Hot Topics: Genetics

Blog Posts (59)

February 5, 2016

UK approves gene editing

This week, UK regulators gave approval to a group of scientists in London to genetically modify human embryos. Dr. Kathy Niakan, the researcher who will be performing the experiments, said, “We would really like to understand the genes needed for a human embryo to develop successfully into a healthy baby. The reason why it is so important is because miscarriages and infertility are extremely common,... // Read More »
February 4, 2016

The next round of conversations about gene editing

This blog has carried several posts about the ethical issues surrounding gene editing in humans.  The next round of public discussions is scheduled for next week, Feb. 11-12. The National Academies of Science and Medicine have been holding meetings to address the state of the science and the attendant ethical issues.  In December, a first meeting was held in Washington, DC.  That meeting produced a... // Read More »
January 7, 2016

A Book for Anyone Interested in Bioethics

Being Human: Core Readings in the Humanities, edited by Leon Kass, is one book worth a spot on the shelf of anyone interested in bioethics or concerns about human dignity.  A series of excerpts from things that we read—or should have read—in high school or college, it was selected by the members of President George W. Bush’s President’s Council on Bioethics in 2003.  The readings... // Read More »
December 31, 2015

“Shrinking” IRBs and Cutting-Edge Bioethics

A recent conversation from my IRB work—for several reasons, I must limit the details of the case: An IRB had received, for review and approval, a research protocol for gene editing of human embryos obtained from an IVF clinic.  The embryos would be at about the 150-cell stage—an early stage at which some (incorrectly, as I understand the science) believe a fertilized, dividing-and-differentiating zygote has... // Read More »
December 16, 2015

Undiscussed issues in the debate over human germline genetic modification

Jon Holmlund’s 12/10 post on the use of somatic cell gene modification to treat sickle cell disease and two recent articles in The Telegraph have me thinking about human germline genetic modification again. One of the points in Jon’s post was that somatic cell genetic modification does not have the ethical problems of germ line genetic modification. The Telegraph articles discuss a group that has... // Read More »
December 11, 2015

Ethical Human Gene Editing for Sickle Cell Anemia

The biggest ethical worry about human gene editing is that it will be used to make long-lasting, heritable changes at the embryo stage or on germ (sperm or egg) cells.  Posts earlier this year have asked whether we should envision a scenario in which human germline gene editing is accepted in a limited number of cases, with the treatment of sickle cell anemia being proposed... // Read More »
December 4, 2015

Exploring the Future of Gene Editing

by Christopher Thomas Scott

In April 2015 a team of Chinese scientists reported in a little known journal, Protein & Cell, the use of CRISPR/Cas9 to cleave and then repair the HBB gene in nonviable human embryos.…

December 4, 2015

Human Gene Editing: Half Speed Ahead?

A 3-day international conference on human gene editing has ended, with the conferees reportedly having issued a statement declaring it would be “irresponsible” to try to initiate a human pregnancy with an embryo that had some genes edited by modern techniques, much less create a human embryo using sperm or an egg that had been gene-edited.  In the latter case, the changes would be heritable,... // Read More »
December 1, 2015

A Minority Report On the Aesthetics of Human Gene Editing

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

A few weeks ago I was watching the futuristic police procedural, Minority Report episode Memento Mori that focused on the predicted murder of a U.S.…

October 16, 2015

Expanding Notions of Discrimination: Genetic Information & Competitive Sports

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

During a periodic training on the university’s harassment policies today, I learned that my institution has added “genetic information” to the list of characteristics against which one cannot be discriminated.…

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Published Articles (50)

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 15 Issue 12 - Dec 2015

Germline Manipulation and Our Future Worlds John Harris

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 15 Issue 12 - Dec 2015

Human Germline CRISPR-Cas Modification: Toward a Regulatory Framework Niklaus H. Evitt, Shamik Mascharak & Russ B. Altman

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 15 Issue 12 - Dec 2015

Engineering Values Into Genetic Engineering: A Proposed Analytic Framework for Scientific Social Responsibility Pamela L. Sankar & Mildred K. Cho

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 15 Issue 12 - Dec 2015

CRISPR Critters and CRISPR Cracks R. Alta Charo & Henry T. Greely

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 15 Issue 12 - Dec 2015

“Editing” Genes: A Case Study About How Language Matters in Bioethics Meaghan O'Keefe, Sarah Perrault, Jodi Halpern, Lisa Ikemoto, Mark Yarborough & UC North Bioethics Collaboratory for Life & Health Sciences

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 15 Issue 7 - Jul 2015

Looking for Trouble: Preventive Genomic Sequencing in the General Population and the Role of Patient Choice Gabriel Lázaro-Muñoz, John M. Conley, Arlene M. Davis, Marcia Van Riper, Rebecca L. Walker & Eric T. Juengst

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 15 Issue 7 - Jul 2015

Preventive Genomic Sequencing in the General Population: Do PGS Fly? Mildred K. Cho

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 15 Issue 6 - Jun 2015

Imposing Genetic Diversity Robert Sparrow

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 15 Issue 6 - Jun 2015

Ruffling a Few Feathers Richard R. Sharp

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 15 Issue 2 - Feb 2015

Collectivizing Rescue Obligations in Bioethics Jeremy R. Garrett

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News (843)

February 3, 2016 6:19 pm

Ethicists approve “3 parent” embryos to stop diseases, but congressional ban remains

An elite panel of scientists and bioethicists offered guarded approval Wednesday of a novel form of genetic engineering that could prevent congenital diseases but would result in babies with genetic material from three parents.

February 1, 2016 2:14 pm

Tribes’ Win in Fight for La Jolla Bones Clouds Hopes for DNA Studies

The San Diego Archaeology Center holds a pair of extraordinary skeletons. Dating back about 9,500 years, they are among the oldest human remains ever found in the Americas.

January 29, 2016 11:08 am

Landmark schizophrenia study expands on gene link, timing

Scientists say they have broken new ground in the study of schizophrenia, uncovering a potentially powerful genetic contributor to the mental disorder and helping to explain why its symptoms of confused and delusional thinking most often reach a crisis state as a person nears the cusp of adulthood.

January 28, 2016 1:07 pm

Can monkeys help unravel the mysteries of autism?

Chinese scientists report they’ve created monkeys that carry a gene linked to autism-like behaviors.

January 14, 2016 3:56 pm

First children diagnosed in DNA project

The first children with debilitating “mystery” diseases have finally been given a diagnosis as part of a huge scheme to analyse people’s DNA.

January 12, 2016 11:00 am

Bay Area biologist's gene-editing kit lets do-it-yourselfers play God at the kitchen table

On the kitchen table of his cramped apartment, Josiah Zayner is performing the feat that is transforming biology.

January 11, 2016 10:59 am

Illumina Launches Firm to Develop NGS Blood-Based Screening Test for Early Cancer Detection

Illumina Launches Firm to Develop NGS Blood-Based Screening Test for Early Cancer Detection

January 4, 2016 6:27 pm

Stanford bringing gene editing to patients with deadly diseases

Tiny vials of recently repaired blood cells are thriving in a Stanford incubator, proof that a powerful new gene-editing technique is fixing errant genes that cause so much human suffering.

 

December 3, 2015 6:28 pm

This Technology Can Fight Cancer And Create Adorable Mini Pigs. So Why Are Scientists So Worried?

As any number of magazine articles and news stories from recent months have noted, we are in the midst of a major genetic revolution. Thanks to a gene-editing technique called Crispr-Cas9, it is now not only possible, but easy, cheap and fast, to change, delete or replace genes in any plant or animal, including people.

December 1, 2015 6:27 pm

'Gene drive' tool can prevent epidemics -- but should it?

The genetically engineered mosquitoes now living in a Southern California basement lab, secured behind five locked doors, prove that it may be possible to wipe out malaria.

 

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