Hot Topics: Genetics

Blog Posts (145)

June 15, 2018

A safety concern with gene editing

Hat-tip to Dr. Joe Kelley for bring this to my attention… As readers of this blog will recall, there is keen interest in exploiting recent discoveries in genetic engineering to “edit” disease-causing gene mutations and develop treatments for various diseases.  Initially, such treatments would likely use a patient’s own cells—removed from the body, edited to change the cells’ genes in a potentially therapeutic way, then... // Read More »
May 15, 2018

One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s DNA Treasure

Last month, investigators used big data analysis, public DNA genealogy websites and “Discarded DNA” to identify the Golden State Killer (WSJ subscription needed), an individual believed responsible for over 12 murders, greater than 50 rapes and over 100 burglaries in California between 1974 through 1986. While justice may be served if the legal case remains solid, there are some interesting bioethical issues that warrant discussion.... // Read More »
May 15, 2018

One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s DNA Treasure

Last month, investigators used big data analysis, public DNA genealogy websites and “Discarded DNA” to identify the Golden State Killer (WSJ subscription needed), an individual believed responsible for over 12 murders, greater than 50 rapes and over 100 burglaries in California between 1974 through 1986. While justice may be served if the legal case remains solid, there are some interesting bioethical issues that warrant discussion.... // Read More »
May 14, 2018

Ethical Considerations in the Manufacture, Sale and Distribution of Genome Editing Technologies

by Jeremy Sugarman MD MPH,MA, Supriya Shivakumar PhD, Martha Rook PhD, Jeanne F. Loring PhD, Christoph Rehmann-Sutter PhD, Jochen Taupitz PhD, Jutta Reinhard-Rupp PhD, Steven Hildemann MD PhD

New genome editing technologies are playing an increased role in an array of advanced research and development efforts in the life sciences.…

May 4, 2018

More on genetic medicine

The third and final installment from The Code, a series of 3 short documentaries on the internet about the origins of genetic medicine, is entitled “Selling the Code.”  This is about genetic testing to try to predict risks of diseases, among other things.  Doctors use some of this testing in clinical care and a burgeoning amount of research.  A number of companies, such as 23andMe,... // Read More »
May 2, 2018

From Westworld to the Rest of the World: Time to Regulate the Mining of Third Party Data

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

You do not have control over your ideas, your passions, or even your DNA anymore. Your biological material and your ideas may be taken without your awareness of it.…

April 10, 2018

DNA Testing for Baby’s IQ

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

In the 1997 film GATTACA, when a child is born, a reading of their DNA is done within minutes.…

April 6, 2018

Ethics and Society Newsfeed – April 6, 2018

Image via Bioethics/Medical Ethics/Animal Ethics The Human Thing: When It’s Not About “Bioethics” “In the place of narcissistic and subjective dignity wrongly invoked by procreation militants, we need a return to the transcendent and objective dignity of human nature.” A Global Observatory for Gene Editing “Sheila Jasanoff and J. Benjamin Hurlbut call for an international […]
April 5, 2018

New short videos on genetic topics

This week, an email from the Hastings Center promoted The Code, a series of 3 short documentaries on the internet about the origins of genetic medicine.  The three are being released one week at a time.  The first, released this week, briefly (12 minutes) reviews the determination, or sequencing, of the entire human genome, a project conducted in the 1990’s, and completed in 2000, by... // Read More »
March 29, 2018

Toward true public engagement about gene editing

The March 22, 2018 edition of Nature includes two thoughtful, helpful commentaries about improving the public dialogue around “bleeding edge” biotechnologies.  In this case, the example is gene editing, of which one commentator, Simon Burall from the U.K., says, “Like artificial intelligence, gene editing could radically alter almost every domain of life.”  Burall’s piece, “Don’t wait for an outcry about gene editing,” can be found... // Read More »

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Published Articles (65)

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 18 Issue 4 - Apr 2018

Beyond Consent: Building Trusting Relationships With Diverse Populations in Precision Medicine Research Stephanie A. Kraft, Mildred K. Cho, Katherine Gillespie, Meghan Halley, Nina Varsava, Kelly E. Ormond, Harold S. Luft, Benjamin S. Wilfond & Sandra Soo-Jin Lee

AJOB Primary Research: Volume 8 Issue 1 - Mar 2018

Understanding variations in secondary findings reporting practices across U.S. genome sequencing laboratories Sara L. Ackerman PhD, MPH & Barbara A. Koenig

AJOB Primary Research: Volume 8 Issue 4 - Dec 2017

“Will they be good enough parents?”: Ethical dilemmas, views, and decisions among assisted reproductive technology (ART) providers Robert Klitzman

AJOB Primary Research: Volume 8 Issue 4 - Dec 2017

How should we deal with misattributed paternity? A survey of lay public attitudes Georgia Lowe, Jonathan Pugh, Guy Kahane, Louise Corben, Sharon Lewis, Martin Delatycki & Julian Savulescu

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 17 Issue 7 - Jul 2017

Modernizing Research Regulations Is Not Enough: It's Time to Think Outside the Regulatory Box Suzanne M. Rivera, Kyle B. Brothers, R. Jean Cadigan, Heather L. Harrell, Mark A. Rothstein, Richard R. Sharp & Aaron J. Goldenberg

AJOB Primary Research: Volume 8 Issue 2 - Apr 2017

When bins blur: Patient perspectives on categories of results from clinical whole genome sequencing Leila Jamal, Jill O. Robinson, Kurt D. Christensen, Jennifer Blumenthal-Barby, Melody J. Slashinski, Denise Lautenbach Perry, Jason L. Vassy, Julia Wycliff, Robert C. Green & Amy L. McGuire

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 17 Issue 5 - May 2017

Genetic Fingerprints and National Security Beau P. Sperry, Megan Allyse & Richard R. Sharp

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 17 Issue 4 - Apr 2017

Psychiatric Genomics and Mental Health Treatment: Setting the Ethical Agenda Camillia Kong, Michael Dunn & Michael Parker

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 17 Issue 4 - Apr 2017

Psychiatric Genetics in a Risk Society Nicole Martinez-Martin

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 17 Issue 1 - Jan 2017

A Framework for Unrestricted Prenatal Whole-Genome Sequencing: Respecting and Enhancing the Autonomy of Prospective Parents Stephanie C. Chen & David T. Wasserman

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News (914)

June 19, 2018 6:00 am

Soccer Fans, Don’t Root for a Team Based on Genetics (LeapsMag)

23andMe is taking a lot of heat as one of the DNA aggregators whose databases may not be secure from prying third-party eyes. That is a huge issue, but the company is engaging in even more troubling behavior—using genetics to sponsor racism.

June 11, 2018 5:50 pm

I took a batch of DNA tests so you don't have to (NBC News)

DNA tests promise to help you tailor a diet, supplements and exercise for optimum weight, heart health and lifestyle. But can they really deliver?

June 5, 2018 9:00 am

Million-dollar Kavli prize recognizes scientist scooped on CRISPR (Nature)

CRISPR has hauled in yet another big science award, and this time the recognition includes a scientist whose contribution has sometimes been overlooked.

May 9, 2018 12:00 pm

Which Anti-Depressant Is Right for You? Your DNA Can Shed Some Light (Washington Post)

Genomics is coming to psychiatry, with some doctors using a gene test to figure out the most effective anti-depressant for a patient.

May 4, 2018 9:00 am

Genome writing project aims to rally scientists around virus-proofing cells (Science)

Launched in 2016 with the sprawling ambition to build large genomes, the synthetic biology initiative known as Genome Project–write (GP-write) is now, slowly, getting down to specifics. Ahead of a meeting today in Boston, GP-write’s leadership announced a plan to organize its international group of collaborators around a “community-wide project”: engineering cells to resist viral infection.

May 2, 2018 4:40 pm

NIH seeks health data of 1 million people, with genetic privacy suddenly an issue (Washington Post)

The National Institutes of Health on Tuesday announced the launch of its attempt to enroll 1 million people in a landmark research effort aimed at developing “personalized” methods of prevention, treatment and care for a wide variety of diseases. The “All of Us” recruitment effort begins Sunday with community events in seven sites around the country, where people will be encouraged to sign up for the mammoth research project.

April 30, 2018 9:00 am

Took an ancestry DNA test? You might be a 'genetic informant' unleashing secrets about your relatives (USA Today)

You just wanted to find out if you were Portuguese or Spanish, but instead you found out you were related to a mass murderer. This is a reality in a world where the alleged Golden State Killer, now known as Joseph James DeAngelo, was arrested after DNA found at one of the killer’s crime scenes was checked against genetic profiles from genealogical websites that collect DNA samples.

April 24, 2018 9:00 am

U.S. agencies clash over who should regulate genetically engineered livestock (Science)

A disease that kills millions of pigs a year may soon meet its match — if two federal agencies can agree on the idea.

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus is one of the latest examples of a condition that scientists believe they can beat with genetic engineering, and one that’s caught up in a disagreement between the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over how quickly such methods should be approved, and by whom.

April 16, 2018 3:59 pm

Employees Jump at Genetic Testing. Is That a Good Thing? (The New York Times)

Genetic disease risk screening is becoming a popular employee benefit. But the tests may not be all that beneficial for the general population, experts say.

March 12, 2018 9:00 am

Fast genome tests are diagnosing some of the sickest babies in time to save them (MIT Technology Review)

Genetic diseases are the leading cause of death for infants in North America, affecting an estimated 4 percent of newborns. So while the work at Rady is still in the research stage, costing the hospital about $6,000 per baby, the hope is that it could lead to a standard medical test with the potential to save thousands of lives.

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