Hot Topics: Genetics
by Julian Savulescu, Ph.D., MBBS
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“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more; it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing” (Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 5).
This blog has carried several comments about the prospect of heritable human gene editing. While nearly no one currently supports bringing such babies to birth—and condemns those who would rush ahead to do so—it appears a distinct minority think that we the human race should, if we could, agree never to do such a thing. …Full Article
A Guest Post Written by Jonny Anomaly It’s been 20 years since Allen Buchanan and his colleagues published From Chance to Choice: Genetics and Justice. The book was a landmark, and it repays careful reading. But there is at least one kind of question that has been largely (if not entirely) ignored in discussions […]Full Article
It is reported this week that a Russian scientist plans to edit the genes of more human embryos intending to bring gene-edited babies to birth. As with the case in China last year, the intent is to edit a gene called CCR5 that is responsible for a receptor that facilitates initiation of HIV infection. The …Full Article
You may have seen in the general press that the gene-edited twin girls born in China last year may have had their life expectancies shortened in the bargain. The doctor who edited the babies’ genes specifically edited one gene, that is associated with susceptibility to HIV infection. Their father is HIV positive, but that does …Full Article
The Editorial Board of The Washington Post (WaPo) recently published their opinion on regulation of heritable genetic changes in human eggs, sperm, and embryos. The authors expressed some measure of relief that organizations such as the National Academies in the U.S., the Royal Society in Britain, and the World Health Organization are beginning to consider …Full Article
Recently, it was reported that the panel convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) to develop standards and guidelines for gene editing will ask the WHO to establish a registry for any projects on heritable human gene editing. The idea is that, to get research funding, a project would have to be registered, and there …Full Article
Guest Post: Torbjörn Tännsjö, Kristian Claëson Emeritus Professor of Practical Philosophy Statistically speaking, women perform less well than men in most sports. Their top results are 10-12 % worse than those of men. If they are to have a chance to compete at the top level, they need a protected space. At least, this has been […]Full Article
by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.
Since 2009 Caster Semenya has been the face of hyperandrogenism in women’s sports and today her case is back in the headlines.…Full Article
The new indie movie William explores the question, What would what it be like if a Neanderthal were born and raised in a modern, industrialized society today?Full Article
Rational Freedom and Six Mistakes of a Bioconservative
Yesterday’s Child: How Gene Editing for Enhancement Will Produce Obsolescence—and Why It Matters
A Cross-Cultural Neuroethics View on the Language of Disability
The DNA Test Results That Uncovered a Family Secret
Should Researchers Offer Results to Family Members of Cancer Biobank Participants? A Mixed-Methods Study of Proband and Family Preferences
What to Expect When Expecting CRISPR Baby Number Four
Ethical Guidelines for DNA Testing in Migrant Family Reunification
“I want us to be a normal family”: Toward an understanding of the functions of anonymity among U.S. oocyte donors and recipients
A content analysis of the views of genetics professionals on race, ancestry, and genetics
Genes wide open: Data sharing and the social gradient of genomic privacy
A Russian scientist says he wants to create more genetically modified babies, flouting international objections that such a step would be premature, unethical and irresponsible.Full Article
A statement from the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) regarding the interpretation of genomic test results was published in Nature this weekFull Article
The price set by the Swiss drugmaker Novartis may be the world’s highest for a single treatment — prompting renewed debate about how society will pay for gene-therapy breakthroughs.Full Article
Genetic and molecular analysis of 109 volunteers turned up hidden health problems in about half of them. Critics say the approach amounted to ‘carpet-bombing’ the body.Full Article
A new experiment has raised medical and ethical questions as serious as those surrounding human gene editing: A support system delivering artificial blood to pig brains prevented degradation of important neural functions, Yale researchers discovered.
Stanford University has cleared Stephen Quake, a bioengineering professor, of any wrongdoing in his interactions with a Chinese researcher who roiled the scientific world by creating the first gene-edited babies.Full Article
Scientists in southern China report that they’ve tried to narrow the evolutionary gap, creating several transgenic macaque monkeys with extra copies of a human gene suspected of playing a role in shaping human intelligence.Full Article
We call for a global moratorium on all clinical uses of human germline editing — that is, changing heritable DNA (in sperm, eggs or embryos) to make genetically modified children.
By ‘global moratorium’, we do not mean a permanent ban. Rather, we call for the establishment of an international framework in which nations, while retaining the right to make their own decisions, voluntarily commit to not approve any use of clinical germline editing unless certain conditions are met.Full Article