Biopolitical Times

The Center for Genetics and Society blog highlights the latest developments in the social, political, and ethical implications of human biotechnologies, with contributions from staff, fellows, consultants, and guest authors.

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As we learned last Friday, the UK’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has given Newcastle Fertility Centre the green light to create embryos using 3-person IVF techniques and implant them in two women affected by mitochondrial disease. The aim is to create children that are unaffected by mitochondrial disease, yet fully genetically related to both parents. While pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is successful in preventing the transmission of mitochondrial disease in most cases, these two cases were deemed exceptions....

Biopolitical Times

The launch of a genomics company with a difference was announced earlier this month. The individual customers who sign up to have their genomes marketed by Nebula Genomics will own their own data, keep it private and rent it to researchers and drug companies, fully anonymized. At least that’s the idea. The company aims to combine state-of-the-art genome sequencing with blockchain technology, the power behind the hugely hyped “digital currency” Bitcoin.

This approach has some practical problems, discussed below,...

Last January, CGS predicted that gene editing would be one of the biggest science stories of the year. This has been proven true in the numerous developments that unfolded in 2017, in areas ranging from gene drive to gene-edited animals...

Money and deals are flowing into the companies founded on CRISPR technology, which promises to enable the precise editing of genomes.

CRISPR/Cas9 stands for “clustered, regularly interspaced, short palindromic repeat” and an associated protein (not always mentioned). A...