Babies, The 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 SPIN, The 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. |
|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. |
|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?|
|Is Genetic Testing Humans Playing God?, CNNFebruary 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 ChildrenFebruary 20th, 2014The CEO of AOL justified a restructuring of the company’s 401(K) plan by citing two "distressed babies." This tone-deaf insensitivity was answered by a disapproving choir, but it sadly resembles too many descriptions of the "cost" of people with disabilities.
|To Catch a Killer Gene: Sisters Race to Stop Mystery Disease[Quotes CGS's Osagie K. Obasogie], NBC 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.|
|Is genius in the genes?, TESJanuary 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?|
|Building the Better Baby, Bioethics.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.|
|Google, Tell Me. Is My Son a Genius?, New 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 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. |
|New Ways to Engineer the Germline, Biopolitical 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 , Biopolitical 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 Knew, Letter 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.|
|Company Patenting Tech for Designing Babies[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky], KTVUNovember 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 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.
|Future Past: Disability, Eugenics, & Brave New WorldsNovember 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.
|The Arlene Bynon Show[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky], The Arlene Bynon ShowOctober 7th, 2013Marcy Darnovsky discusses 23andMe's recent "designer baby" patent with on a national affairs program broadcast on SiriusXM. |
|[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” 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.|
|Is Eugenics Ever Okay?, GenotopiaJuly 26th, 2013Recognizing that we are grasping the reins of human evolution as fast as we can raises two sets of concerns. First, “What if it doesn’t work?” Second, "What if it does?"|
|Made With Love, Biopolitical TimesJuly 22nd, 2013The first baby has been born following “next generation genetic sequencing” of IVF embryos. What are the implications?|
|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.|
|Three Person IVF, Practical 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.|
|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.|
|Tough Calls on Prenatal Tests , Wall 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. |
|GM Babies?, Biopolitical TimesMarch 5th, 2013A debate about genetically engineered babies is hijacked by slick rhetoric.
|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?, Project 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.|
|Year of the Fetus, The 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. |
|Selecting Against Disease[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky], Fin MagazineNovember 26th, 2012Although we may not have control over the end of the world, genetic counseling and selection will give us power to manipulate the quality and extent of individual lives.|
|Anatomy of a Webpage, Part 3: Selling “Peace of Mind”November 13th, 2012New developments in prenatal tests are triggering aggressive - and often misleading - marketing. Thankfully, there are signs of push-back from a society that is learning that people are more than their syndromes.
|Of Yeast Genes and Tinker ToysOctober 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], Oregon 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. |
|Anatomy of a Webpage, Part 2: Preconception ServicesOctober 17th, 2012People living with genetic diseases become medicalized abstractions of risk and defect in the slick marketing of fetal gene tests. More than a matter of semantics, such simplification has negative consequences for all.|
|Anatomy of a Webpage: Marketing Fetal Gene Tests and Sequenom’s MaterniT21, Biopolitical 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.
|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?|
|Changes for India’s ART Industry?, Biopolitical 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.”|
|Couples Use IVF to Pick Genes, The 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 combative, NatureJune 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.|
|Designer Babies in Popular Culture, Biopolitical TimesJune 21st, 2012The Whitest Kids U’Know’s comedic parody of genetic counseling is reminiscent of a similar scene in GATTACA.
|DNA Blueprint for Fetus Built Using Tests of Parents[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky], The 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.” |
|Genomic Medicine Stumbles Forward, Biopolitical TimesMay 29th, 2012Recent reports that all of us have large numbers of rare genetic variants complicate the prospects for therapies.|
|Will Gattaca Come True?[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky], SlateApril 27th, 2012Noninvasive, early fetal tests for sex, paternity, and chromosomal conditions will change pregnancy dramatically — and raise tricky ethical questions.|
|Genetic April Foolery on NPR and in The Economist, Biopolitical 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.
|The quest for the perfect baby, Haaretz [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 GlobalSeptember 28th, 2011Born in Boston, Our Bodies, Ourselves has become an international force for women's rights.|
|Dreams of the Week, Biopolitical 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 Forever, Science 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.|
|Identical Twins Are Genetically Different, Biopolitical 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: Christianity, Biopolitical TimesApril 1st, 2011Gay scientists are reported to have isolate the 'Christian gene' and to have successfully removed it from experimental rats.|
|Time to Stop Burying Our Eugenic Histories, Biopolitical TimesOctober 14th, 2010Reductionist reports of a woman's recent lawsuit against the state for forcible sterilization indicate a fading consciousness of our society's recent eugenic past.
|International Survey of ART Released, Biopolitical TimesSeptember 23rd, 2010The International Federation of Fertility Societies has just released Surveillance 2010, the 5th edition of a triennial global survey of the assisted reproduction industry.|
|The Great Gene Hunt (cont'd), Biopolitical TimesSeptember 3rd, 2010Accurate reporting and headlines should not be noteworthy, but when it comes to genetics they are -- and Reuters got one right.|
|Sometimes Beautiful People Do Unattractive Things, Biopolitical TimesJune 23rd, 2010Beautifulpeople.com is taking the designer gamete market to a whole new level by using its online dating service as a vehicle for people to find sperm from attractive donors so that they can presumably have beautiful children.|
|Caveat Emptor, Caveat Spittor , Biopolitical TimesMay 14th, 2010Direct-to-consumer genetic tests are bad medicine. And what of their societal implications?|
|A Real-Life Version of “My Sister’s Keeper”, Biopolitical TimesMay 6th, 2010"The Match" is an emotionally compelling and thought-provoking account of a family's decision to create a genetically matched baby to treat their sick daughter.|
|3-Parent Embryos Could Prevent Disease, But Raise Ethical Issues
[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky], Wired ScienceApril 14th, 2010Mitochondrial swapping might seem less controversial than regular genetic engineering, because it involves metabolism rather than obvious physical traits. "On the other hand, when embryo manipulations for heritable changes start being done, even with the best intentions, we're on slippery ground," said Darnovsky.|
|Whither Personal Genomics?, Biopolitical TimesJanuary 29th, 2010Three companies offer contrasting examples of where the fledgling industry goes from here.|
|Nudging the Discourse?, Biopolitical TimesJanuary 8th, 2010The Popular Mechanics article misleadingly titled "How to Create a Designer Baby" includes a call for regulation of assisted reproduction.|
|GATTACA Comes to Baseball, Biopolitical TimesJuly 24th, 2009Major League Baseball has been using DNA tests on prospects from the Dominican Republic.|