Bioethics

Bioethics is concerned with the ethical and philosophical implications of biological and medical research, procedures, technologies, and treatments. Areas of concern range from informed consent, patient safety, and conflicts of interest to the broader social and political meanings of biotechnologies. Some critics have suggested that bioethicists too often provide justifications for questionable scientific experiments, and that their focus on doctor-patient and researcher-subject relationships tends to obscure broader social concerns. Others have accused bioethicists of placing unnecessary obstacles in the way of scientific investigations. Nonetheless, some scientists are increasingly asking for ethical input at early stages of their research to anticipate potential ethical problems.


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In 2015, Jennifer Doudna, codeveloper of the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technology, convened a meeting in Napa, Calif., aimed at setting the parameters for ethical use of the groundbreaking genomic technique. Her template for the proceedings was a meeting of scientists that...

Biopolitical Times

At irregular intervals over the last decade or so, Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg of The Fertility Institutes has used the media to promote eugenic ideas to make money. He already uses the embryo selection procedure known as preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) for sex selection, and fully intends to try to select other traits. He is starting to sell a choice of eye color, he has talked about skin color, and haircolor is (he says) “about 18 to 36 months...

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Scientists say they have taken a potentially important — and possibly controversial — step toward creating human eggs in a...

Biopolitical Times
On August 13, 2018, Molecular Therapy published a report (Open Access) that explicitly “suggests the efficiency and genetic safety of correcting a Marfan syndrome (MFS) pathogenic mutation in embryos by base editing.” That is, another step toward the plausible possibility of germline intervention: heritable human genetic modification.
Pipet in a test tube

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Microscopic picture of egg cells and embryos

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Man holding up clear plate with DNA

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Two pairs of scissors cutting a strand of DNA

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Gloved hands holding pipette at lab desk

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Baby in pink shirt with hand in its mouth

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