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Genetic Crossroads
May 31st, 2005

CGS Report:Gender and Justice in the Gene Age: This 32-page report summarizes the feminist and social justice perspectives on the human biotechnologies that were discussed at a landmark meeting of feminist activists and scholars held in May 2004. The report and additional information about the meeting can be viewed at http://www.GJGA.org.

CGS Report:Stem Cell Conflicts of Interest: On April 5, CGS released a study showing that 7 of the 29 members of the governing board of California's new stem cell research program, have significant business connections with companies connected to stem cell research. These relationships include substantial equity investments and board memberships, and may pose personal financial conflicts of interest. That same week, a San Francisco Bay Guardian article presented a graphic display of the interlocking web of corporate and financial ties among members of the ICOC.

New Books: Four important books have been recently released, all highly recommended to readers of Genetic Crossroads:

Human Genetic Engineering: A Guide for Activists, Skeptics, and the Very Perplexed by Pete Shanks (Nation Books, 2005). Long-time CGS research associate Pete Shanks offers this laudably readable yet thorough and nuanced overview of the challenges posed by the new human reproductive and genetic technologies.

Rights and Liberties in the Biotech Age: Why We Need a Genetic Bill of Rights, Sheldon Krimsky and Peter Shorett (editors) (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005). The Genetic Bill of Rights was proposed by the Council for Responsible Genetics in 2000. Here, US scholars and advocates discuss human and non-human genetic technologies through the lenses of human rights and social justice. Includes a foreword by Bill McKibben, afterword by Paul Billings, and a chapter on inheritable genetic modification by CGS Associate Director Marcy Darnovsky.

Our Bodies, Ourselves: A New Edition for a New Era by the Boston Women's Health Book Collective (Touchstone, 2005). This new version of the essential women's health reference contains sections on new reproductive technologies and stem cell research.

University Inc.: The Corporate Corruption of American Higher Education by Jennifer Washburn (Basic Books, 2005). Washburn, an investigative reporter who has written for The Atlantic Monthly, The Nation, and The American Prospect, uncovers the troubling impact that close relationships with private corporations has had upon universities - with a particular focus on biotechnology and the life sciences.

Analysis: "Egg Donation for IVF and Stem Cell Research: Time to Weigh the Risks to Women's Health," Judy Norsigian. Different Takes, The Population and Development Program at Hampshire College (Spring 2005).

Radio show:The World, a public radio show that covers world news, recently aired a four-part series on stem cell research and governance in the US, the United Kingdom, Israel, and China.

Review: "Faking babies," by David Adam, The Guardian (May 19). "Scientists are developing artificial wombs, sperm and eggs."

Investigative report: "The Other Stem-Cell Debate," by Jamie Shreeve, The New York Times (April 10). An in-depth article on the growing use of human-animal chimeras for stem cell research appeared in the Sunday New York Times Magazine.

Upcoming event: The Latin American and Caribbean Bioethics Congress, "Bioethics, Public Health and Citizenship," will be held August 10-13 in Panama. For more information, email [email protected] .

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