Why Biology Is Not Destiny
By M.W. Feldman and Jessica Riskin,
The New York Review
| 04. 21. 2022
You must know the parable about the frog that sits in a pot of water being gradually heated, allowing itself to be boiled alive: because the change happens gradually, it never realizes it should leap out. Reading Kathryn Paige Harden’s book The Genetic Lottery: Why DNA Matters for Social Equality is a similar experience, as the author ingenuously points out. “Like a frog being slowly boiled alive,” she observes, readers follow her argument “from an uncontroversial premise to a highly controversial one.” Harden’s “uncontroversial premise” in this case is that siblings raised in the same family share a childhood environment and 50 percent of their DNA randomly assigned at conception, and are therefore like subjects in a controlled study of genetic differences. Ask anyone with a sibling whether their own childhood environment was the same as their sibling’s and you’ll quickly disprove Harden’s claim that her premise is uncontroversial. But putting that objection aside and sitting patiently as Harden increases the heat, we’ll arrive at her “highly controversial” assertion that “if siblings who differ genetically also have corresponding differences in... see more
"Human Egg" by euthman is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
In late April, the National Academies held a three-day workshop on In Vitro Derived Human Gametes as a Reproductive Technology
. Experts from a broad range of fields commented on the fast-developing science, its potential applications in assisted reproduction, and its social implications. Despite a focus on the significant technical challenges that remain in developing these techniques and the notable inclusion of several critical voices, the overall...
By CGS Staff
On May 4, the Center for Genetics and Society contributed invited remarks about heritable gene editing at a comment session hosted by the National Council on Disability (NCD), the US federal agency that advises government and the private sector on disability policy. Some 17 speakers, including representatives of disability and patient advocacy organizations, scholars, medical researchers, and genetic counselors, weighed in for three minutes each on the topic “Germline editing, fetal medicine, and their impact on people with disabilities.”
By Ian Sample, The Guardian | 05.09.2023
The first UK baby created with DNA from three people has been born after doctors performed a groundbreaking IVF procedure that aims to prevent children from inheriting incurable diseases.
The technique, known as mitochondrial donation treatment (MDT), uses tissue from...
By Antonio Regalado, MIT Technology Review | 04.26.2023
Elizabeth Carr is head of commercial development at Genomic Prediction, a New Jersey genetic testing startup that says it will assess embryos created in IVF clinics for their future chance of common diseases and then rank them, so parents...