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Genetic Crossroads
March 31st, 2005

Book: Rights and Liberties in the Biotech Age, Sheldon Krimsky and Peter Shorett, eds.
Rights and Liberties in the Biotech Age is the first book reaching broadly into biotechnology that imbeds the issues into a rights framework for the social management of technology. The contributors to the volume comprise prominent university scientists, civil rights lawyers, and public interest activists who bring their perspectives to issues where science and civil liberties meet head on. This book explores the impact of new genetic technologies on how people define their "personhood" and their basic civil liberties. It questions the thesis of "scientism" where "rights" must adapt and conform to technological changes. Instead, the authors explore the expansion of human rights in the face of new biomedical and bio-agricultural advances so that "rights" and not "technologies" are at the forefront of discussion.

Foreword by Bill McKibben; Afterward by Paul R. Billings; Chapter on "Human Rights in a Post-human Future" by CGS's Marcy Darnovsky.

Opinion: Sharon Begley, "Why gene therapy still hasn't produced forecast breakthroughs," Wall Street Journal (Feb. 21)
"The unhappy history of gene therapy offers a cautionary tale for stem-cell research. It, too, is already curing lab animals. It, too, looks as though it can't miss. That's what they said about gene therapy."

Opinion: Judy Norsigian, "Risks to women in embryo cloning," Boston Globe (Feb. 25)
The executive director of Our Bodies Ourselves, describes the risks to women from research cloning.

Opinion: Bernadine Healy, "To create, or not to create?," US News and World Report (Mar. 21)
"What has made the United States such fertile ground for expanding embryo research is not its liberal laws but the lack of them."

Conference, "A Brave New World: Where Biotechnology and Human Rights Intersect," April 14, 2005, Ottawa, Canada
"Experts from Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom will examine the issues surrounding clinical and research applications from assisted reproductive technology and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis."

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