Blog Posts (96)
February 17, 2017
Politics Trump Ethics Monitor: Has The President Kept His Promises? To track Trump’s ethics-related promises, NPR checked debate transcripts, campaign speeches and press conferences Trump’s South Florida estate raises ethics questions Ethics questions and possible conflicts surrounding President Donald Trump’s frequent trips to his sprawling Mar-a-Lago property, especially in regards to the invitation of Japanese Prime … More Ethics & Society Newsfeed: February 17, 2017
February 17, 2017
As Steve Phillips pointed out yesterday, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine has published, in book form, its full report on “Human Gene Editing: Science, Ethics, and Governance.” On Valentine’s day. (I suppose it’s not so ironic.) The entire report may be downloaded for free through this link. Also available at that page are links to a 4-page summary report and to one-pagers... // Read More »
February 15, 2017
by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.
This week the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) released a report giving their support for altering heritable genes when previously the NAS only supported altering uninheritable genes.…
February 3, 2017
In a post yesterday, Jon Holmlund, in typically erudite fashion, addressed the ethical issues that arise from the findings of a published study which looked at the potential use of genome technologies to (someday) produce human organs in animals. I will begin by saying that I have no particular disagreement with Jon’s assessment. There is a lot that is troubling in this research, as much good... // Read More »
January 22, 2017
What is therapy? This is one question that should occur to the reader of Jill Neimark’s “Unexpected Risks Found In Replacing DNA To Prevent Inherited Disorders.” In referring to the birth of the baby born of three parents last year, the author names it “mitochondrial replacement therapy”: Using a technique called mitochondrial replacement therapy, the researchers combined DNA from two women and one man to bypass... // Read More »
December 28, 2016
by Stephanie A. Kraft, JD
The modern experience of pregnancy is distinctly “not your mother’s pregnancy”. Ever-expanding options for carrier, prenatal, and newborn screening offer today’s pregnant women countless choices when it comes to genetic testing—choices that were unheard of, even unfathomable, just a generation ago.…
December 11, 2016
The “world’s leading scientists” gathered at University College London on 7 December 2016 to explore extending the 14-day limit on embryo experimentation from 14 days to 28 days. Presently the consensus of that meeting is not known. The Guardian has published a nice summary of the background and future implications of the issue (link HERE). Jon Holmlund offered his comments in this blog back in... // Read More »
December 1, 2016
The journal Nature reports that scientists advising the U.K.’s Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HEFA) have judged that attempts to bring so-called “3-parent babies” to birth is “ready for limited clinical testing.” Presumably this means that the underlying technology, mitochondrial replacement, has been tested enough in the laboratory that it’s ready to try for human procreation. Also presumably, HEFA will promulgate rules or guidelines to... // Read More »
November 25, 2016
In the made-for-bioethics movie Gattaca, when the main character Vincent is born, a nurse in the delivery room draws a drop of his blood, places it in the nifty instant genetic analyzer, and intones, “Heart disorder: 99% probability. Early fatal potential: life expectancy 30.2 years.” (Spoiler alert!) However, Vincent doesn’t let this genetic version of a horoscope control his life, but goes on to beat... // Read More »
November 9, 2016
by Arthur Caplan, Ph.D.
Academic bioethics has never been popular with Republicans. Libertarians dislike academic bioethics because it seems too elitist and anti-free market. …
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February 23, 2017 9:00 am
Rather than wait years for treatments to be approved by federal officials, many of them are testing ways to modify human biology that fall somewhere on the spectrum between science and entrepreneurialism. It’s called biohacking, and it’s one of the biggest things happening in the Bay Area.
February 21, 2017 9:00 am
The Broad Institute in Cambridge, Mass., will retain potentially lucrative rights to a powerful gene-editing technique that could lead to major advances in medicine and agriculture, the federal Patent and Trademark Office ruled on Wednesday.
February 2, 2017 9:00 am
By studying the insects under more-natural conditions, scientists hope to better understand how to eradicate them — and malaria — using an emerging genetic-engineering technology called gene drives. The technique can quickly disseminate genetic modifications in wild populations through an organism’s offspring, prompting some activists to call for it to be shelved. Yet gene drives might not be as effective as activists think. Recent research has identified a major hurdle to using them to eliminate diseases and vanquish invasive pests: evolution.
January 19, 2017 9:00 am
Stem cells: The key to boosting bone healing in diabetes
January 18, 2017 9:00 am
Until crispr came along, biologists lacked the tools to force specific genetic changes across an entire population. But the system, which is essentially a molecular scalpel, makes it possible to alter or delete any sequence in a genome of billions of nucleotides. By placing it in an organism’s DNA, scientists can insure that the new gene will copy itself in every successive generation.
January 16, 2017 9:00 am
CRISPR may be used to repair a gene that has a deficient product, such as an enzyme or receptor, or alter code that merely suggests of risk. Ideas on how to use it change hourly. The method is here to last. The ethics will only get more fraught.
December 5, 2016 9:00 am
United Kingdom may soon become the first country to explicitly permit the birth of children from embryos modified to contain three people’s DNA.
November 28, 2016 6:00 am
Immune cells from low-ranking monkeys were less effective at fighting the infection.
November 17, 2016 9:00 am
A Chinese group has become the first to inject a person with cells that contain genes edited using the revolutionary CRISPR–Cas9 technique.
October 31, 2016 8:00 am
The “Roaming Rapist” is one of a handful of cases that California authorities have quietly solved in recent years using a controversial technique that scours an offender DNA database for a father, son or brother of an elusive crime suspect.
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