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About Biopolitics, Parties, Pundits & Human Biotechnology


Policy decisions about human biotechnologies have typically been debated among elite commissions and experts. But controversy is increasingly spilling over into mainstream news media and political debates.

This trend has been most notable in the United States, with the emergence of human embryonic stem cell research as a political issue. Stem cell debates at the policy level have made this discussion far more visible to the public.

The Bush Administration's restrictions on federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research elevated the issue to the front pages of newspapers. Shortly after its announcement in 2001, partisan battle lines were drawn in ways that mirror the abortion rights divide.

Republicans hoped that opposition to research that destroys embryos would increase support among their party's religious conservative base. Democrats countered by assembling a coalition of patient advocates, biomedical researchers, and biotechnology entrepreneurs and appealed to moderate swing voters and Republicans who they believed would be swayed by promises of cures.

There were some notable exceptions to this partisan line-up. Some conservatives support embryonic stem cell research; some liberals and progressives who support the research in principle criticize aspects of its conduct and regulation. Unfortunately, the polarized debate has frequently distorted facts while obscuring a range of important social issues unrelated to the moral status of embryos.



Geneticist Cynthia Kenyon is Heading to Googleby Stephanie M. LeeSan Francisco ChronicleApril 20th, 2014Google's mysterious health venture dedicated to extending human life has quietly lured a biochemistry and biophysics professor acclaimed for her discoveries about the genetics of aging away from UCSF.
Should the U.S. Prohibit Reproductive Cloning?[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Tim SandleDigital JournalApril 18th, 2014Researchers have produced stem cell lines using somatic cell nuclear transfer from cells, making human reproductive cloning more technically feasible. Is this a good idea?
Scientists Make First Embryo Clones From Adults[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Gautam NaikThe Wall Street JournalApril 17th, 2014Scientists for the first time have cloned cells from two adults to create early-stage embryos, and then derived tissue from those embryos that perfectly matched the DNA of the donors.
Advocates for Children and Childhood Mobilizing on Concerns about GM Babiesby Marcy DarnovskyBiopolitical TimesApril 17th, 2014Concern about "three-person embryo" techniques is growing among advocates for children and childhood.
Weighing the Scales on Genetic Informationby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesApril 15th, 2014More people are choosing not to know what’s in their genome and more people are sharing the complexities and challenges of knowing. How can their choices and experiences inform policy?
The Baby Makers: Critics Push for Regulation of India's Booming Surrogacy IndustryABCApril 15th, 2014Candidates are being urged to finally push through legislation to regulate the country's booming commercial surrogacy industry. "The human rights of the surrogates are not being protected," said author and critic Kishwar Desai.
Guarantee Privacy to Ensure Proper Treatmentby Jeremy GruberThe New York Times, Room for DebateApril 14th, 2014As more and more of this personal information becomes public knowledge, it can be bought and sold by any commercial interests interested in predictive information about an individual's future health status.
Conceiving Identities[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Matt McCallThe Columbia ChronicleApril 14th, 2014In spite of my curiosity, today, at age 19, I do not know anything about my biological father. The absence of this data is the result of a series of errors in both federal and professional oversight of sperm and egg donation.
Human Rights Body Warns Over Mass DNA Screeningby Elaine EdwardsThe Irish TimesApril 11th, 2014A Government proposal which would allow the taking of DNA samples for “mass screening” of certain “classes” of individuals should be prohibited, Ireland's national human rights watchdog has said.
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?
DNA Dreamsby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesApril 9th, 2014The documentary film that explores the inner workings of BGI Shenzhen, “the world’s largest genomics organization,” is now available in full on YouTube.
Fearing Punishment for Bad Genesby Kira PeikoffThe New York TimesApril 7th, 2014People are avoiding genetic testing because of a major omission in the 2008 federal law that bars employers and health insurers from seeking the results of the tests.
Stress Alters Children's Genomesby Jyoti MadhusoodananNatureApril 7th, 2014Growing up in a stressful social environment leaves lasting marks on young chromosomes, a study of African American boys has revealed.
Stop Calling Science a ‘Frontier’ by Leah CeccarelliThe Seattle TimesApril 6th, 2014The notion of a special relationship between Americans and a metaphorical “frontier of science” is troubling because of the historical baggage it subtly imprints on its listeners.
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?
DARPA Carves Out New Division to Entice Biotech Talentby Kelly ServickScienceApril 3rd, 2014The US Department of Defense is making a concerted grasp at biotechnology. DARPA will consolidate biology research scattered across its existing divisions and possibly expand the arsenal of projects.
Reproductive Justice Advocates: Don’t Roll Back Sterilization Consent Rulesby Deborah ReidRH Reality CheckApril 2nd, 2014Given the historic context and lingering reproductive inequalities involving underserved women, an informed dialogue is a critical first step in any re-evaluation of the Medicaid sterilization consent requirement.
California Bill Tackles Sterilization of Female InmatesAljazeera AmericaApril 2nd, 2014A bill was presented to the California Senate Health Committee that aims to close loopholes that allowed doctors to sterilize hundreds of female inmates without state approval.
Inconvenient Truths About Commercial Surrogacyby Kathleen Sloan and Jennifer LahlTwin CitiesApril 1st, 2014It's time for the shenanigans and propaganda to stop and for the inconvenient truths about commercial surrogacy to be told.
South Dakota Governor Signs Sex-Selective Abortion Banby Teddy WilsonRH Reality CheckMarch 31st, 2014South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed a bill Wednesday to punish any physician in the state who is found to perform sex-selective abortions.
Discriminatory “DNA Sweeps”by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMarch 31st, 2014A DNA sweep of “all black and brown migrant workers” at farms in Canada has led to a complaint against the Ontario Provincial Police department alleging misconduct and racial profiling.
Synthetic Chromosomesby Gregory E. KaebnickBioethics ForumMarch 28th, 2014A team of scientists announced this week that it had successfully created one of the sixteen chromosomes found in yeast cells, marking a meaningful step forward in that part of genetic engineering dubbed synthetic biology.
Surrogacy Births Bill Sails Through House Committeeby Michelle MillhollonThe Advocate [Louisiana]March 27th, 2014The compromise includes criminalizing financial compensation other than medical, legal and travel expenses for the surrogacy.
Texas High School’s “Issues Day” Takes on Human Genetic Engineeringby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMarch 26th, 2014A private San Antonio high school, Saint Mary’s Hall, holds an annual “Issues Day.” The topic this year, chosen by a committee of the junior class, was human genetic engineering.
Forced Sterilization Nurse: ‘I Can See Now It Was So Wrong’by Lori Jane GlihaAlJazeera AmericaMarch 24th, 2014A nurse at the government-run 'State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded' and witnessed what may have been thousands of forced sterilizations - part of a government effort to rid society of the “defective,” and create a super race.
In Research Involving Genome Analysis, Some See a ‘New Racism’by Paul VoosenThe Chronicle of Higher EducationMarch 24th, 2014Variation among geographic populations is real, but there are no categories of race that segment human populations, and there are no mysterious qualities ‘in the blood’ that justify the belief in racial superiority.
Stem Cell Guidelines Prohibit Research in Many Areas Including Human Germ Line Gene Therapy & Reproductive Cloningby Ramesh ShankarPharmaBizMarch 24th, 2014India's 'National Guidelines for Stem Cell Research' provide ethical and scientific directions to scientists and clinicians.
Hitler’s Favorite American: “Biological Fascism” in the Shadow of New York Cityby Paul MartinSalonMarch 23rd, 2014Eugenicists advocated three ways of dealing with the perceived problem of bad genes: immigration restrictions, the prevention of “unfit” marriages, and involuntary sterilization of “defective” individuals in state care.
Sterilization Survivors Can't Fully Escape Eugenics Eraby Calvin TriceNews LeaderMarch 23rd, 2014Some three dozen states had eugenics laws, and Virginia has been among those who have for decades resisted any attempts at compensating victims who are still alive.
Slowing the Rush to Genetically Modified Babiesby Enola AirdMomsRisingMarch 22nd, 2014The United Kingdom is moving closer to allowing scientists to create genetically modified children – something no country in the world currently authorizes.
A Surrogate Storyby Debesh BanerjeeThe Indian ExpressMarch 21st, 2014A documentary shot in Delhi tells of a surrogate mother’s life and the lucrative industry of commercial surrogacy.
Appeals Court OKs California DNA Swabs of Felony ArresteesAssociated PressMarch 20th, 2014A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld California's law requiring people arrested for felonies to submit samples of their DNA to police.
OPP Faces Scrutiny Over DNA Testing Sweep that Brought Racial-Profiling Complaintby Tim AlamenciakThe StarMarch 17th, 2014Ontario’s independent police watchdog says seeking DNA from 100 farm workers whose sole similarity was skin colour raises "the spectre of racial profiling."
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.
Whole Genome Sequencing only Halfway Thereby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMarch 14th, 2014A new report in the Journal of the American Medical Association has found that whole genome sequencing has large hurdles to overcome before it can be integrated into clinical care, but there’s another point to consider: Do we want it there in the first place?
23andMe and the FDAby George J. Annas and Sherman EliasThe New England Journal of MedicineMarch 13th, 2014The debate has been framed as a struggle between medical paternalism and individuals' rights, but that is inappropriate until the diagnostic and prognostic capability of genomic information has been clinically validated.
New Polling Raises Public Safety Concerns About Three Parent Children Proposalsby Press ReleaseCareMarch 13th, 2014A new opinion poll supports the concern that the Government is rushing ahead with its plans to allow the creation of 3-parent children without public support or the necessary safety tests.
What We Know About Three-Parent In Vitro Fertilizationby Jessica CussinsRH Reality CheckMarch 13th, 2014The creation of genetically manipulated babies would be a huge and dangerous step. So, what's the evidence about efficacy and safety, and what are the available alternatives?
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.
Time For Law to Protect Egg Donorsby Durgesh Nandan JhaThe Times of IndiaMarch 12th, 2014After the death of an egg provider in Delhi, experts and women's health advocates say women in need of money are at the receiving end of irresponsible medical practices.
In Me We Trust: Public Health, Personalized Medicine, and the Common Goodby Donna DickensonThe Hedgehog ReviewMarch 12th, 2014We should not underestimate the strength of the commercial and biotechnological interests supporting Me Medicine. We need to reclaim biotechnology for the general good and break down the enclosures that threaten to circumscribe the genetic commons.
Sex-Selective Abortion Bans Highlight Faultlines in the Reproductive Rights Movementby Eesha PanditRH Reality CheckMarch 12th, 2014The South Dakota bill that would ban “sex-selective” abortions is a means to an end — the end, of course, being banning all abortions.
Another Legal Setback for Myriadby Kerry GrensThe ScientistMarch 11th, 2014A U.S. District Court judge denied an injunction to stop Myriad Genetics' competitors from selling tests for BRCA mutations because Myriad’s patent claims may not hold up in an ongoing lawsuit.
The Technologists' Siren Songby W. Patrick McCrayThe Chronicle of Higher EducationMarch 10th, 2014The prevailing belief of technologists is that technology is the solution to all problems. It is a view especially attractive to those best positioned to reap the benefits of innovation and avoid its unattractive consequences.
Critiquing the California Stem Cell Story: 'Continuums' vs. Curesby David JensenCalifornia Stem Cell ReportMarch 10th, 2014What cures has the California stem cell agency produced, as was promised during the 2004 ballot campaign that created the state program?
Consider Ethical Questions of 'Designer Babies' by Elizabeth M. MeadeThe Morning CallMarch 10th, 2014The leap from selecting out diseases to selecting out traits you would not want your child to have is very small indeed.
FDA Halts 23andMe Personal Genetic Testsby Marcy Darnovsky and Jessica CussinsMedical Laboratory ObserverMarch 10th, 2014After a series of setbacks, what will the future hold for direct-to-consumer genetic testing?
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?
Three-Parent Babies and Eugenicsby Nathaniel ComfortGenotopiaMarch 6th, 2014The “three-parent baby” is most certainly genetic engineering — it just modifies “cassettes” of genes, if you will, rather than tweaking single genes or nucleotides. It is exactly as eugenic as going through conventional IVF and selecting the traits you want in your offspring.
UK Opens Public Consultation on Draft Regulations to Permit “Three-Person Embryos”by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMarch 6th, 2014The UK Department of Health has released draft regulations and begun a three-month public consultation for what it terms “mitochondrial donation.”
Litany of Unknowns Surface at FDA Meeting on Germline Mitochondrial Techniquesby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMarch 6th, 2014An FDA committee held a historic public meeting last week to discuss the scientific, technologic, and clinical issues related to experimental procedures that would alter the human germline.
The Rent-a-Womb Boomby Adrienne VogtThe Daily BeastMarch 3rd, 2014Who really profits from India’s multimillion-dollar surrogacy industry? Adrienne Vogt explores the uncertain future of the subcontinent’s baby business.
FDA Weighs Unknowns of 3-Person Embryo Fertilization[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Matthew PerroneAssociated PressFebruary 26th, 2014Genetic experts cautioned that it could take decades to confirm the safety of an experimental technique, meant to prevent children from inheriting debilitating diseases, that would create babies from the DNA of three people.
The New Science Of Three-Parent Babies[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Tom AshbrookNPR On PointFebruary 26th, 2014Mixing DNA from three people to produce one healthy baby. We’ll look at the controversial world of mitochondrial manipulation therapies to avoid inherited disease.
GOP Lawmaker: We Need to Ban Sex-Selective Abortions Because of Asian Immigrantsby Molly ReddenMother JonesFebruary 25th, 2014"The racism and the stereotypes and the stigma is laid so bare here," says Miriam Yeung, the director of the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum.
Robert Klein, the California Stem Cell Agency and a $5 Billion Proposalby David JensenCalifornia Stem Cell ReportFebruary 23rd, 2014The California stem cell agency has put a little distance between it and its former chairman who is currently touting a new $5 billion bond measure to rescue the agency from its financial demise.
Genetically Modified Babiesby Marcy DarnovskyThe New York TimesFebruary 23rd, 2014An advisory committee of the Food and Drug Administration is set to consider radical biological procedures that, if successful, would produce genetically modified human beings. This is a dangerous step.
DNA Collection Aids Arrests — But What About Privacy?by Noreen MoustafaAljazeera AmericaFebruary 21st, 2014Privacy advocates warn that warrantless searches of a person’s DNA, especially for misdemeanor arrests, is a slippery slope.
FDA Asked to Approve Creation of Genetically Modified Childrenby Stuart A. NewmanHuffington PostFebruary 20th, 2014The creation of "three-parent babies" has been touted as a relatively trivial tweaking of the reproductive process to enable women with compromised eggs to become genetic mothers of unaffected children. These claims of high impact health benefits from a low-risk procedure cannot be squared with scientific reality.
Opinions about scientific advances blur party-political linesby Matthew Nisbet and Ezra MarkowitzThe ConversationFebruary 19th, 2014We analysed a series of surveys to better understand what the US public thinks about stem cell research and how they formed these opinions, and were able to distinguish between the different factors influencing their beliefs.
Sex Science and Gender Cultureby Katherine XueHarvard MagazineFebruary 19th, 2014In her new book Sex Itself: The Search for Male and Female in the Human Genome, Sarah S. Richardson examines science’s claims to reveal “what is really real about male and female.”
Letter Signed by Hundreds Sent to the FDA: Preserve the global consensus against human germline modificationby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesFebruary 19th, 2014A sign-on letter prepared by the Center for Genetics and Society and the International Center for Technology Assessment has been sent to the FDA in anticipation of next week's discussion of a form of human germline modification.
Osagie K. Obasogie Speaks With Skip Gates About Colorblindness and Race[with CGS's Osagie Obasogie]by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.Oxford University Press's BlogFebruary 18th, 2014No one had done research on race and blindness. The question simply had not been asked, which speaks to the strength of the assumption that race isn’t all that important to blind people.
What are the Best Interests of the Child in International Surrogacy?by Professor Eric Blyth, Dr Marilyn Crawshaw and Professor Olga van den AkkerBioNewsFebruary 17th, 2014As the surrogacy industry grows, so too do calls for a loosening of international and domestic restraints. A consequence of this is the potential marginalization of the best interests of children.
FDA to Study “Three-Parent Embryos”[Quotes CGS]by Michael CookBioEdgeFebruary 16th, 2014On February 25 and 26 the US Food and Drug Administration will discuss a technique that is a form of human germline modification.
Calif. Prison Doctor Linked to Sterilizations no Stranger to Controversyby Corey G. JohnsonThe Center for Investigative ReportingFebruary 13th, 2014A prison doctor investigated by the California medical board after ordering tubal ligations without state approval is responsible for hundreds of other inmate sterilizations.
'There is no DNA Test to Prove You're Native American'by Linda GeddesNew ScientistFebruary 13th, 2014DNA testing is changing how Native Americans think about tribal membership. Yet anthropologist Kim Tallbear warns that genetic tests are a blunt tool, and tribal identity not just a matter of blood ties.
Let’s Keep the Door to Biotechnological Eugenics Closed by Enola AirdMomsRisingFebruary 10th, 2014The Food and Drug Administration will hold a public meeting this month to discuss oocyte modification and "three-parent babies." Here are three reasons to forego this kind of experimentation.
The Great Indian Egg Bazaarby Pritha Chatterjee and Mayura JanwalkarThe Indian ExpressFebruary 9th, 2014The death in Delhi has brought the spotlight back on the fast rising but largely unregulated egg donation industry in India, riding on lucrative money and word of mouth.
Myriad Settles Gene Patent Lawsuit Against Texas Firmby Tom HarveyThe Salt Lake TribuneFebruary 7th, 2014Myriad Genetics has reached a settlement with Gene by Gene Ltd. and vows to continue legal battles against other competitors trying to jump into the market.
First Transgenic Monkeys Born Via “Precision Gene Editing”by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesFebruary 6th, 2014Chinese scientists announced the birth of the first primates created with a precision gene modification technique, raising both hopes about new insights into human diseases and concerns about new attempts at human inheritable genetic engineering.
Judges Side with FDA on Stem Cellsby Kerry GrensThe ScientistFebruary 6th, 2014A US federal appeals court maintains that stem cells proliferated in a lab must be regulated as a drug.
The $1,000 Genome: Game Changer or PR Stunt?by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesFebruary 6th, 2014The DNA sequencing company Illumina announced a new product capable of sequencing an entire human genome for under $1,000. What are the hidden costs? What are the implications of reaching this long-awaited benchmark?
Worlds, and Wombs, Collide in Kansas Bill Criminalizing Surrogate Pregnancy Contractsby Patricia J. WilliamsThe NationFebruary 5th, 2014There is danger in turning surrogacy into a sexless crime.
Genetics for the People?by Donna DickensonProject SyndicateFebruary 5th, 2014The rhetoric of personal ownership and control touted by 23andMe hides their flimsy data and actual business plan.
Review: The Big Lie: Motherhood, Feminism, and the Reality of the Biological Clock by Amy Richards, Biopolitical Times guest contributorFebruary 4th, 2014A generational wake-up call directed to those raised to think that medical breakthroughs are always in humanity’s best interest.
On Race, Medicine, and Reproduction: An Interview with Dorothy Robertsby Sophia SeawellBluestockings MagazineFebruary 4th, 2014The idea that social inequality has innate causes is a powerful way of trying to justify an unjust power arrangement.
New Rule Allows Patients to Get Test Results Directly From Labs, Without Doctors’ Clearanceby  Sandhya SomashekharThe Washington PostFebruary 3rd, 2014Patients may obtain their test results directly from the laboratory that produced them, without having to go through their doctors, under regulations announced Monday by the Obama administration.
Global Patent War Looms With Epoch-Making Discovery of STAP Cellsby Tatsuyuki Kobori and Akiyoshi AbeThe Asahi ShimbunFebruary 3rd, 2014Japanese researcher Haruko Obokata's recent breakthrough in the creation of pluripotent stem cells in mice is set to trigger an all-out global patent war.
Ireland Publishes Draft Surrogacy Legislationby Antony Blackburn-StarzaBioNewsFebruary 3rd, 2014The Irish Government has agreed to put forward for consultation proposals for a wide-ranging bill that features provisions on surrogacy and parenthood.
On Race and Medicineby Keith NorrisThe ScientistFebruary 1st, 2014While age and gender are strongly associated with biological differences that may have a significant impact on disease susceptibility and treatment response, the role of race/ethnicity is far less clear.
Why we Should Opt Out of the Government's New Patient Databaseby Edward HockingsThe GuardianJanuary 31st, 2014Medical records in England and Wales will soon be linked to whole-sequenced genomes. Choosing to "opt out" is also taking a stand on what kind of society we want in the future.
Kercher Trial: How Does DNA Contamination Occur?by Melissa HogenboomBBCJanuary 30th, 2014Potential for the contamination of forensic DNA evidence has been highlighted by the Meredith Kercher murder trial. But just how much of a problem is it and what lessons should be drawn?
Stem Cell Timeline: The History of a Medical Sensationby Andy CoghlanNew ScientistJanuary 30th, 2014Human embryonic stem cells have attracted controversy since they were first grown in the lab. This timeline takes you through the ups and downs of the stem cell rollercoaster.
Genetic Determinism: Why we Never Learn — And Why it Mattersby Nathaniel ComfortGenotopiaJanuary 29th, 2014Studying the history of genetics and popularization has led me to the surprising conclusion that genetic oversell is independent of genetic knowledge. We see the same sorts of articles in 2014 as we saw in 1914.
Stanford Consortium Wins $40 Million to Create Stem Cell Genomics Centerby David JensenCalifornia Stem Cell ReportJanuary 29th, 2014Directors of the California stem cell agency have approved a $40 million proposal ultimately targeted at creating medical treatments tailored to a patient's genetic makeup.
Whistle-Blower Breaks his Silenceby David CyranoskiNatureJanuary 28th, 2014A South Korean researcher reveals the fallout he faced after his tip-offs about cloning fraudster Woo Suk Hwang.
How FDA and 23andMe Dance Around Evidence That Is Not Thereby Cecile JanssensHuffington PostJanuary 27th, 2014Almost all former direct-to-consumer genetic testing companies have closed up shop. In the wake of criticism from all sides will 23andMe be next?
The Era Of Genetically-Altered Humans Could Begin This Yearby David DiSalvoForbesJanuary 26th, 2014By the middle of 2014, the prospect of altering DNA to produce a genetically-modified human could move from science fiction to science reality.
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.
[UK] NHS patient data to be made available for sale to drug and insurance firmsby Randeep RameshThe GuardianJanuary 19th, 2014Drug and insurance companies will from later this year be able to buy information on patients – including mental health conditions and diseases such as cancer, as well as smoking and drinking habits – once a single English database of medical data has been created. Harvested from GP and hospital records, medical data covering the entire population will be uploaded to the repository controlled by a new arms-length NHS information centre, starting in March. Never before has the entire medical history of the nation been digitised and stored in one place.
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.
Leaked Files Slam Stem-Cell Therapyby Alison AbbottNatureJanuary 7th, 2014Disclosures and resignations reveal scientific concerns over stem cell treatments conducted by Italy’s Stamina Foundation.
Gene Patent Case Fuels U.S. Court Test of Stem Cell Rightby Susan DeckerBloombergJanuary 5th, 2014As scientists get closer to using embryonic stem cells in new treatments for blindness, spinal cord injuries and heart disease, a U.S. legal debate could determine who profits from that research.
Genetic Testing Sparks Ethics Debate[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]CCTV AmericaJanuary 5th, 2014Mark Niu reports on the ethical debate surrounding genetic testing and the FDA's ruling on 23andMe.
FDA Meeting on Mitochondrial Replacement Rescheduledby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJanuary 3rd, 2014The FDA public meeting to discuss “oocyte modification in assisted reproduction” that was postponed due to the government shutdown in October has now been rescheduled for February 25-26.
A Short History of Biological Explanations for Povertyby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJanuary 2nd, 2014“The Biological Inferiority of the Undeserving Poor” sketches the history of biological explanations for social ills, and warns that we should pay close attention to their current resurgence.
The Biological Inferiority of the Undeserving Poorby Michael B. KatzSocial Work and Society International Online JournalDecember 24th, 2013The biological definition of poverty reinforces the idea of the undeserving poor, which is the oldest theme in post-Enlightenment poverty discourse.
Screening Newborns For Disease Can Leave Families In Limboby Nell GreenfieldboyceNPRDecember 23rd, 2013Patient advocacy groups have been pushing states to adopt mandatory newborn screening for more and more diseases, including ones that have no easy diagnosis or treatment.
The (Unknown) Costs of Private-for-Profit IVFby Alana CattapanImpact EthicsDecember 21st, 2013How much IVF should cost is controversial. What is not controversial is that profits in the range of $14 million and a $1.7 million dollar annual salary are too much.
Past Sperm and Egg Donors Split on Losing Anonymityby Shereen JegtvigReutersDecember 20th, 2013A recent study in Australia found that donors were split on the idea of possible contact from their donor children.
Patient’s Suicide Forces Belated University Investigationby David CyranoskiNatureDecember 19th, 2013Controversy over the death of a patient in an anti-psychotic drug trial at the University of Minnesota has rumbled on for years. An independent investigation may finally begin.
Biopolitical News of the Year 2013by Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesDecember 19th, 2013For better and worse, 2013 has been a year in which several related issues familiar to those who follow human biotechnology moved into the wider sphere of public discussion.
Tania Simoncelli: Gene Patent Foeby Heidi LedfordNatureDecember 18th, 2013A US science policy expert, and former CGS staffer, is one of Nature’s People of the Year.
Selling Tests, Selling Treatments: A Few Reflections on Medical Advertisingby George Estreich, Biopolitical Times guest contributorDecember 18th, 2013The questions raised by the recent New York Times article about aggressive selling of ADD drugs should also be posed to those marketing non-invasive prenatal gene tests.
The Three-Parent Dilemma by Enola AirdMomsRisingDecember 17th, 2013The United Kingdom is on the verge of permitting scientists to move forward with a procedure that would alter the human germline. Mothers everywhere should be deeply concerned.
Ensure That Genetic Tests are Accurate: Our Viewby The Editorial BoardUSA TodayDecember 16th, 2013Opening the door to genetic testing and its potential health benefits is an exciting prospect. But only if the tests are accurate, the interpretations meaningful, and the results understandable.
Professor Plomin Goes to Parliamentby John GillottBioNewsDecember 16th, 2013The House of Commons Education Committee, currently investigating 'underachievement in education of white working class children,' heard about the genetics of children with learning disabilities.
Going Too Far on DNA Searches by The Times editorial boardThe Los Angeles TimesDecember 16th, 2013A ballot measure approved by California voters in 2004 allows police to collect DNA from anyone arrested on suspicion of a felony - before being charged or convicted.
Similar But Not Identical: Study Reveals More About Twins Than About Educationby Steve ConnorIndependentDecember 13th, 2013The headlines this week about a new study of the role of genetics in educational achievement told only part of the story.
The Case for a New Biopoliticsby Marcy DarnovskyYouTubeDecember 11th, 2013A talk at UC Berkeley Extension for Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvouz (LASERs), a national program of evening gatherings that bring artists and scientists together for informal presentations and conversation with an audience.
Utah’s Myriad Genetics Ramps up Gene Patenting Disputeby Tom HarveyThe Salt Lake TribuneDecember 9th, 2013Myriad Genetics is enveloped in a spate of lawsuits over its gene patents, this time sparring with companies that want to erode its dominant position in testing genes related to breast and ovarian cancer.
Court to Consider California's DNA Collection Lawby Paul EliasAssociated PressDecember 9th, 2013California's Attorney General and the Obama administration are urging a federal appeals court to uphold California's mandatory collection of DNA samples from every arrestee.
Virginia Under Renewed Pressure to Give Reparations for Those Sterilized Under State Lawby Fredrick KunkleThe Washington PostDecember 8th, 2013A drumbeat from both the left and the right of the political spectrum has revived outrage over eugenics and 20th-century forcible sterilizations.
Genetic Tester to Stop Providing Data on Health Risksby Andrew PollackThe New York TimesDecember 6th, 2013Bowing to the Food and Drug Administration, 23andMe said it would stop providing consumers with health information while its test undergoes regulatory review.
The California Stem Cell Agency: A Blueprint for Living Without $300 Million a Yearby David JensenCalifornia Stem Cell ReportDecember 5th, 2013The likely future of the $3 billion California stem cell agency is an enterprise no longer tied to state funding and much more closely linked with industry.
Overhaul Recommended for Gene-Therapy Reviewby Erika Check HaydenNatureDecember 5th, 2013A report recommends that the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee should no longer review most gene-transfer research.
Die, Selfish Gene, Dieby David DobbsAeon MagazineDecember 3rd, 2013How vital, really, are actual changes in the genetic code? Do we even need DNA changes to adapt to new environments? Is the importance of the gene as the driver of evolution being overplayed?
The Failed Promise of 23andMeby Robert KlitzmanBloombergDecember 3rd, 2013The FDA should take stronger action to protect consumers from the risks associated with direct-to-consumer testing - especially overpromises about partial testing.
San Diego Woman Sues 23andMe Over DNA Testby Gary RobbinsUT San DiegoDecember 3rd, 2013A class-action lawsuit alleges that 23andMe knowingly misled consumers into thinking that its DNA test kits produce a reliable look at a person’s relative risk for hundreds of diseases and disorders.
Genetic Testing Should Adhere to Medical, Not Business, Ethics: FDA's Regulation of 23andMe Is a Welcome Move for Consumersby Karuna JaggarHuffington PostDecember 1st, 2013The truth is that we still understand very little about how our genes interact with our environment, and our individual choices, to impact our health.
Are Three Parents One Too Many?[Quotes CGS]by Stephen L. CarterBloombergNovember 27th, 2013The U.K. may soon approve a regulatory proposal that would allow scientists to create a human embryo using the DNA of three individuals. What’s striking is how the many opponents span the political spectrum.
23andMe Is Terrifying, But Not for the Reasons the FDA Thinksby Charles SeifeScientific AmericanNovember 27th, 2013As the FDA frets about the accuracy of 23andMe’s tests, it is missing their true function, and consequently the agency has no clue about the real dangers they pose.
FDA Bans 23andme Personal Genetic Tests[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]BBC NewsNovember 26th, 2013The US Food and Drug Administration has imposed a ban on a company offering personal genetic screening to the general public.
FDA’s Warning to 23andMe is a Welcome Step toward Responsible Oversight, says Center for Genetics and Society [Press statement]November 26th, 2013The US Food and Drug Administration has ordered 23andMe to “immediately discontinue marketing” its direct-to-consumer genetic tests.
F.D.A. Demands a Halt to a DNA Test Kit’s Marketingby Andrew PollackThe New York TimesNovember 25th, 2013The F.D.A. said that 23andMe has failed to provide adequate evidence that its Personal Genome Service provides accurate results.
AquaBounty Facing Environmental Complaint in PanamaThe GuardianNovember 23rd, 2013A company creating GM salmon with the hopes of selling it for human consumption in the U.S. is facing a complaint in Panama alleging that it is in breach of the country’s environmental regulations.
How Big a Deal Are the Changes to China’s One-Child Policy?by Joshua KeatingSlateNovember 15th, 2013The notorious one-child policy has been criticized for leading to a rise in sex-selective abortion.
Philanthropy's Original Sinby William A. SchambraThe New AtlantisNovember 15th, 2013For all of philanthropy's wonderful qualities, it's important to understand that the first American foundations were deeply immersed in eugenics — the effort to promote the reproduction of the “fit” and to suppress the reproduction of the “unfit.”
International Surrogacy Laws are not Keeping upby Kingsley Napley, Claire Wood and Katie NewburyLexologyNovember 14th, 2013There is currently no worldwide regulation of surrogacy. Unfortunately, therefore, the potential for exploitation is high.
Death-Row Organ Donations Pose Practical, Ethical Hurdlesby Daniella Silva and Tracy ConnorNBC NewsNovember 14th, 2013Ohio's governor has postponed the execution of a child-killer so he can study his offer to donate organs — a proposal that experts say would be a logistical nightmare and an ethical minefield.
Limits Lifted on Number of Twins and Triplets Born Through IVFby Charlie CooperThe IndependentNovember 13th, 2013The UK's IVF regulator announced that clinics will no longer have to ensure that multiple births account for only 10 per cent of their successful cases.
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?
Weak Statistical Standards Implicated in Scientific Irreproducibilityby Erika Check HaydenNatureNovember 11th, 2013The plague of non-reproducibility in science may be mostly due to scientists’ use of weak statistical tests, as shown by an innovative method developed by a statistician.
How Do Eugenics Victims Find Justice? by Belle BoggsIndy WeekNovember 9th, 2013This year, the North Carolina Legislature approved monetary compensation for the state's eugenics victims. Is that enough?
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.
NIH Seeks Comments on Plan to Share Genomic Databy Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesNovember 7th, 2013The National Institutes of Health is accepting public comments until November 20 on a draft Genomic Data Sharing Policy that promotes the wide-scale sharing of human and non-human genomic data.
Call for Independent Inquiry of Suicide in Clinical Trial at University of Minnesotaby Jessica CussinsBiopolitcal TimesNovember 6th, 2013Over 170 leading scholars have urged the University of Minnesota to undertake a public, independent investigation of the controversial suicide of psychiatric research subject Dan Markingson.
A Conception Conundrum[Quotes CGS's Diane Tober]by Jennifer BleyerPsychology TodayNovember 4th, 2013Many donor-conceived children voice "genetic bewilderment" about their origins. Can the trend towards open-identity donation address these existential concerns?
The Future of the California Stem Cell Agency: Cures, Priorities and Brain Drain by David JensenCalifornia Stem Cell ReportNovember 3rd, 2013The California stem cell agency is nearing the end of its “normal” life span, and the topic of its future comes up with some regularity nowadays within the Golden State's stem cell community.
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.
Stem Cell Person of the Year 2013: Elena Cattaneoby Paul KnoepflerKnoepfler Lab Stem Cell BlogOctober 30th, 2013Beyond her great achievements in stem cell science, she has a track record of taking important public stands on key issues over the years.
No More Tourist Visa for Commissioning Surrogacy in India: Home MinistryIBN LiveOctober 30th, 2013Foreign nationals intending to visit India for commissioning surrogacy will not be allowed to come on a tourist visa, with the Home Ministry ordering strict adherence of surrogacy laws.
Root of Maths Genius Soughtby Erika Check HaydenNatureOctober 29th, 2013In a study dubbed ‘Project Einstein’, entrepreneur Jonathan Rothberg and physicist Max Tegmark have set their sights on finding the genes that underlie mathematical genius.
‘Ethical Failure’ Leaves One-Quarter of all Clinical Trials Unpublishedby Daniel CresseyNature News BlogOctober 29th, 2013Hundreds of thousands of patients have been exposed to potential harm in clinical trials whose results have yet to be published since their completion nearly five years ago.
Advocating Eugenics in the UK Department of Educationby Pete ShanksHuffington PostOctober 28th, 2013A senior adviser to the UK Secretary of State for Education has provoked a flurry of complaints about his technocratic, effectively eugenic, definitely gene-focused approach to public policy.
Science has Lost its Way, at a Big Cost to Humanityby Michael HiltzikLos Angeles TimesOctober 27th, 2013Scientists at the biotech firm Amgen set out to double-check the results of 53 landmark papers in their fields of cancer research and blood biology. Of the 53, only six could be proved valid.
GPs Told They Must Warn Patients Against Having Sex-Selective Abortions by Daniel MartinThe Daily MailOctober 24th, 2013The UK's Chief Medical Officer will write to all family doctors to make it plain that abortions carried out solely on the grounds of the sex of the child are wrong.
A Former IVF Baby on "Three-Parent IVF"by Jessica CussinsHuffington PostOctober 24th, 2013Mitochondrial replacement raises one of the thorniest questions humanity will ever face: are we willing to genetically modify future generations of humans?
Biology's Brave New WorldThe Promise and Perils of the Synbio Revolutionby Laurie GarrettForeign AffairsOctober 24th, 2013Synthetic genomics has spawned a dizzying array of new possibilities, challenges, and national security threats. The global bioterrorism and biosecurity establishment remains well behind the curve.
1.7m DNA Profiles Cut From DatabasePress AssociationOctober 24th, 2013As part of the UK's commitment to slim down the amount of information held by the state, millions of DNA profiles and fingerprint records from innocent people have been deleted.
NIH Requests Comment on Genomic Data Sharing Policy Draftby Nicolle StrandThe Blog of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical IssuesOctober 23rd, 2013The National Institutes of Health published a draft version of its new genomic data sharing policy, along with a request for public comment.
Case Explores Rights of Fetus Versus Motherby Erik EckholmThe New York TimesOctober 23rd, 2013Alicia Beltran was accused of endangering her unborn child because she refused her doctor's order to start an anti-addiction drug. She had already beat the addiction on her own.
FDA Meeting on Germline Mitochondrial Replacement Postponedby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesOctober 22nd, 2013The FDA public meeting to discuss a form of human inheritable genetic modification has been postponed because of the aftermath of the government shutdown; now there is more time to spread the word and get involved.
The Genomic Oracleby Carl ZimmerSlateOctober 21st, 2013If your DNA is sequenced at birth, how would if affect your life? A new project aims to find out.
Health Chiefs Plan to Ban Adverts for Overseas Baby Sex-Selection Tripsby Christy ChoiSouth China Morning PostOctober 20th, 2013Health chiefs are set to slap an advertising ban on Hong Kong businesses that offer medical tourism packages for the growing number of couples who want to choose the sex of their babies.
Access to Sperm Donor Data by Children Backedby Kirsty NeedhamThe Sydney Morning HeraldOctober 20th, 2013Alarmed by evidence that fertility clinics have deliberately destroyed the records of children conceived before anonymous sperm donation was made illegal, an inquiry calls for it be made an offence.
How Science Goes WrongThe EconomistOctober 19th, 2013Modern scientists are doing too much trusting and not enough verifying — to the detriment of the whole of science, and of humanity.
School Achievement Isn't Just in Your Genesby Steven RoseNew ScientistOctober 18th, 2013Anyone who asserts that educational attainment is in large part inherited needs a lesson in modern genetics, says a professor of biology.
Reproductive Rights and Responsibilities[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Mirah RibenDissident VoiceOctober 17th, 2013Medical science and reproductive technologies are imploring us to consider if our genetic material is ours – solely – once it has been shared through natural reproduction or in a laboratory resulting in another life.
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.
Dominic Cummings may Disagree, but Wealth is Considerably More Heritable than Genesby Polly ToynbeeThe GuardianOctober 14th, 2013His section on genetics implies that human fate is sealed at birth, as the Calvinists and eugenicists thought.
Girls Not Allowedby Vanessa BairdNew InternationalistOctober 4th, 2013Honest regulation of sex selection, however tricky to enforce, is necessary because individual acts are having extremely harmful collective consequences.
23andMe's 'Build-a-Baby' Patent Criticised[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]BBC NewsOctober 3rd, 2013A US patent for a database that uses DNA testing to tell prospective parents which traits their future offspring may inherit has been criticised by experts.
23andMe's Designer Baby Patent is 'a Serious Mistake,' Critics Charge [Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Karen KaplanLos Angeles TimesOctober 3rd, 2013What’s even more repulsive than the idea of using DNA tests to help people create a designer babies? Getting a patent for the idea.
Genetic Testing to be Easier Under Obamacareby Veronica LinaresUPI.comOctober 2nd, 2013Genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer will be a lot easier under the Affordable Care Act.
Dangerous Workby EditorialNatureOctober 2nd, 2013Behavioural geneticists must tread carefully to prevent their research being misinterpreted.
Foreigners Are Flocking To India To Rent Wombs And Grow Surrogate Babies by Nita Bhalla and Mansi ThapliyalReutersSeptember 30th, 2013A debate over whether the unregulated surrogacy industry in India exploits poor women prompted a draft law that could make it tougher for foreigners seeking babies made in India.
Outsourcing a Life[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Stephanie M. LeeSan Francisco ChronicleSeptember 30th, 2013The Akanksha Infertility Clinic in Anand, India allowed a San Francisco Chronicle reporter and photographer full access to its facilities, except for the delivery room.
Blinded By Science[Mentions CGS's Jessica Cussins]Center for Environmental HealthSeptember 30th, 2013Three stories of science gone wrong: distorted science, unethical science, and just plain nutty science. We learn about geoengineering, flame retardant chemicals, and the controversy over misuse of Havasupai DNA.
Your Body, Their Propertyby Osagie K. ObasogieBoston ReviewSeptember 30th, 2013When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down human gene patents it took one aspect of the debate over property interests in human biological materials off the table. But other body parts are still considered fair game.
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.
Wealthy Chinese Seek U.S. Surrogates for Second Child, Green Cardby Alexandra HarneyReutersSeptember 23rd, 2013Wealthy Chinese are hiring American women to serve as surrogates for their children, creating a small but growing business in "designer" American babies for China's elite.
Gendercide in the CaucasusThe EconomistSeptember 21st, 2013The practice of aborting female foetuses is found mostly in China and other Asian countries. But it is prevalent in the Caucasus, too. Two new studies look at why—and suggest the practice may spread.
CGS Letter to the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of EuropeSeptember 20th, 2013Regarding the UK's possible approval of "mitochondria replacement," techniques that constitute human inheritable genetic modification.
Science: The Religion that Must Not be Questionedby Henry GeeThe GuardianSeptember 19th, 2013It's time for the priesthood to be taken to task – and journalists aren't up to the job.
Still Chasing Ghosts: A New Genetic Methodology Will Not Find the “Missing Heritability”by Evan CharneyIndependent Science NewsSeptember 19th, 2013One of the hopes and promises of the Human Genome Sequencing Project was that it would uncover the supposed “genetic bases” of human behavior. With a few exceptions, however, this search has borne little fruit.
Maryland v. King: Three Concerns about Policing and Genetic Informationby Elizabeth E. JohGenomics Law ReportSeptember 19th, 2013The decision in Maryland v. King affirmed that DNA databanking in the criminal justice system is here to stay, but the majority opinion raises at least three potentially troubling concerns about policing and genetic privacy.
FDA to Hold First Public Hearing on GM Babies[Quotes CGS's Richard Hayes and Jessica Cussins]by Rady AnandaActivist PostSeptember 16th, 2013Next month, the US Food and Drug Administration will hold a two-day public meeting to discuss genetic modification within the human egg, changes which will be passed on generationally.
Recent Surrogacy Disputes in Focusby Louisa GhevaertBioNewsSeptember 16th, 2013Surrogacy law and policy differs considerably between countries. Some jurisdictions ban or restrict the practice of surrogacy, whilst others have no legal regulation and some permit it on a commercial basis.
Don’t Use India’s Missing Girls to Deny Women Reproductive Rightsby Mallika DuttRH Reality CheckSeptember 16th, 2013The attention to son preference by the U.S. Foreign Relations Committee should be cause for celebration, but the people shaking their fists the hardest about the issue are actually those who are most hostile to women’s rights.
"Me medicine" could undermine public health measuresby Donna DickensonNew ScientistSeptember 16th, 2013The growth of personalised medicine threatens the communal approach that has brought our biggest health gains.
No Point in Testing Controversial Stem Cell Treatment, Italian Panel Saysby Laura MargottiniScienceSeptember 12th, 2013An expert panel of Italian scientists has concluded that a controversial stem cell therapy, a focus of intense public debate, has no scientific foundation.
FDA to Hold Public Meeting about a Form of Human Germline Modificationby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesSeptember 12th, 2013Next month, for the first time in its history, the FDA will hold a public meeting about techniques that would result in human germline modification. Do you want a say?
Republican Lawmakers Criticize Indian Government for Failing to Stop Sex-Selective Abortionsby Matthew PenningtonAssociated PressSeptember 10th, 2013A Congressional panel convened by a staunch opponent of abortion rights heard conflicting testimony about how to address sex selection in India.
The Campaign Against Sex-Selective Abortion is a Cynical Effort to Take Choice Away from Pregnant Women by Sarah DitumNewStatesmanSeptember 9th, 2013Sex selective abortion is abhorrent, and it must be prevented. But the Telegraph's campaign against it is part of its long-running attack on abortion provision.
Pro-Choice Feminists Should be More Appalled than Anyone by the Sex-Selection Abortion Storyby Tom ChiversThe TelegraphSeptember 6th, 2013Earlier this year, undercover reporters for this newspaper found that doctors in British clinics were willing to perform abortions on foetuses for no other reason than its sex. Pro-choice feminists need to address this honestly.
Gender Abortions: Criminal Charges Not in 'Public Interest' Says CPSby John Bingham, and Claire NewellThe TelegraphSeptember 4th, 2013UK doctors who agreed to arrange illegal abortions based on the fetus' sex won't face criminal charges, despite prosecutors admitting there is enough evidence to take them to court.
Eggs for Cash: Pitting Choice Against Riskby Diane Tober and Francine CoeytauxRH Reality CheckSeptember 4th, 2013The debate about a recent payment-for-eggs bill in California illustrates tensions among reproductive rights and justice advocates about what it means to be pro-woman.
California Controversy: Let's Not Expand the Market in Women's Eggsby Marcy Darnovsky and Susan Berke FogelHuffington PostSeptember 3rd, 2013California Governor Jerry Brown's veto of a bill that would have allowed researchers to pay women for having their eggs harvested was warmly welcomed by women's health and public interest groups.
Police Break Up Public Citizen Press Conference Criticizing HHS for Unethical Studyby Sam JewlerCitizenVoxAugust 28th, 2013Homeland Security ejected members of the public from a press conference they were holding outside the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Havasupai, HeLa, and the Fallacy of Neutral Scienceby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesAugust 28th, 2013A recent claim that misuse of Havasupai DNA was a “fairy tale” has stirred up heated debates about informed consent and scientific ethics.
More Concerns Over Familial DNA Searchingby Osagie K. ObasogieBiopolitical TimesAugust 28th, 2013A recent paper by Rori Rohlfs et. al., and two accompanying videos, suggest that real concerns still remain with familial searching in California's DNA databases.
Involuntary Sterilization Then and Nowby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesAugust 28th, 2013North Carolina will be the first US state to offer compensation to victims of state-sponsored forced sterilization programs. The decision marks a milestone in the long struggle for recognition of this tragic history, but what about the questionable sterilizations still taking place today?
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.
California Legislators Urge Speedy Inquiry into Prison Sterilizationsby Corey G. JohnsonCenter for Investigative ReportingAugust 21st, 2013Legislators today fast-tracked an audit into why doctors under contract with the state sterilized nearly 150 female prison inmates from 2006 to 2010 without the required authorizations.
Corporate Geneticsby Robert NussbaumTechnology ReviewAugust 21st, 2013In June the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that patents on genes were invalid. Yet corporate intellectual-property claims can still harm patients.
Guess What? Racism Isn't Good Scienceby Jesse LarnerHuffington PostAugust 21st, 2013Jason Richwine is back, still defending his previous work, and still not addressing the problems with IQ tests or the fact that the "science" he looks to has been greatly problematized.
Rich Nations not Collaborating in Genomics for Public Health, Says OECD by Lynne TaylorPharmaTimesAugust 19th, 2013New reports show that the development of genomics for public health is being prioritised mainly by low and middle income nations, with richer countries not seeking to collaborate in such research.
The Empire Strikes Backby Jonathan MarksAnthropomicsAugust 19th, 2013New claims about the geneticist who collected samples from Native Americans to study diabetes, and then piggybacked research on schizophrenia without consent, compels us to revisit the case.
Should Sperm Donors Have Parental Rights?by Judy CampbellKQEDAugust 19th, 2013A bill prompted by a custody dispute involving actor Jason Patric would allow certain sperm donors to seek paternity rights. Opponents say it could undercut the rights of same-sex couples and single mothers.
Should the Humanities Embrace Scientism? My Postmodern Response to Pinker’s Patronizing “Plea”by John HorganScientific AmericanAugust 14th, 2013All truth claims — whether scientific, religious or political — reflect the prejudices and desires of those who make them. Claims that become dominant in a culture often serve the interests of powerful groups.
Brown Vetoes Bill Allowing Women to Sell Eggs for Research[Quotes CGS's Diane Tober]by Alex MatthewsCapitol WeeklyAugust 14th, 2013California Governor Jerry Brown has vetoed the controversial legislation. “Not everything in life is for sale nor should it be,” his veto message began.
US Brain Project Puts Focus on Ethicsby Helen ShenNatureAugust 14th, 2013The BRAIN Initiative will develop technologies to understand how the brain’s billions of neurons work together. It could force scientists and society to grapple with a laundry list of ethical issues.
Whose Stem Cells are They Anyway?by EditorialNew ScientistAugust 13th, 2013Patients are right to question government control of their body parts. It’s time for a shake-up.
North Carolina’s Bold Model for Eugenics Compensationby Peter Hardin and Paul LombardoRichmond Times-DispatchAugust 11th, 2013In a landmark action, North Carolina legislators have voted to spend $10 million to compensate men and women sterilized under the state’s 20th century eugenics program.
Bursting the Neuro-Utopian Bubbleby Benjamin FongThe New York TimesAugust 11th, 2013Could proponents of neuroscience, and in particular of the Brain Initiative, be naïve about the corporate wolves with whom they run, as well as the pristine fantasy that guides the initiative?
Why Is Myriad Genetics Still Filing Patent Suits for Breast-Cancer Tests?by Brian ResnickNational JournalAugust 8th, 2013Why did Myriad Genetics sue a competitor for testing for the very gene recently declared unpatentable by the Supreme Court?
The Henrietta Lacks Story and Eggs, Money and Motherhood[Quotes CGS's Diane Tober]by David JensenCalifornia Stem Cell ReportAugust 7th, 2013The legacy of Henrietta Lacks should resonate within the stem cell industry, as well as with Governor Brown, who has a bill on his desk to permit women to sell their eggs for research.
If I'm Healthy, Why Should I Have my Genome Sequenced?by Anne Buchanan et al.The Mermaid's TaleAugust 6th, 2013Do people believe that future disease is truly predictable from their genome? We think that most geneticists, at least, would say not.
Big Business in Babies: First IVF Company Now Being Traded on the Stock Marketby Judy Norsigian and Miriam Zoll, Biopolitical Times guest contributorsAugust 6th, 2013Would corporate earnings shrink if more women were made aware of high IVF failure rates? Does the future of the fertility industry depend on expanding into new markets in the Middle East and Asia?
DTC Monopoly and Meby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesAugust 6th, 2013A recent study shows yet again that results from different direct-to-consumer genetic testing companies vary. So what will the emerging monopoly of 23andMe mean for accuracy?
The Sorry State of Indian Surrogatesby Gina Maranto, Biopolitical Times guest contributorAugust 6th, 2013A new report reveals disturbing conditions for those who labor in India’s booming commercial surrogacy industry.
The Biggest Threat to the Genomic Revolution? Spying Scandals by Gillian TettFinancial TimesJuly 31st, 2013It is now possible for scientists to compare the genomic sequence of thousands of people and thus spot patterns of diseases that range from cancer to schizophrenia, but what about privacy?
The Fallibility of DNAby Michael RisherThe New York TimesJuly 31st, 2013The myth of DNA infallibility has another dimension: when the government warehouses DNA samples on a large scale, we increase the chances that innocent citizens might be arrested and jailed.
Science as Social Control: Political Paralysis and the Genetics Agendaby Jonathan LathamIndependent Science NewsJuly 31st, 2013A new study in Science found that fully 98% of variation in “educational attainment” cannot be attributed to inherited genetic differences. Why did the authors fail to mention this fact in the title or in the summary?
Egg Donors Create Support Group for Women and Push for More Safety Databy Raquel CoolOur Bodies Our BlogJuly 30th, 2013A former egg donor, and co-founder of the group We Are Egg Donors, explains why she no longer has it in her to participate in an industry that has resisted researching donor health for decades.
Russian-Speakers who Want to Make Aliya Could Need DNA Testby Asher ZeigerThe Times of IsraelJuly 29th, 2013The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office says would-be immigrants from the former Soviet Union may be asked to prove Jewish bloodline.
The Moral Price of Human Eggsby S. Lochlann JainSan Francisco ChronicleJuly 25th, 2013It is simply criminal that the stubborn resistance to collecting data on the long-term health consequences of egg extraction continues to enable the claim that "no danger has been proven."
Stem Cell Lines and Paid-for Eggs: Stem Cell Agency Delays Action on Easing Restrictionsby David JensenCalifornia Stem Cell ReportJuly 24th, 2013A key panel of the California stem cell agency today balked at approving a plan to ease restrictions on purchasing stem cell lines derived from women who were paid for their eggs.
High-Tech, High-Risk Forensicsby Osagie K. ObasogieThe New York TimesJuly 24th, 2013For far too long, we have allowed the myth of DNA infallibility to chip away at our skepticism of government’s prosecutorial power, undoubtedly leading to untold injustices.
Sterilization Abuse in State Prisons: Time to Break With California's Long Eugenic Patternsby Alex Stern and Tony PlattThe Huffington PostJuly 23rd, 2013The recent revelation that 148 female prisoners in two California institutions were sterilized between 2006 and 2010 is another example of the state's long history of reproductive injustice and the ongoing legacy of eugenics.
Payouts to NC Eugenics Victims Could be Modestby Michael BieseckerAssociated PressJuly 22nd, 2013State lawmakers have agreed to compensate victims of a eugenics program that for decades forced people who social workers said were developmentally disabled to undergo sterilization.
UK Medical Research Regulators Spared the Axeby Daniel CresseyNature News BlogJuly 18th, 2013The future of the UK regulatory bodies for human-embryo and human-tissue research has been safeguarded.
Unregulated Surrogacy Industry Worth Over $2bn Thrives Without Legal Frameworkby Himanshi DhawanThe Times of IndiaJuly 18th, 2013A new study by the Centre for Social Research found that there is little protection for surrogates.
Senator Leahy Urges NIH to Use March-In Rights on Myriad BRCA Testby Donald ZuhnPatent DocsJuly 17th, 2013The government can ensure greater access to genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer, under a law that protects taxpayers from having to pay for inventions the public has already funded.
Viewpoints: Risks are Many in Paying Women to Donate Eggsby Diane Tober and Nancy Scheper-HughesThe Sacramento BeeJuly 16th, 2013As scientists in California delve more deeply into stem cell research and reproductive science, it is essential that women donating their eggs for research not be exploited or put at risk. A bill on the governor's desk would do just that.
RNL Bio’s CEO, Dr. Jeong Chan Ra, is Arrested and Charged with Insider Trading by Leigh TurnerHealth in the Global VillageJuly 12th, 2013Prosecutors are also reportedly investigating possible improprieties in the transfer of funds related to RNL Bio’s business operations in the United States with Texas-based Celltex Therapeutics.
You Can’t Patent Human Genes. So Why are Genetic Testing Companies Getting Sued?by Timothy B. LeeThe Washington PostJuly 12th, 2013Myriad says that even after its Supreme Court setback, it still has patents covering its competitors’ products.
Veto Campaign Launched on California Pay-for-Eggs Bill[Quotes CGS's Diane Tober]by David JensenCalifornia Stem Cell ReportJuly 12th, 2013Opponents of the California pay-for-eggs bill have kicked off a campaign to urge Gov. Jerry Brown to veto the industry-backed legislation.
2 Competitors Sued by Genetics Company for Patent Infringementby Andrew PollackThe New York TimesJuly 10th, 2013Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling last month that human genes cannot be patented, Myriad Genetics is suing competitors that have begun to offer genetic testing for breast cancer risk.
Brown Ponders Sale of Women's Eggs For Research[Quotes CGS's Diane Tober]by Alex MatthewsCapitol WeeklyJuly 10th, 2013Egg providers "are treated as vendors, not as patients. They’re just shuttled out; no records are kept of the impact on women's health."
The Gene For Hubrisby Nathaniel ComfortGenotopiaJuly 10th, 2013Genetics and reproduction are intensely potent, and wherever we find abuse of power we should be alert to the harnessing of biology in the service of tyranny.
Trial and Errorby EditorialNatureJuly 9th, 2013Italian officials should not go ahead with expensive clinical tests of an unproven stem-cell therapy that has no good scientific basis.
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.
Let's be Clear About Science Education and Engagementby Melanie Smallman and Simon LockThe GuardianJuly 8th, 2013Of course science education is important, but it would be a mistake to believe that a better-educated public would give scientists a freer rein.
Eggs and Cash: Stem Cell Agency Considering Easing Restrictions on Stem Cell Lines Derived Using Paymentsby David JensenCalifornia Stem Cell ReportJuly 7th, 2013The California stem cell agency is moving to remove a ban on using stem cell lines derived from eggs from women who have been paid to provide them.
Expansion Of The Genetic Surveillance State: Taking The Blood Of Babies Born To Mississippi Teensby Kashmir HillForbesJuly 2nd, 2013A new law requires Mississippi hospitals to store the blood of babies born to mothers 16 and younger - "a very invasive law to a woman who is already in a vulnerable situation."
California Legislation, Human Egg Sales and Profitsby David JensenCalifornia Stem Cell ReportJuly 1st, 2013Missing from the debate on California legislation to allow women to be paid for their eggs for scientific research is a key reason behind the bill – building profits for what some call the “baby business.”
Center for Genetics and Society - Marcy Darnovsky on Initiative Radio with Angela McKenzie[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Angela McKenzieInitiative RadioJune 30th, 2013Marcy Darnovsky talks about the work to encourage responsible uses and effective governance of the new human genetic and reproductive technologies.
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.
From Suspects to the Spitterati: A collision of power, profit, and privacyby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJune 27th, 2013DNA collection is increasingly ubiquitous, and the push for access to genetic information is gaining momentum. What questions should we be considering?
Lieber Adoptierenby Marcy DarnovskyThe EuropeanJune 26th, 2013Die Keimbahntherapie weckt falsche Hoffnungen. Den Nutzen, den sie für eine winzige Minderheit bedeuten könnte, wiege das hohe Risiko keineswegs auf.
Supreme Court Strikes a Hard Blow to Tribal Sovereignty in Adoption Case by Aura BogadoThe NationJune 25th, 2013The court appears to have ruled as if it was deciding the issue based on race.
Sterilized Transsexuals Sue Swedish governmentby Ann TörnkvistThe LocalJune 24th, 2013Swedish transsexuals who had to accept sterilization to change gender legally are demanding compensation from the government.
'More Rights, More Inclusion, Better Country': Argentina Approves IVF for All[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Alex SternThe Huffington PostJune 20th, 2013In vitro fertilization is now available to heterosexual couples, single women, and gay couples in Argentina.
Should Women Make a Profit on Donating Their Eggs For Research? [With CGS's Diane Tober]by Larry MantleKPCCJune 20th, 2013The amount of money a woman can receive for donating eggs for research in California could shoot up from hundreds of dollars to thousands if a new law passes the state Senate.
Myriad Ruling Causes Confusionby Heidi LedfordNatureJune 18th, 2013The Supreme Court decision ended a long-running, emotionally charged legal challenge to gene patents, but the grey area between this ruling and the court’s second point — that patents can be claimed on modified DNA — has puzzled observers.
California Bill Poised to Lift Restrictions on Egg Donation[Quotes CGS's Diane Tober]by Charlotte SchubertNatureJune 18th, 2013If California passes AB926 it would overturn a 2006 state law that prohibits payments for research eggs beyond direct expenses, put in place to prevent donor coercion and minimize health risks.
Inside the Stem Cell Shell Gameby Gina Maranto, Biopolitical Times guest contributorJune 18th, 2013Sociologist Ruha Benjamin examines the California stem cell initiative from a social justice perspective.
Real-Life True Blood: Synthetic Blood Is Coming — And So Are a Host of Potential Complicationsby Devon MaloneyWiredJune 14th, 2013Researchers at the Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine got the go-ahead late last month to start developing synthetic blood with adult stem cells.
Compensation for Human Eggs Approved by Key California Senate Committee, But Not For CIRM Researchersby David JensenCalifornia Stem Cell ReportJune 13th, 2013Legislation that would permit women in California to be paid for their eggs for scientific research yesterday cleared a key state Senate committee and is likely headed for the governor's desk.
Supreme Court Strikes Down Gene Patentsby Pete Shanks and Marcy DarnovskyBiopolitical TimesJune 13th, 2013The Supreme Court's ruling against Myriad Genetics is a triumph for common sense and the common good, and for scientific research and legal fundamentals as well.
Supreme Court Rules Human Genes May Not Be Patentedby Adam LiptakThe New York TimesJune 13th, 2013Isolated human genes may not be patented, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Thursday.
Police Agencies Are Assembling Records of DNAby Joseph GoldsteinThe New York TimesJune 12th, 2013A growing number of local law enforcement agencies across the country have begun amassing their own DNA databases of potential suspects, some collected with the donors’ knowledge, and some without it.
Should Police Use DNA to Investigate a Suspect’s Family Members?by Nanibaa’ A. Garrison, Rori V. Rohlfs, and Stephanie M. Fullerton, Biopolitical Times guest contributorsJune 11th, 2013A DNA-based technique called familial searching can help police solve serious crimes. It can also be abused in ways that expose innocent people to unwarranted police surveillance.
Mexican Americans Sterilized Disproportionately in California Institutions, Study Saysby Roque PlanasThe Huffington PostJune 5th, 2013A new study shows definitively that Mexican Americans were disproportionately sterilized in California during the first half of the 20th century.
Welcome to the “Genetic Panopticon”by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJune 5th, 2013In a forceful blow to the Fourth Amendment, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that police can collect DNA from people who have been arrested – but who have not been convicted, and may never be.
California DNA Law is Broader Than Program Upheld by Supreme Courtby Maura DolanThe Los Angeles TimesJune 3rd, 2013The Supreme Court's decision allowing authorities to take DNA from people when they are arrested may not mean that California's DNA collection program will survive court challenges.
They’re Coming for Your DNAby Emily BazelonSlateJune 3rd, 2013The Supreme Court just made it much easier for the government to collect genetic information.
Justices Allow DNA Collection After an Arrestby Adam LiptakThe New York TimesJune 3rd, 2013The Supreme Court ruled that the police may take DNA samples from people arrested in connection with serious crimes, prior to conviction.
Supreme Court Won't Hear Case of B.C. Woman Seeking Info About Sperm-Donor Dad by The Canadian PressThe Vancouver SunMay 30th, 2013The Supreme Court of Canada will not hear an appeal from a woman who argued that offspring should have access to information about their biological past.
Groups File Suit Against Arizona Law that Bans Abortion Based on Race, Gender Selectionby Howard FischerEast Valley TribuneMay 29th, 2013A coalition of rights groups are suing to overturn a two-year-old Arizona law banning abortion for race or gender selection.
Editorial: More Conflicts Come to Light at Stem Cell InstituteThe Sacramento BeeMay 25th, 2013With a new chairman, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine claims it has turned a page, but serious conflicts continue to be revealed.
Leading Scientist Attacks University Over 'Outrageous' IVF Treatment Patentby Robin McKieThe GuardianMay 25th, 2013The patent, which covers the duration of the first three cell cycles in a human embryo, encroaches on a naturally occurring phenomenon.
UK Building DNA Database in the NHS 'By Stealth'by Helen WallacePublic Service EuropeMay 23rd, 2013The plan involves sequencing the DNA of everyone in England and adding this information as an attachment to each person's medical file.
Race Is Not Biologyby Merlin ChowkwanyunThe AtlanticMay 23rd, 2013How unthinking racial essentialism finds its way into scientific research.
California Bill Would Prevent Genetic-Testing Firms from Using Surreptitiously Obtained DNAby Jessica ShugartMercury NewsMay 23rd, 2013Under current California law, genetic testing companies can reveal your most intimate biological secrets to anybody, without your knowledge or permission. A new bill may change that.
Stem-Cell Cloner Acknowledges Errors in Groundbreaking Paperby David Cyranoski & Erika Check HaydenNatureMay 23rd, 2013A blockbuster paper that reported the creation of human stem-cell lines through cloning has come under fire.
Pregnant at 60Where there's a uterus, there's a way? by Miriam ZollThe AtlanticMay 22nd, 2013A look behind the headlines reveals a 35-year landscape of assisted reproductive technologies that continue to fail far more often than is reported, particularly in older women.
Grant Reviewer Conflict in $40 Million Round at California Stem Cell Agencyby David JensenCalifornia Stem Cell ReportMay 21st, 2013Internationally renowned scientist Lee Hood violated the California stem cell agency's conflict of interest policies when he was involved in reviewing applications.
Human Stem Cell Cloning: 'Holy Grail' or Techno-Fantasy?by David KingCNNMay 17th, 2013We are told that there will be great medical benefits and that the risks that there will be cloned babies are small, but in truth it's the other way round.
Cloning-Derived Stem Cells Raise Policy Questionsby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMay 16th, 2013Yesterday’s announcement that stem cells have been derived from cloned human embryos set off a media flurry, but important questions about reproductive cloning and women’s health were not widely addressed.
Branstad Signs Bill Widening DNA Sampling to Misdemeanor CasesAssociated PressMay 16th, 2013People convicted of certain aggravated misdemeanors in Iowa now will be required to submit DNA samples to the federal DNA database.
Cloning, Stem Cells Long Mired In Legislative Gridlock[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Julie RovnerNPRMay 16th, 2013The news that U.S. scientists have successfully cloned a human embryo seems almost certain to rekindle a political fight that has raged, on and off, since the announcement of the creation of Dolly the sheep in 1997.
US Scientists With Cloning Techniques Created Human Embryonic Stem Cells[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]MercoPressMay 16th, 2013Stem cells have been a research focus for more than a decade because they can morph into any type of cell, potentially leading to treatments to replace damaged cells and organs. But along with the promise of the technology has come ethical questions and worry over human clones.
What We Mean When We Say 'Race Is a Social Construct'by Ta-Nehisi CoatesThe AtlanticMay 15th, 2013If you tell me that you plan to study "race and intelligence" then it is only fair that I ask you, "What do you mean by race?"
Research cloning development underscores the need for US to prohibit reproductive cloning[Press statement]May 15th, 2013Legislation should be put in place immediately, says public interest group
EEOC Files and Settles Its First GINA-based Employment Discrimination Lawsuitby Jennifer K. WagnerGenomics Law ReportMay 13th, 2013Although individuals have brought complaints against employers alleging violations, this is the first lawsuit initiated by the EEOC to enforce the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.
Modesto Woman Gets 5 Years in Prison for Surrogacy Scamby Carlos SaucedoABC LocalMay 13th, 2013The owner of a Modesto surrogate agency accused of a $2 million fraud scheme has been sentenced in federal court.
Talking Biopolitics is Back!by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMay 13th, 2013A series of live web-based conversations with cutting-edge thinkers on the social meaning of human biotechnologies will be kicking off next week. RSVP now to join the conversations!
Conservative Immigration Scholar: Black and Hispanic Immigrants Are Dumber Than European Immigrantsby Adam SerwerMother JonesMay 8th, 2013Jason Richwine, who coauthored a Heritage Foundation study on immigration, didn't just argue that certain minorities are dumber in his scholarship—he also said it at a public panel.
A Petition for Change in Memory of Dan Markingsonby Emily Smith BeitiksBiopolitical TimesMay 8th, 2013The story of a young man’s premature death illustrates the medical-industrial complex at its worst.
ACMG Issues Clarification Over Incidental Findings Guidanceby Dr Philippa Brice and Dr Ron ZimmernPHG FoundationMay 7th, 2013The American College of Medical Genetics has released a clarification of recent guidance issued on the subject of incidental findings in clinical genomics.
The Real Problems With Psychiatryby Hope ReeseThe AtlanticMay 2nd, 2013A psychotherapist contends that the DSM, psychiatry's "bible" that defines all mental illness, is not scientific but a product of unscrupulous politics and bureaucracy.
California Lawmakers Consider Paying Women to Provide Eggs for Researchby Diane ToberBiopolitical TimesMay 2nd, 2013A new bill claims to be motivated by concerns for women’s equity and for advancing responsible medical research, but in fact undermines both.
DNA at 60: Still Much to Learn by Philip BallScientific AmericanApril 28th, 2013On the diamond jubilee of the double helix, we should admit that we don't fully understand how evolution works at the molecular level.
“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.
Earth Day in Biopoliticsby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesApril 22nd, 2013In honor of Earth Day, let’s hope for a move away from “greenwashed” PR stunts and techno-fixes toward conservation, sustainability, and social responsibility.
In Australia, Gene Patents Also Subject of High Court Struggleby Leigh DaytonScienceApril 19th, 2013Australia's Full Federal Court has begun proceedings in an appeal of an earlier decision that upheld the validity of breast cancer diagnostic tests developed by Myriad Genetics.
Can Human Genes Be Patented?by Eliot MarshallScienceApril 17th, 2013The question has been debated for years but not addressed directly by the U.S. Supreme Court—until this week. The decision, expected later this year and from which there is no appeal, could have an impact on hundreds of companies and thousands of researchers.
Which Comes First: The Woman or Her Eggs? [Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Ruha BenjaminHuffington PostApril 17th, 2013If we're going to support a "right to stem cell research," then we need to guarantee a right to health in the form of serious investment in egg donor safety.
Panel Discusses the Legality of Patenting Human Genes [VIDEO][With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky] China Central TelevisionApril 16th, 2013Discussion of the Supreme Court hearing on human gene patents with intellectual property attorney Geoffrey Karny and CGS's Marcy Darnovsky, hosted by Mike Walter.
Watching the Watchers: Lessons From the Science of Science Adviceby Sheila JasanoffThe Guardian April 15th, 2013Who ensures the rationality of science advisers, making sure that they will be held accountable for the integrity of their advice?
Supreme Court Critical of Patents on Human Genesby David G. SavageLos Angeles TimesApril 15th, 2013The justices were highly skeptical of the idea that a company or a scientist can hold a patent on human genes and prevent others from testing or using them.
New “Semisynthetic” Anti-Malarial Drug is Unneeded and Sets Dangerous Precedent While Threatening Farmer Livelihoods[Press Release]SynBioWatchApril 15th, 2013A pharmaceutical giant announced that it will replace the entire world supply of the preferred anti-malarial treatment with a semi-synthetic product produced using synthetic biology - a controversial, unregulated biotechnology.
The Right to Speak Out[Editorial]NatureApril 9th, 2013Controversy over the results touted by a genetic-ancestry firm has highlighted the need for reform of the United Kingdom’s restrictive libel law.
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