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Genetic Crossroads
April 30th, 2007

Check out a few recent posts from CGS' blog, Biopolitical Times. We invite you to add Biopolitical Times to your Internet routines, and to weigh in with your own contributions.

bulletA Darker Shade of Pale
A case that may very well come to represent the future of racial conflict is quietly making its way through the New York State Supreme Court.

bulletThe Crossroads of America?
The state of Indiana has apologized for its role in the eugenics movement. It's not the first such state apology, but this one is particularly significant because Indiana was the first government in the world to endorse eugenic sterilization.

bulletMo' Money, Mo' Problems
"Everyone has a price," goes the adage. Before last week, the FDA apparently thought this wasn't true for physicians, biomedical researchers, and others serving on advisory committees that give expert opinions on pending drug approvals.

bullet"Should the possibility of inadvertent gene transfer to the germline be considered a benefit or risk?"
Researchers in the UK are working towards gene "therapy" on human fetuses. Although the technique holds potential for treatments of serious genetic conditions, it raises both ethical and safety concerns.

bulletCan't Discard Them as Embryos, Abort Them as Fetuses, Or Cast Them Out? Try Hormone Patches.
The Associated Press reported yesterday that a leading evangelical would support hormonal "treatments" for fetuses if genetic tests that can identify them as predisposed to be gay are developed.

bulletPrisons: Rehabilitation or Repository?
On the heels of the Institute of Medicine's suggestion to relax restrictions on using prisoners in clinical trials, South Carolina is looking to push the envelope a bit further: incentivizing prisoners to "donate" organs by skimming 180 days off their sentence.

bulletNever Satisfied
Are researchers justified in asking women to provide their eggs for research cloning? If they are, or if the work is going to proceed in any case, how can the risks of egg retrieval be minimized? For many people, these are important and complex questions. Others, including British cloning researcher Professor Alison Murdoch, are apparently impatient with all the dilly-dallying.

bulletIllinois Bill to Fund Stem Cell Research
Public funding of stem cell research in Illinois - already the practice due to executive orders - is about to become enshrined in law. The identical bills which have passed both the House and Senate are, in a number of ways, improvements over those seen in other states, such as California and Connecticut. But they do contain significant flaws.


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