|Human Stem Cell Cloning: 'Holy Grail' or Techno-Fantasy?, CNNMay 17th, 2013There is definitely something special about this idea of "therapeutic cloning," something that has a religious feel to it. We 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.|
|Predicting the IQ of Future People, Biopolitical TimesMay 15th, 2013The resignation of Jason Richwine from the Heritage Foundation raised the profile of racist views about IQ. Expect new publicity soon for genetic claims about intelligence.|
|The Dark Art of Racecraft, The AtlanticMay 13th, 2013Jason Richwine takes his place in a long history of research on race and IQ, one of the most discredited fields of study in modern history.|
|On Vampires and Chromosomes, Biopolitical TimesMay 9th, 2013The vampires of the Twilight books have superpowers due to two extra chromosomes. In our fang-free human life, however, having extra chromosomes is not usually seen as a plus.|
|The Real Problems With Psychiatry, The 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.|
|Can Human Genes Be Patented?, ScienceApril 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.|
|Synthetic Biology as Public Relations, Biopolitical TimesApril 17th, 2013Recent synthetic biology projects related to malaria, flu and conservation are providing PR cover for the field and its corporate sponsors.|
|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.|
|Tough Calls on Prenatal Tests , Wall Street JournalApril 3rd, 2013New prenatal gene tests are reshaping care for expectant mothers, but their rapid rollout has raised fears that poorly understood results could lead to confusion among patients and doctors. |
|Who Decides What Patients Need to Know?, Biopolitical TimesApril 2nd, 2013The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics report on "incidental findings" in genetic tests has kicked up a storm of controversy, not least because it seems to contradict February's ACMG recommendations about testing children.|
|The Era of Genetics-Based Advertising is Coming, WiredMarch 28th, 2013If you thought personalised advertising based on your Facebook status updates, Gmail content or online browsing behaviour was creepy, just you wait. The era of genetics-based advertising is coming, and it could be just as profitable.|
|No Choice For You, Genomes UnzippedMarch 28th, 2013The American College of Medical Genetics has published recommendations for reporting incidental findings in clinical exome and genome sequencing. |
|Guidelines for Genetic Testing of Children, Biopolitical TimesFebruary 28th, 2013A new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Medical Genetics discusses when doctors should suggest a genetic test for a child.
|DNA and the Constitution[Editorial]The New York TimesFebruary 24th, 2013The substantial harm to innocent people that could result from the misuse of DNA greatly outweighs the benefits. And the safeguard against such harm is the Fourth Amendment, whose fundamental protections the Maryland court upheld. The Supreme Court should do likewise. |
|New Guidelines for Genetic Testing in Children, TimeFebruary 21st, 2013The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics have released a new statement on genetic testing in children, suggesting ways to navigate the ethical, legal, and social complexities.
|Race as Biology in The New York Times , Biopolitical TimesFebruary 21st, 2013A prominent science writer’s troubling choice of words about “race” suggest that it is biological reality rather than social category.|
|Billionaires Anoint Biogeeks, ForbesFebruary 20th, 2013A group of Silicon Valley billionaires announced awards of $3 million to each of eleven recipients, in the first round of their "Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences."|
|Gene-ism and the Trout in the Milk, Biopolitical TimesFebruary 19th, 2013The remains of King Richard III were not really identified by DNA, but that was what the headlines said.|
|Too Much InformationSupreme Court 2013: Why collecting DNA from people who are arrested won’t help solve more crimes., SlateFebruary 12th, 2013Research shows that police solve more crimes not by taking DNA from suspects who have never been convicted, but by collecting more evidence at crime scenes.|
|Inside China’s Genome FactorySequencing a complete human genome may soon cost less than an iPhone. Will BGI-Shenzhen decode yours? , Technology ReviewFebruary 11th, 2013BGI-Shenzhen has become the world’s most prolific sequencer of human, plant, and animal DNA. So far, it claims to have completely sequenced some 50,000 human genomes — far more than any other group.|
|Gene-ism and Mass Murder, Biopolitical TimesJanuary 22nd, 2013Proposals to analyze the genes of a mass murderer have rightly drawn criticism from experts, including the editors of Nature. |
|Privacy Fear for DNA Dragnet, Stuff (New Zealand)January 20th, 2013A district court judge who is a world expert in forensic DNA has called for a public debate on the use of familial DNA testing, saying it raises serious privacy issues and has the potential to subject entire families to life-long genetic surveillance. |
|Born to Run the World?, Biopolitical TimesJanuary 17th, 2013Forget about glass ceilings, sexism in employment, gender inequities, and all those other structural and societal policies and practices that put obstacles in the way of women (and racialized groups) getting ahead. Maybe they just lack the "leadership gene."|
|Genetic Privacy[Editorial]NatureJanuary 17th, 2013The ability to identify an individual from their anonymous genome sequence, using a clever algorithm and data from public databases, threatens the principle of subject confidentiality.|
|The Case for Paternalism in Genetic Testing, WiredJanuary 14th, 2013In light of recent articles arguing for more openness and less worry about people receiving their genomic information, one genetic counselor explains why she cannot participate in the full-throated enthusiasm.|
|No Easy Answer[Editorial]NatureJanuary 9th, 2013Demands to analyse the DNA of the Connecticut school shooter are misguided and could lead to dangerous stigmatization, or worse.|
|Follow the Biotech Money … If You Can Find It , Biopolitical TimesJanuary 9th, 2013In a relatively slow period for mergers and acquisitions in genomics and related sectors, Illumina, Amgen, BGI, and BioTime were buyers and 23andMe added financing while Geron sold and Roche held off. |
|Seeking Answers in Genome of Gunman, New York TimesDecember 24th, 2012In a move likely to renew a longstanding ethical controversy, geneticists are quietly making plans to study the DNA of the man who killed 20 children and seven adults in Newtown, Connecticut.|
|Year of the Fetus, The ScientistDecember 18th, 20122012 saw the introduction of a handful of non-invasive genetic prenatal tests, but the young industry faces growing pains as legal and ethical questions loom. |
|Selecting Against Disease[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky], Fin MagazineNovember 26th, 2012Although we may not have control over the end of the world, genetic counseling and selection will give us power to manipulate the quality and extent of individual lives.|
|Anatomy of a Webpage, Part 3: Selling “Peace of Mind”November 13th, 2012New developments in prenatal tests are triggering aggressive - and often misleading - marketing. Thankfully, there are signs of push-back from a society that is learning that people are more than their syndromes.
|Social Codes: Sharing Your Genes Online, WiredNovember 9th, 201223andMe, which calls itself "the first genetic social network," is launching a mobile app that lets users organize and share their genomes online. Privacy is a concern the company will leave to its users to navigate.|
|European Society of Human Genetics Reprimands Myriad Genetics, Biopolitical TimesNovember 7th, 2012Myriad Genetics claims its research data is a trade secret as it pushes for a stronger presence in the European genetic testing market. Experts' responses reflect the ideological divide in the ongoing challenge to Myriad's BRCA gene patents.|
|Of Yeast Genes and Tinker ToysOctober 31st, 2012A recently published paper sounds a serious warning to those who want to tinker around with human genes.
|Medical Students’ DNA – and Psychology – on Display in Classroom, Biopolitical TimesOctober 31st, 2012A class at Mount Sinai Medical School is the first to allow students to sequence and analyze entire genomes. The class is also an experiment: Researchers will be analyzing students’ responses to determine the psychological consequences of such sensitive information.|
|Genetic Breakthrough at OHSU[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky], Oregon Public RadioOctober 29th, 2012Researchers in Oregon have created a viable human embryo by combining genetic material from two women's eggs, raising safety and ethical questions. |
|California Genetic Privacy Arguments Go National, Biopolitical TimesOctober 18th, 2012Arguments in California court cases and legislative initiatives about genetic privacy arguments have gone national, and the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues has weighed in.
|Anatomy of a Webpage, Part 2: Preconception ServicesOctober 17th, 2012People living with genetic diseases become medicalized abstractions of risk and defect in the slick marketing of fetal gene tests. More than a matter of semantics, such simplification has negative consequences for all.|
|Economics and Genetics Meet in Uneasy UnionUse of population-genetic data to predict economic success sparks war of words., NatureOctober 10th, 2012A paper about to be published in a prestigious economics journal claims that a country’s genetic diversity can predict the success of its economy. Critics of the study see genetic determinism, and even racism.|
|Anatomy of a Webpage: Marketing Fetal Gene Tests and Sequenom’s MaterniT21, Biopolitical Times guest contributorSeptember 24th, 2012In the age of genomics, whole-chromosome conditions are only the beginning. Our ability to sample fetal DNA from maternal blood means that not only Down syndrome, but before long any condition with a genetic component, any “risk,” can be forecast.
|An API for Genome AppsThe Daily ScanSeptember 20th, 2012Direct-to-consumer gene test company 23andMe will allow third-party developers to create applications that piggyback on customers' personal genome data.|
|Human Genes - Sold to the Highest Bidder?Federal Appeals Court Ruled that Myriad Can in Fact Patent Isolated Human Genes
, Biopolitical TimesAugust 23rd, 2012A U.S. federal appeals court has reaffirmed that gene patents are legal in its ruling last week that Myriad Genetics can keep its patent on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.|
|The Dangers of Fetal Engineering , Biopolitical TimesAugust 17th, 2012A recent study considers the troubling off-label use of a risky drug in pregnant women whose baby girls may not be born with normal-looking genitals.
|Life: Digital and Synthetic?, Biopolitical TimesJuly 20th, 2012As Craig Venter unveils his newest plan to create life from scratch, questions about what this means and the consequences of doing so abound.
What is life? A strange – perhaps obtuse – question. But the answer has profound consequences for how we as a society come to grips with novel biotechnologies. |
|Patients Seek Stem-Cell Compensation, Nature NewsJuly 6th, 2012Six patients in California are suing RNL Bio, one of the world’s largest stem-cell companies, for allegedly misleading them about the effectiveness of its stem-cell treatments.|
|Fetal Tests Spur Legal BattleA newborn industry based on non-invasive genetic testing turns combative, NatureJune 27th, 2012Genetic tests that analyze fetal DNA from a pregnant woman's blood are arriving in a rush. Their commercialization has already spurred a tangled legal battle.|
|Bodies with HistoriesThe New Search for the Biology of Race, Boston ReviewJune 25th, 2012A lot of medical research money is now devoted to finding genetic differences between races that may explain health disparities, but many students of biology and race think that is a bad idea.|
|Genetic Purity Tests for Politicians, Biopolitical TimesJune 14th, 2012A Hungarian member of parliament has a certificate stating that his genetic ancestry is neither Jewish nor Roma, which set off a storm of protest.|
|DNA Blueprint for Fetus Built Using Tests of Parents[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky], The New York TimesJune 6th, 2012Using only a blood sample from the pregnant woman and a saliva specimen from the father, researchers explain that “Our capacity to generate data is outstripping our ability to interpret it in ways that are useful to physicians and patients.” |
|Genomic Medicine Stumbles Forward, Biopolitical TimesMay 29th, 2012Recent reports that all of us have large numbers of rare genetic variants complicate the prospects for therapies.|
|Rewritable Memory Encoded into DNA, NatureMay 21st, 2012Researchers in California have successfully encoded a type of rewritable memory into bacterial DNA. However, it took three years and over 750 attempts to do so, demonstrating the difficulty of coding apparently simple processes into DNA.
|California Considers DNA Privacy Law, NatureMay 18th, 2012California lawmakers are considering a bill that would require written consent for the collection, retention, and sharing of individual genetic information. Academic researchers fear the measures would prohibit work with genetic databases.
|Will Gattaca Come True?[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky], SlateApril 27th, 2012Noninvasive, early fetal tests for sex, paternity, and chromosomal conditions will change pregnancy dramatically — and raise tricky ethical questions.|
|Anonymous DNA? No, It's Not, Biopolitical TimesApril 19th, 2012An article in Nature Genetics essentially says that keeping aggregated DNA data anonymous is impossible, which raises important questions about privacy and the conduct of research.|
|Gene of the Week: The Nice Gene, Biopolitical TimesApril 19th, 2012Media outlets hype "nice gene" study and distort scientific nuance in this week's "gene of the week."|
|Gene of the Week — Not!, Biopolitical TimesMarch 5th, 2012A pair of political scientists who specialize in behavioral genetics demolish a paper for claiming that "two genes predict political voter turnout" and then draw much broader conclusions about the failures of reductionist genomics.|
|Gene of the Week: Wall Street!, Biopolitical TimesFebruary 8th, 2012An article in the Wall Street Journal, citing published research, speculates about the existence of a "Wall Street Gene" and proposes testing for it.|
|New DNA Reader to Bring PromiseA new DNA reader could bring genetics to medical clinics, ReutersJanuary 10th, 2012Life Technologies Corp. has developed a new DNA reader that they claim has made the "$1,000 genome" a reality. "The cost of understanding the sequence will be much, much higher," one observer points out. |
|Eric Lander on Scientific Responsibility, Biopolitical TimesJanuary 9th, 2012Geneticist Eric Lander was the only scientist of anything like his level of prominence to publicly oppose the researchers campaigning for the development of "designer baby" technology.|
|Genetic Discrimination and Ron Paul, Biopolitical TimesJanuary 9th, 2012Genetic discrimination in Canada today is similar to what the US faced prior to the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, opposed by presidential candidate Ron Paul.|
|How to Use $90? Buy a Gene Ring, or Burn for Warmth?, Biopolitical TimesDecember 8th, 2011ConnectMyDNA is marketing the “Gene Ring,” which it baselessly claims can reveal your genetic compatibility to other Gene Ring purchasers, and your ties to foreign countries. |
|Life, MonetizedDeadly Monopolies: The Shocking Corporate Takeover of Life Itself — And the Consequences for Your Health and Our Medical Future, by Harriet A. Washington, The American ProspectNovember 17th, 2011Harriet Washington's new book examines the ways in which the “medical-industrial complex” benefits research industries at the expense of both consumers and human research subjects.|
|Ruling Restricts Newborn Blood Use, Star TribuneNovember 16th, 2011The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a state health program that screens newborns for potential illnesses can't store the blood samples for additional research without parental consent.
|Multiple Gene Test Allows More Targeted Treatment of CancerSNaPshot test looks for mutations in key genes of patients with cancer so they can be given the most effective drugs, The Guardian November 8th, 2011A test that rapidly identifies which genetic mutations have caused a cancer could pave the way for personalized treatments to improve patients' chances of survival.
|Why Do We Care About Our Ancestors?The rise of genetic testing has made genealogy more popular than ever -- and transformed our concept of identity., SalonNovember 7th, 2011The rise of genetic testing has made genealogy more popular than ever - and transformed our concept of identity. What we now need is a sociological understanding of ancestry and descent.
|Visa Wants to Make Money off Your DNA, Biopolitical TimesNovember 3rd, 2011Visa has filed a patent application for a process that would use, among other sources, DNA databases to identify potential advertising targets.|
|Lab Fight Raises U.S. Security Issues, New York TimesOctober 22nd, 2011Biosafety expert Paul Rabinow resigned from the UC Berkeley-led Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center, and asserted that the Center is not doing enough to prevent a biological disaster.|
|Myriad’s Molecular Monopoly to Face the Nine, Biopolitical TimesOctober 20th, 2011The American Civil Liberties Union and the Public Patent Foundation will petition the Supreme Court to rule on the legality of Myriad Genetics’ patents on cancer-related genes. |
|Scrambled Yeast: Breakthrough or Just More Hype?, Biopolitical TimesSeptember 15th, 2011The alluring notion that synthetic biology "breakthroughs" will soon enable us to rebuild genomes to desired phenotypic ends may be out of sync with the true state of our knowledge.
|Ruling Upholds Gene Patent in Cancer Test, New York TimesJuly 29th, 2011The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which specializes in patent cases, said that Myriad Genetics was entitled to patents on two human genes used to predict if women have an increased risk of getting breast and ovarian cancer.|
|How to Hack a Genome, Biopolitical TimesJuly 20th, 2011Synthetic biology seems to have taken a major step forward, with the publication of a technique for making multiple alterations to a living genome.|
|A Near-Miss on Gene Patents in Congress, Biopolitical TimesJune 23rd, 2011A House bill seeking to work around the harms of gene patents may inadvertently threaten ongoing efforts toward a ban, many advocacy and medical groups worry. |
|Genetic Basis for Crime: A New Look, New York TimesJune 19th, 2011Less than 20 years ago the National Institutes of Health abruptly withdrew funds for a conference on genetics and crime after outraged complaints that the idea smacked of eugenics. Now criminologists are cautiously returning to the subject.|
|Dreams of the Week, Biopolitical TimesMay 18th, 2011Several recent announcements and studies appear to presage renewed interest in manipulating the biology that is thought to control longevity and especially our children's happiness and intelligence.|
|One Step Closer to Designer BabiesNew Noninvasive Prenatal Genetic Testing Could Change Human Pregnancy Forever, Science ProgressApril 22nd, 2011A new approach to testing the genes of early-stage fetuses could radically alter the experience of pregnancy and parenting from as early as five weeks, leading to a potentially dangerous moral quandary.|
|Bright Futures and Genomic DutiesApril 20th, 2011If biomedical data is part of advancing a "public good," then perhaps the public can and should make a claim on the commercial products developed with that data.|
|Forensic DNA databases — without prior arrest, Biopolitical TimesApril 12th, 2011Potential offenders, never arrested or even individually identified as suspicious, are now being required to provide the authorities in at least two European towns a sample of their (canine) DNA.|
|More Arguing About Human Gene Patents in Court, Biopolitical TimesApril 7th, 2011A Federal Court of Appeals panel heard oral arguments in the Myriad case, but gave no hint of its decision; either way, many expect it to go to the Supreme Court.
|Identical Twins Are Genetically Different, Biopolitical TimesApril 5th, 2011Researchers looking for a genetic basis for schizophrenia report that monozygotic twins, always assumed to be genetically identical, in fact have different DNA.|
|Are We Protecting Human Subjects? , Biopolitical TimesMarch 7th, 2011A panel has been created to review the adequacy of current human subjects protections at home and abroad.
|Appeals Court Overturns Sentence Based on "Porn Gene", Biopolitical TimesFebruary 2nd, 2011A judge increased a sentence because he believed the offender had a gene that would eventually be identified; the Court of Appeals called this a "plain error" and sent the case to a different judge for re-sentencing.|
|Genome Hackers, ForbesDecember 30th, 2010In an era of cheap gene scans and growing DNA databases, will consumers be able to keep their sensitive genetic information private?