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About the States' Policies & Human Biotechnology


Individual states are filling the regulatory void created by the federal government’s failure to provide comprehensive legislation governing human biotechnologies. This is creating an often inconsistent policy patchwork.

California

State action is evident in a number of areas, including embryonic stem cell, cloning, egg retrieval, and assisted reproduction. More than a dozen states have laws banning reproductive cloning, about half of which also prohibit cloning for stem cell research. Dozens of similar bills are introduced in other states each year.

In response to President Bush’s restrictions on the federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research, several states initiated their own funded research programs. California led the way in 2004 with Proposition 71, which set aside $3 billion of public funds for stem cell research over ten years.



Slippery Slopes and Biological Curve Balls: Updates on 3-person IVFby Leah LowthorpBiopolitical TimesDecember 13th, 2016There have been several recent setbacks and troubling developments in 3-person IVF technology and applications.
NY senator from LI introduces ‘familial DNA’ legislationby Chau LamNewsdayDecember 9th, 2016Critics of familial DNA searches point to high rates of false positives, invasion of privacy, and racial disparities.
Amid Lawsuit, San Diego Stem Cell Company Pushes Back On Proposed Regulationsby David WagnerKPBSDecember 5th, 2016Patients currently suing the company say they paid thousands of dollars for treatments that didn't work.
How Will Trump Use Science to Further His Political Agenda?by Sarah ZhangThe AtlanticDecember 1st, 2016We have a president-elect who appears to believe in his genetic superiority, with a chief strategist who has been reported to believe the same.
UK doctors to seek permission to create baby with DNA from three people by Ian SampleThe GuardianNovember 30th, 2016A scientific review concluded that the procedure should be approved for "cautious clinical use" when children are at risk of inheriting specific genetic diseases.
What’s behind those billion-dollar biotech deals? Often, a whole lot of hypeby Damian GardeSTATNovember 28th, 2016Huge deals are measured in "biobucks" — akin to lottery tickets that pay out if and when an experimental drug hits various milestones along the path to commercialization.
Abortion-By-Mail Study Outrages Opponentsby Phil GalewitzKQED California HealthlineNovember 16th, 2016A pilot study of telemedicine-based medical abortion demonstrates a welcome new option for women. Opponents of abortion find the concept deeply disturbing.
Where Traditional DNA Testing Fails, Algorithms Take Overby Lauren KirchnerProPublicaNovember 4th, 2016Various "probabilistic genotyping" programs undermine due process as defense attorneys, judges, and jurors can't access their proprietary inner workings.
The controversial DNA search that helped nab the 'Grim Sleeper' is winning over skepticsby Marisa GerberLos Angeles TimesOctober 25th, 2016Use of familial DNA to solve crimes is growing in popularity, raising concerns of 4th Amendment unreasonable search and seizure violations.
President signs Senate bill that protects eugenics victimsby Richard CraverWinston-Salem JournalOctober 7th, 2016State restitution payments will not decrease or eliminate federal benefits for people who were forcibly sterilized.
DNA Dragnet: In Some Cities, Police Go From Stop-and-Frisk to Stop-and-Spitby Lauren KirchnerProPublicaSeptember 12th, 2016Private police DNA databases are multiplying, and are subject to no state or federal regulation or oversight.
Silicon Valley was going to disrupt capitalism. Now it’s just enhancing itby Evgeny MorozovThe GuardianAugust 6th, 2016Tech giants thought they would beat old businesses but the guardians of capitalism are using data troves to become more, not less, resilient.
Stem Cell Therapies Are Still Mostly Theory, Yet Clinics Are Flourishingby Gina KolataThe New York TimesJuly 28th, 2016570 clinics in the United States are offering untested stem cell therapies.
Editas signs genome-edited stem cell pact with GSK, Biogen biotech partnerby Ben AdamsFierce BiotechJuly 28th, 2016Editas Medicine has a hand in a number of gene therapy initiatives.
Congress wrestles with providing fertility benefits for injured veterans and servicemembersby Karoun DemirjianThe Washington PostJuly 27th, 2016Senator Patty Murray believes the ban on IVF and other fertility options is outdated.
Guardian ad litem bills gay couple $100K for report questioning surrogacyby Debra Cassens WeissABA Journal Daily NewsJuly 27th, 2016The judge was extremely critical of surrogacy and his remarks have since been called “unduly harsh” by another judge.
We’re on the cusp of a gene editing revolution, are we ready?by EditorialNew ScientistJuly 27th, 2016Fast-moving genetic technologies may be on the road to outpacing public acceptance and debate.
Can genes really predict how well you’ll do academically?by Daphne MartschenkoThe ConversationJuly 26th, 2016Genetic intelligence research has eugenic histories and may minimize the role of social and political environments.
Human Enhancement: The Scientific and Ethical Dimensions of Striving for Perfectionby David MasciPew Research CenterJuly 26th, 2016Genetic technologies raise questions ranging from the technical to the social.
Medical schools must play a role in addressing racial disparitiesby Jocelyn Stried, Margaret Hayden, Rahul Nayajk & Cameron NuttSTATJuly 25th, 2016A legacy of racial injustice has shaped the institutions that train our doctors. This inequity recapitulates itself in medical curricula.
Craig Venter’s Latest Productionby Arlene WeintraubMIT Technology ReviewJuly 25th, 2016For now, at least, it's "only the rich who can pay right now for genome sequencing."
'Activist judge' compares surrogacy to human traffickingby Daniel BiceMilwaukee-Wisconsin Journal SentinelJuly 24th, 2016The couple was forced to take second and third mortgages out on their home, but they were finally granted parental rights.
Should we pay women to donate their eggs for research? No, and here's why.[citing CGS’ Marcy Darnovsky, fellow Lisa Ikemoto]by Michael HiltzikThe Los Angeles TimesJuly 22nd, 2016The risks of egg retrieval, particularly long-term risks, are not yet understood due to a lack of studies.
Do CRISPR enthusiasts have their head in the sand about the safety of gene editing? by Sharon BegleySTATJuly 18th, 2016Off-target effects and other concerns around genome editing should be taken more seriously.
Genome Tea Leavesby Sheldon KrimskyLos Angeles Review of BooksJuly 17th, 2016A review of Siddhartha Mukherjee’s The Gene: An Intimate History and Steven Monroe Lipkin’s The Age of Genomes: Tales from the Front Lines of Genetic Medicine.
The Direct-to-Consumer Stem Cell Industry in the USby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesJuly 15th, 2016There are more stem-cell clinics than anyone suspected, and it’s not clear that they are operating with proper supervision.
Stanford team creates bone, heart muscle from embryonic stem cellsby Lisa KriegerSan Jose MercuryJuly 14th, 2016The research, while still contending with immune system rejection, has been able to create samples of distinct types of cells.
A Medical Mystery of the Best Kind: Major Diseases Are in Declineby Gina KolataThe New York TimesJuly 14th, 2016Improvements in treatment and prevention account for only part of the decline.
First he pioneered a new way of making life. Now he wants to try it in peopleby Karen WeintraubSTATJuly 8th, 2016"If someone were to proceed with [three-person IVF] now, my own view is that’s probably irresponsible."
Why scientists' failure to understand GM opposition is stifling debate and halting progress by Sarah HartleyThe ConversationJuly 7th, 2016There are both scientific and social problems with "Golden Rice." Are its supporters using their privilege and authority to promote a particular technological solution to a political problem?
Eugenics bill passes Houseby Kevin EllisShelby StarJuly 7th, 2016The North Carolina bill will ensure that compensation payments to victims of the state's eugenic sterilization program are not counted as income.
State should settle quickly with eugenics victimsThe Lincoln Times-NewsJuly 5th, 2016The General Assembly has allocated $10 million for 220 victims, but those funds have yet to be distributed.
Find the time to discuss new bioweaponsby Malcolm DandoNature World ViewJuly 5th, 2016The Biological Weapons Convention must undergo reassessment, given emerging scientific dangers.
Fertility experts urge UK to adopt new DNA screening for IVF embryos by Nicola DavisThe GuardianJuly 4th, 2016Research suggests embryos with more mitochondrial DNA may be less likely to lead to pregnancy.
'False Hopes, Sizable Profits' -- The Nation's Largely Unregulated Stem Cell Clinicsby David JensenCalifornia Stem Cell ReportJuly 1st, 2016"The clinics use hope as a marketing tool. A weapon," writes Paul Knoepfler.
Unproven Stem Cell Clinics Proliferate in the U.S.by Dina Fine MaronScientific AmericanJune 30th, 2016570 websites advertise unproven therapies for sports injuries and conditions including autism, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.
This scientist is trying to stop a lab-created global disasterby Kristen V. BrownFusionJune 27th, 2016"If we misuse our power, we lose the trust. That is the tightrope we walk," says Kevin Esvelt.
Eugenics victim still waiting for last paymentby Tim BucklandStar News OnlineJune 25th, 2016North Carolina's fund to compensate victims of its eugenic sterilization program is in limbo, with lawsuits pending.
All about the base: New businesses eye the opportunities in managing genome dataThe EconomistJune 25th, 2016Currently, one firm - Illumina - controls 70% of a market worth $3.3 billion in 2015.
They’re going to CRISPR people. What could possibly go wrong?by Sharon BegleySTATJune 23rd, 2016Possible consequences range from off-target alterations to conflicts of interest in the clinical trial.
23andMe Sells Data for Drug Searchby Antonio RegaladoMIT Technology ReviewJune 21st, 201623andMe is monetizing DNA rather the way Facebook makes money from our "likes." What’s more, it gets its customers to pay for the privilege.
Federal Oversight Group Has Complaints But Says Yes To CRISPR Trialby Alex LashXconomyJune 21st, 2016Despite worries about conflict of interest, an NIH committee voted to let researchers move ahead with a clinical trial that could be the first use of CRISPR-Cas9 in a human treatment.
Book Review: Discounted Life - The Price of Global Surrogacy in Indiaby Ëlo LuikBioNewsJune 20th, 2016Rudrappa locates surrogacy within the histories of politics and control as well as aspiration, nationalism and modernisation that the bodies of working-class Indian women have long been subjects of and subjected to.
Money Behind First CRISPR Test? It’s from Internet Billionaire Sean Parkerby Antonio RegaladoMIT Technology ReviewJune 20th, 2016Parker’s foundation is unusual because it says it will control patents on research it funds and even bring treatments to market.
DIY sperm test to hit the market this fallby Meghana KeshavanSTAT NewsJune 20th, 2016The semen centrifuge will calculate sperm count, but not sperm motility or other factors that affect fertility.
Do women who donate their eggs run a health risk?by Sandra G. BoodmanThe Washington PostJune 20th, 2016Health advocates say that donors are being falsely reassured that the process is safe, without being told that there is no definitive research.
Start-ups selling new blood tests directly to consumers raise safety and accuracy concerns by Melody PetersenThe Los Angeles TimesJune 19th, 2016Worried about the rising number of unproven lab tests, the FDA has proposed strengthening its rules so that it can regulate the riskiest of the lab-developed tests.
Did Infamous Tuskegee Study Cause Lasting Mistrust of Doctors Among Blacks?by Aaron E. CarrollThe New York TimesJune 17th, 2016The Tuskegee Study was a horrific instance of racism and injustice in medical research, but racism is a systemic condition of US health care, not an isolated event.
Good riddance to a repugnant California cap on family aidby The Times Editorial BoardThe Los Angeles TimesJune 16th, 2016The “maximum family grant” discouraged women on welfare from having more children.
Stem cell factory opens door for trials of personalized diabetes treatment by Andrew JosephStat NewsJune 16th, 2016The proposed treatment for type 1 diabetes, based on induced pluripotent stem cells, could enter clinical trials in a few years.
How iPS cells changed the worldby Megan ScudellariNatureJune 15th, 2016Though therapies using induced pluripotent stem cells have proved challenging, iPS cells have become important for modelling and investigating human diseases, as well as for screening drugs.
Should We Sequence the DNA of Every Cancer Patient?by Antonio RegaladoMIT Technology ReviewJune 14th, 2016A startup plans to give free genetic tests to 100,000 cancer patients in order to steer them to drug companies.
The Politics of Women’s Eggsby Diane ToberUndarkJune 10th, 2016A California bill would allow researchers to obtain eggs by paying women to provide them, though little research exists on the procedure's long-term health impacts.
Genetically engineered bugs to fight malaria and Zika? Not so fast, experts sayby Joel AchenbachThe Washington PostJune 8th, 2016The use of "gene drive" technologies threaten incalculable harm to ecosystems worldwide.
Big Biotech is here — and it’s starting to look a lot like Big Pharma by Meghana KeshavanSTAT NewsJune 6th, 2016The market characteristics and goals of biotech companies align increasingly with those of pharmaceutical companies.
The Dwindling Options for Surrogacy Abroadby Danielle Preiss & Pragati ShahiThe AtlanticMay 31st, 2016As developing nations clamp down on the practice, hopeful parents are struggling to find women to carry their children.
Ethical Questions Loom Over Efforts to Make a Human Genome from Scratchby Antonio RegaladoMIT Technology ReviewMay 25th, 2016Printing genomes on demand could mean custom-built organisms, difficult ethical questions, and profits for a handful of companies.
Why is Congress trying to weaken the FDA's oversight of dangerous drugs?by Michael HiltzikLos Angeles TimesMay 19th, 2016With looser standards for drug approval, the "21st Century Cures Act" would grant pharmaceutical companies greater leeway in selling their products.
Should Women Be Able to Abort a Fetus Just Because It’s Female?by Emma GreenThe AtlanticMay 16th, 2016A new wave of state legislation that prohibits abortion based on sex, race, and genetic abnormality, is "meant to put women in this queasy position of having to justify two things that might not fit together in one political belief."
I Want To Put A Baby In You: The Curious Case Of Louisianaby Ellen TrachmanAbove the LawMay 4th, 2016Instead of reasonable regulation, the pending Louisiana bill transparently limits the types of people who can enter surrogacy arrangements.
Here Are the Medals Given to Eugenically Healthy Humans in the 1920sby Ella MortonAtlas ObscuraApril 26th, 2016People were judged alongside livestock at state fairs in better baby and fitter family contests.
Here’s Why that Race-Sex Abortion Ban Bill is So Discriminatoryby Sital KalantryWomen's eNewsApril 19th, 2016The bill accuses women of racially discriminating against their own fetuses.
Yeast Infection Led to Removal of Transplanted Uterusby Denise GradyThe New York TimesApril 8th, 2016Just two weeks after the first US uterus transplant, the organ had to be removed because a common yeast infection posed life-threatening risks.
Whose Body, Whose Property, What Choice?by Alison Irvine & Katayoun Chamany, Biopolitical Times guest contributorsMarch 21st, 2016A recent panel at The New School brought together speakers on health psychology, queer studies, law, life sciences, and more to discuss bodies purchased for labor and care in assisted reproduction.
Texas Woman Is the First Person to Undergo Optogenetic Therapyby Katherine BourzacMIT Technology ReviewMarch 18th, 2016Beyond the implications for treating blind people, this gene therapy trial is also being watched by the neuroscience community.
Why Surrogacy Laws Must Be Established — the Story of the Ott-Dahlsby Keston Ott-DahlHuffPostMarch 18th, 2016When my partner Andrea became a surrogate for another lesbian couple we had no idea we would end up starting over as new parents.
Jordan Schnitzer Gets a Son—and a Court Battle[cites CGS' Marcy Darnovsky]by Nigel JaquissWillamette WeekMarch 16th, 2016A Portland real estate mogul used science and the law to select the sex of his child born via surrogate. The baby's parentage is now in dispute.
People Are Going To Prison Thanks To DNA Software — But How It Works Is Secretby Stephanie M. LeeBuzzFeedMarch 12th, 2016Private companies are developing cutting-edge DNA analysis software used to convict people, but source codes are protected from independent validation because they are "trade secrets."
First Uterus Transplant in U.S. Has Failedby Denise GradyThe New York TimesMarch 10th, 2016A day after a news conference lauding what seemed to be a successful surgery, the recipient developed a serious complication and the organ was removed.
Forensics gone wrong: When DNA snares the innocentby Douglas StarrScience/AAASMarch 7th, 2016Biologist Greg Hampikian heads the Idaho Innocence Project, and uncovers instances where DNA evidence was false or misconstrued.
The Brain Gets Its Day in Courtby Greg MillerThe AtlanticMarch 1st, 2016A new study found that the number of judicial opinions referencing neuroscience as evidence more than doubled between 2005 and 2012.
Human Babies from CRISPR Pigsby Stuart NewmanHuffPost ScienceFebruary 29th, 2016300 years after Jonathan Swift, can anyone doubt that the grandchildren of some people born this year will be delivered fresh off the farm?
Exclusive: 23andMe 'spit kits' may head to the shelves of this huge retail chainby Ron LeutySan Francisco Business TimesFebruary 26th, 2016Genetic information company 23andMe Inc.'s "spit kits" will be available at Walgreens stores, a company leader says.
DNA Under the Scope, and a Forensic Tool Under a Cloudby Carl ZimmerThe New York TimesFebruary 26th, 2016Cutting-edge technology has enabled analysis of ever-tinier genetic samples. But as the science pushes boundaries, some experts are raising reliability questions.
How CRISPR Made it Onto The X-Filesby Jon BrooksKQEDFebruary 25th, 2016The plot involves humans who are stripped of their immune systems, accomplished via CRISPR/Cas9.
The Troubling Rise of Rapid DNA Testingby Ava KofmanNew RepublicFebruary 24th, 2016Your DNA can now be read in less time than it would take to wait at a typical DMV. New portable rapid DNA devices may represent a giant leap backward for civil liberties.
China Builds a Faster Beagle in Gene-Editing Race With U.SBloomberg NewsFebruary 23rd, 2016U.S. companies racing to develop a promising gene editing technology are up against a formidable competitor -- the Chinese government.
Carrie D. Wolinetz of the NIH on gene editingby Xavier SymonsBioEdgeFebruary 23rd, 2016"Unlike non-heritable human gene editing, editing of embryos raises many scientific, safety, ethical, societal, and policy issues that need to be sufficiently considered and addressed."
Thousands of goats and rabbits vanish from major biotech labby Sara ReardonNature NewsFebruary 19th, 2016Dallas-based Santa Cruz Biotechnology is one of the world’s largest antibody providers — and the subject of a US government animal-welfare investigation.
NC appeals court rules on eugenics casesby Anne BlytheNews & ObserverFebruary 16th, 2016In a series of cases related to people who were involuntarily sterilized, the state ruled that one woman was ineligible for compensation.
Gene editing: The next frontier in America’s abortion wars[cites CGS' Marcy Darnovsky]by Sarah KarlinPoliticoFebruary 16th, 2016"Fears about eugenics and a brave new world are concerns that are shared by people across the political spectrum."
Sure Genomics wants to sell private genetic profiles for $2,500, but it’s really testing the FDAby Arielle Duhaime-RossThe VergeFebruary 9th, 2016From a regulatory standpoint, Sure Genomics is treading on thin ice. The FDA has warned other companies about similar practices.
A Single Blood Test For All Cancers? Illumina, Bill Gates And Jeff Bezos Launch Startup To Make It Happen by Matthew HerperForbesJanuary 10th, 2016The new startup is called GRAIL, because such a test would be a holy grail for cancer doctors. It already has $100 million in funding.
Whiteness and “Making a Murderer”: Manitowoc, the “One-Branch Family Tree” and the Sinister Race Science of “Degenerate Whites”by Kate TuttleSalonJanuary 7th, 2016The Avery clan’s reputation as "trouble" echoes myths planted by inane, racist eugenicists in the early 1900s.
Whatever Happened to Human Experimentation?by Carl ElliottHastings Center ReportJanuary 1st, 2016The choice to abandon the word “experiment” is emblematic of a larger movement beginning in the 1990s, in which many bioethics scholars moved from being critics of the research enterprise to being its champions.
The Chances Of Success For IVF Improve The More Times You Do It, Study Finds, But It Also Highlights The Gap In Accessibilityby Erin McKelle FischerBustleDecember 30th, 2015Multiple rounds of IVF require tens of thousands of dollars and months to years of treatment; success is often only for the privileged.
Genetic Testing May Be Coming to Your Officeby Rachel Emma SilvermanThe Wall Street JournalDecember 15th, 2015Health advocates raise concerns about privacy and the potential for illegal discrimination based on employees’ genetic information.
Putting a Price on Human Eggs Makes No Senseby Debora SparFortuneNovember 21st, 2015No one wants to deal with the ugly reality that egg donation is not donation at all, but a high price paid for a piece of one’s body.
California Judge Orders Frozen Embryos Destroyed[cites CGS Fellow Lisa Ikemoto]by Andy NewmanThe New York TimesNovember 19th, 2015A superior court judge in San Francisco ordered the thawing and destruction of a divorced couple's frozen embryos, enforcing the terms of the couple's pre-divorce agreement.
Forgotten Stories of the Eugenic Age #4, Part 3: The Blurry Boundaries of Eugenic Infanticideby Natalie OveyssiBiopolitical TimesOctober 29th, 2015The final entry of the three-part examination of Dr. Harry Haiselden, Baby John Bollinger, and the practice of eugenic infanticide explores the legacy of Haiselden’s career and its meaning for the rights of individuals with disabilities.
Making Indigenous Peoples Equal Partners in Gene Researchby Ed YongThe AtlanticOctober 23rd, 2015After leaving a partnership with NIH in 2003, the Akimel O’odham (Pima) tribe is retaining control of their bio samples and shaping the goals of a diabetes project with genomic researchers.
Cops Want To Look At 23andMe Customers’ DNAby Stephanie M. LeeBuzzFeedOctober 21st, 2015The FBI and other agencies have asked for — and been denied — five users’ data, according to a new transparency report on the company's website, and chain of custody could be a legal obstacle for future requests.
American Surrogate Death: NOT the Firstby Mirah RibenHuffPost BlogOctober 15th, 2015Brooke Lee Brown's death "underscores the ethical problem with asking women to serve as surrogates for non-medical reasons." Is death simply an occupational hazard in the surrogacy industry?
'Great Pause' Among Prosecutors As DNA Proves Fallibleby Martin KasteNPROctober 9th, 2015The revelation that Texas labs have been using outdated protocols to analyze mixed DNA samples has led to concerns about thousands of criminal cases.
DNA At the Fringes: Twins, Chimerism, and Synthetic DNAby Erin E. MurphyThe Daily BeastOctober 7th, 2015DNA tests are thought to be conclusive, but our genetic material acts in mysterious ways. Chimerism, for example, may "undermine the very basis of the forensic DNA system."
Advances in DNA Testing Could Put Thousands of Texas Cases in Legal Limboby Meagan FlynnHouston PressOctober 5th, 2015Problems with analyses of testing with mixed DNA samples has cast doubt on many DNA-based criminal convictions in Texas.
Ohio Abortion Bill Stokes Old Tensions between Disability and Abortion Rights Advocatesby Emma ManiereBiopolitical TimesSeptember 24th, 2015A round-up of recent articles and commentaries about Ohio’s HB 135, which would ban abortions sought due to fetal diagnoses of Down syndrome.
The Life of a Professional Guinea Pigby Cari RommThe AtlanticSeptember 23rd, 2015Phase 1 trials are almost always where the money is. Is paying vulnerable populations to participate in dangerous drug studies the equivalent of coercion?
Disability and the Politics of Abortion by Judith LevineSeven Days [Vermont]September 9th, 2015We must not use technology to cull fetuses that might have differently abled bodies. We cannot allow abortion law to rescue them at the cost of their mothers' freedom.
Does Down Syndrome Justify Abortion?by Mark Lawrence SchradNew York TimesSeptember 4th, 2015In a typical pregnancy, women who choose to have an abortion are often saddled with shame and social stigma. Meanwhile, there remains significant stigma associated with being the parent of a child with special needs.
Court: $50M verdict in Seattle-area ‘wrongful birth’ doesn't shock the conscienceby Levi PulkkinenSeattlePIAugust 26th, 2015A Washington appeals court upheld a $50 million verdict in favor of a couple whose son was born with severe birth defects that should have been spotted by genetic testing.
Ohio Bill Would Ban Abortion if Down Syndrome Is Reasonby Tamar LewinThe New York TimesAugust 22nd, 2015The legislature is expected to approve the measure. Gov. John Kasich, a Republican who is running for president, opposes abortion but has not yet taken a position on this bill.
Fertility Clinics Let You Select Your Baby’s Sexby Sumathi ReddyThe Wall Street Journal“Family balancing” can become a smoke screen for families who want boys. Nonmedical sex selection is legal in only a few countries, including the US; medical organizations are split on the issue.
Ageing and Fertility: Biology Comes Secondby Kirsty OswaldBioNewsAugust 10th, 2015As long as we live in a society that expects women to sacrifice so much more than men to be a parent, we might as well stop talking about biology.
US Tailored-Medicine Project Aims for Ethnic Balanceby Sara ReardonNature NewsJuly 21st, 2015The $215-million Precision Medicine Initiative is having trouble meeting an imminent deadline, in part because its priorities include filling racial and socio-economic gaps left by other long-term studies.
Google is Scouring Ancestry.com to Find Out What's In Your Genesby Caroline ChenBloomberg BusinessweekJuly 21st, 2015Google Inc.’s Calico, which studies aging and related diseases, will delve into the genetic database amassed by Ancestry.com to look for hereditary influences on longevity.
Forgotten Stories of the Eugenic Age #2: Eugenics, Love, and the Marriage Problemby Natalie OveyssiBiopolitical TimesJuly 20th, 2015When gazing deeply into a lover's eyes, eugenists advised, women should not look for the "yearning, burning, soulful fires, which rage in the erotic litany of love," but for symptoms of eye disease.
POV: It’s Time to Regulate the Fertility Industryby George AnnasBoston University TodayJuly 16th, 2015Patients' intense desire to have children can leave them at the mercy of the market and unscrupulous practitioners. The fertility industry does not, and perhaps simply cannot, police itself.
Family Equality and Surrogacyby Elliot HosmanBiopolitical TimesJuly 9th, 2015With marriage equality on the books, the dignity of LGBTQ families calls for an ongoing conversation about the regulation of the ART and surrogacy industries.
Six Months of Progress on the Precision Medicine Initiativeby Brian Deese & Stephanie DevaneyOffice of Science and Technology PolicyJuly 8th, 2015The Obama Administration has released draft guiding principles to protect privacy and build public trust as the Precision Medicine Initiative develops.
First Federal Bill to Acknowledge US Eugenics Would Help Victims of State Sterilization Programsby Jonathan ChernoguzBiopolitical TimesJuly 8th, 2015If passed, it would be the first federal legislation to recognize the history of sterilization abuse that took place during the twentieth century in the name of eugenics.
Genome Researchers Raise Alarm Over Big Databy Erika Check HaydenNature NewsJuly 7th, 2015Storing and processing genome data will exceed the computing challenges of running YouTube and Twitter, biologists warn.
Forgotten Stories of the Eugenic Age #1: How “Better Babies” Became “Fitter Families”by Natalie OveyssiBiopolitical TimesJuly 7th, 2015The first post in a new series on lesser-known stories of the American eugenics movement examines how baby health contests shifted focus to the family with the help of one key, familiar individual.
Governor Signs Law that Expands Access to Post-Conviction DNA Testingby Maxine BernsteinThe OregonianJune 30th, 2015Oregon's governor has signed a bill that would expand access to DNA testing for people hoping to prove they were wrongly convicted.
Warner, Kaine Introduce Legislation To Assist Victims Receiving Eugenics Compensation Paymentsby Press Releasekaine.senate.govJune 25th, 2015The bill, which has bipartisan sponsors, would exclude payments from state eugenics compensation programs from consideration in determining federal benefits.
Unused Embryos Pose Difficult Issue: What to Do With Themby Tamar LewinThe New York TimesJune 17th, 2015In storage facilities across the nation, hundreds of thousands of frozen embryos — perhaps a million — are preserved in silver tanks of liquid nitrogen.
U.S. Bioweapons Research: Are Anthrax Lab Accidents All We Have to Fear?by Gwen D’Arcangelis, Biopolitical Times guest contributorJune 10th, 2015Mishaps involving loss or release of bacteria, viruses, and toxins reported by U.S. laboratories to the Centers for Disease Control number more than 200 incidents per year.
FBI Notifies Crime Labs of Errors used in DNA Match Calculations Since 1999by Spencer S. HsuWashington PostMay 29th, 2015While the bureau has said it believes the errors are unlikely to result in dramatic changes that would affect cases, crime labs and lawyers said they want to know more about the problem.
A Note on Genome Editingby John P. HoldrenOffice of Science and Technology PolicyMay 26th, 2015The Administration believes that altering the human germline for clinical purposes is a line that should not be crossed at this time.
The Blurred Lines of Genetic Data: Practicality, Pleasure and Policingby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMay 7th, 2015Amidst a rumor that Apple may encourage iPhone owners to participate in DNA testing and share their genetic data, shocking news from Ancestry.com and the Idaho police is a reminder that we don’t always control what happens with our data, and won’t always like it.
US Stem Cell Clinics, Patient Safety, and the FDAby Leigh TurnerTrends in Molecular MedicineMay 1st, 2015Fatal outcomes, complications, and lawsuits have not slowed the rapid spread of businesses promoting unapproved stem cell interventions.
A Look Inside a Stem Cell Clinic Infomercial Eventby David BrafmanKnoepfler Lab Stem Cell BlogApril 29th, 2015Over the past several years there has been a proliferation of so-called stem cell ‘clinics’, which promise patients miraculous therapies often for currently incurable diseases and disorders.
Fix the Flaws in Forensic Scienceby Eric S. LanderThe New York TimesApril 21st, 2015A Justice Department review found that F.B.I. testimony about hair identification was fundamentally flawed in 96% of the cases it examined. Of those defendants, 33 received the death penalty and nine have been executed so far.
CRISPR Patent Fight Now a Winner-Take-All Matchby Antonio RegaladoMIT Technology ReviewApril 15th, 2015Lab notebooks could determine who was first to invent a revolutionary gene-editing technology.
The Rights of Donor-Conceived Offspringby Naomi Cahn, Biopolitical Times guest contributorApril 15th, 2015While their parents’ choices affect them as children, donor-conceived children grow up, and many become curious about their origins. The law’s tight focus on the parent-child relationship excludes legal questions relating to donor-conceived adults.
Lightly Regulated In Vitro Fertilization Yields Thousands of Babies Annually[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Michael OlloveThe Washington PostApril 13th, 2015Both the federal government and the states have given the multi-billion-dollar industry a wide berth, which makes this country very much an outlier compared with the rest of the developed world.
Attorneys: Sterilizations were Part of Plea Deal Talksby  Sheila BurkeAssociated PressMarch 28th, 2015Nashville prosecutors have made sterilization of women part of plea negotiations at least four times in the past five years.
Practical Plan for Managing Human Germline Genetic Modificationby Paul KnoepflerKnoepfler Lab Stem Cell BlogMarch 20th, 2015There is a growing sense of urgency amongst biomedical scientists to take a proactive approach to current and future use of CRISPR technology in human germ cells and embryos.
States aren't Eager to Regulate Fertility Industry[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Michael OlloveUSA TodayMarch 19th, 2015Compared to many other industrialized nations, neither the U.S. nor state governments do much to oversee the multibillion-dollar assisted reproduction industry.
Virginia Votes Compensation for Victims of its Eugenic Sterilization Programby Jaydee Hanson, Biopolitical Times guest contributorMarch 5th, 2015Virginia’s eugenic sterilization law was revoked in 1979. It has taken 35 years for the state to decide to provide financial reparations for its victims, each of whom will receive $25,000.
Supreme Court Gives Tacit Approval for Government to Take Anybody’s DNAby David KravetsArs TechnicaMarch 2nd, 2015The Supreme Court has let stand the conviction of a rapist whose prosecution rested on DNA swiped from the armrests of an interrogation-room chair.
Virginia Lawmakers OK Payout to Forced Sterilization Survivorsby Gary RobertsonReutersFebruary 26th, 2015"I think it’s a recognition that when we do something wrong we need to fix it as a government."
She Got Rich Stealing Moms’ Dreamsby M.L. NestelThe Daily BeastFebruary 23rd, 2015Forty families, desperate for kids, paid Miracles Surrogacy tens of thousands each for the promise of parenthood. But the babies never came.
Building a Face, and a Case, on DNAby Andrew PollackThe New York TimesFebruary 23rd, 2015Rather than an artist’s rendering based on witness descriptions, the face was generated by a computer relying solely on DNA found at the scene of the crime.
Your DNA is Everywhere. Can the Police Analyze it?by David KravetsArs TechnicaFebruary 20th, 2015A human sheds as much as 100 pounds of DNA-containing material in a lifetime and about 30,000 skin cells an hour. Who owns that DNA is the latest privacy issue before the US Supreme Court.
Buying Time: How Egg Freezing has Moved into the Mainstreamby Carly WeeksThe Globe and MailFebruary 8th, 2015There are questions about what exactly women are buying. Don’t expect to find the answers in the waiting-room pamphlets of fertility clinics.
Obama Thinks "Precision Medicine" Will Make Us Healthier. Experts are Skeptical.by Julia BelluzVoxJanuary 30th, 2015Getting targeted therapies and treatments into the hands of most Americans is much further afield than Obama might like to admit.
U.S. Proposes Effort to Analyze DNA from 1 Million Peopleby Toni Clarke and Sharon BegleyReutersJanuary 30th, 2015At the heart of the "precision medicine" initiative is the creation of a pool of people who would be studied to learn how genetic variants affect health and disease.
‘Moonshot’ Medicine Will Let Us Downby Michael J. JoynerThe New York TimesJanuary 29th, 2015President Obama's new budget is expected to include hundreds of millions of dollars for so-called precision medicine. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to make most of us healthier.
Battle Over Paid Surrogacy Opens New Frontby Alexandra SifferlinTimeJanuary 28th, 2015In many states, hiring a woman to carry and give birth to a child for you is illegal. But New York Senator Brad Hoylman is fighting to change that in his home state.
Stem Cell Clinics, FDA, and Giant, Unapproved For-Profit Human Experimentsby Paul KnoepflerKnoepfler Lab Stem Cell BlogJanuary 27th, 2015The argument by for-profit clinics for stem cell deregulation and weakening of the FDA’s role in regulating stem cell products is a direct challenge to our system of science-based medicine.
Myriad Genetics Ending Patent Dispute on Breast Cancer Risk Testingby Andrew PollackThe New York TimesJanuary 27th, 2015The company has settled or is in the process of settling patent-infringement lawsuits it filed against other companies that now offer such testing.
Obama to Request Research Funding for Treatments Tailored to Patients’ DNAby Robert PearThe New York TimesJanuary 24th, 2015President Obama will seek hundreds of millions of dollars for a new initiative to develop medical treatments tailored to genetic and other characteristics of individual patients.
Riding High, Biotech Firms Remain Waryby Andrew PollackThe New York TimesJanuary 18th, 2015The biotech business is experiencing an almost unprecedented boom. Money is flowing into the industry as never before. Stock prices are high, and drug approvals are up. Some say it's a bubble that will burst.
State Courts Strike Blows to Criminal DNA Collection Laws in 2014—What to Look for in 2015by Jennifer LynchElectronic Frontier FoundationJanuary 5th, 2015The "slippery slope toward ever-expanding warrantless DNA testing" is already upon us. But recent state cases provide reason for hope.
How the Rise of Commercial Surrogacy is Turning Babies into Commoditiesby Clair AchmadThe ConversationDecember 25th, 2014This year the international spotlight turned with full force on cross-border commercial surrogacy.
White? Black? A Murky Distinction Grows Still Murkierby Carl ZimmerThe New York TimesDecember 24th, 2014There is a long tradition of trying to draw sharp lines between ethnic groups, but our ancestry is a fluid and complex matter, geneticists say.
Commercialized Conception Casualties: "Brave" Baby Making?by Mirah RibenHuffington PostDecember 22nd, 2014Hiring surrogates and purchasing sperm, eggs, or others' leftover frozen embryos have become accepted as choices on a menu of options.
The ‘Science’ of Eugenics: America’s Moral Detourby Marilyn M. SingletonJournal of American Physicians and SurgeonsDecember 15th, 2014Within 100 years, our deep thinkers went from declaring that in our new country “all men are created equal” to espousing the idea that “some men are more equal than others.”
Breaking from our Eugenic Pastby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesNovember 13th, 2014As the victims of North Carolina's eugenics program finally receive compensation, we should not celebrate "the new eugenics" as some have argued, but learn carefully from this history.
Should Life Insurance Firms Have Access to Your Genetic Test Results?by Melissa HealyLos Angeles TimesNovember 11th, 2014US federal law prohibits the use of genetic information for health insurance coverage decisions. But it doesn't cover life insurance, disability insurance or long-term care insurance.
Could Genomics Revive The Eugenics Movement?by Meredith SalisburyForbesNovember 8th, 2014There was a time when people in America were sterilized, sometimes unwittingly, by activists aiming to create a healthier, “better” population. As the progress of genomics accelerates, we need to remember the lessons of the past.
North Carolina Compensates Victims of Eugenic Sterilization[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Lily LouThe GuilfordianNovember 7th, 2014The drive behind these sterilizations was the eugenics movement: the pseudoscience of improving a society’s gene pool through reducing populations of people with negative traits.
‘Haunted Files': The Dark Side of Progressivismby Naomi Schaefer RileyNew York PostNovember 4th, 2014With funding from the Carnegie Institution and the Rockefeller Foundation, New York's Eugenics Records Office had the financial backing of the most important and “forward thinking” folks of the time.
Payments Start For N.C. Eugenics Victims, But Many Won't Qualifyby Eric MennelNPROctober 31st, 2014The new compensation law says, to be eligible, operations have to have occurred under the state's Eugenics Board. As it turns out, the board very likely wasn't aware of all the sterilizations taking place.
Why We Should Teach the History of Eugenicsby Jonathan ChernoguzBiopolitical TimesOctober 28th, 2014Two prominent universities have launched initiatives to focus on the history of eugenics.
Technology and Inequalityby David RotmanMIT Technology ReviewOctober 21st, 2014Profound wealth disparities in Silicon Valley highlight the "new world order" in which technological development exacerbates inequality instead of diminishing it.
How Should the U.S. Regulate Genetic Testing?by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesOctober 16th, 2014The question, addressed at a conference at Stanford’s Center for Law and the Biosciences, is both complicated and critical.
When Racism Was a Scienceby Joshua A. KrischThe New York TimesOctober 13th, 2014Haunted Files: The Eugenics Record Office recreates a dark time in a laboratory's past.
State to Send Out About 200 Eugenics Paymentsby Meghann EvansWinston-Salem JournalOctober 1st, 2014The first eugenics compensation payments are to be sent out by Oct. 31, and a second payment will be sent to victims next year.
White House Issues New Regulations for Dangerous Biological Researchby Donald G. McNeilThe New York TimesSeptember 24th, 2014The Obama administration issued new guidelines intended to strengthen the oversight of federally funded biology research that could inadvertently produce bioweapons.
Surrogates and Couples Face a Maze of Laws, State by Stateby Tamar LewinThe New York TimesSeptember 17th, 2014Surrogacy remains a polarizing and charged issue. There is nothing resembling a national consensus on how to handle it and no federal law, leaving the states free to do as they wish.
Arizona GOP Official Resigns After Controversial Commentsby Sean SullivanWashington PostSeptember 15th, 2014Russell Pearce is out after controversial comments about contraception, sterilization and Medicaid.
Our State's Eugenics Victims Deserve BetterThe Times NewsSeptember 1st, 2014Elnora Mills was one of an estimated 7,600 North Carolinians who were sterilized against their will between 1929 and 1974, when the forced eugenics program at last was brought to an end.
Judge warns privacy of DNA at stake after rulingby Ian DuncanThe Baltimore SunAugust 30th, 2014As Maryland's highest court upheld a rape conviction based on DNA collected at a police station, a veteran judge issued a stark warning about the consequences of the ruling.
When Big Data & Infants' Privacy Collideby  Alison DianaInformation WeekAugust 25th, 2014Technology allows researchers to discover newborns' genetic secrets, but the long-term repercussions worry some parents and privacy advocates.
North Carolina and Genetics: From Sterilization to Research Subjectsby Victoria Massie, Biopolitical Times guest contributorAugust 7th, 2014In the twentieth century, North Carolina was one of dozens of states that targeted certain citizens for eugenic sterilization. Today, in a town outside Charlotte, biotech researchers are asking for urine and blood samples and offering $10 gift cards to WalMart in exchange.
Seedy Tale: Chinese Researchers Stole Patented Corn, U.S. Prosecutors Allegeby Mara HvistendahlScienceJuly 7th, 2014Over a span of years, a Chinese company allegedly came up with various ways of stealing coveted seed lines developed by agricultural giants DuPont Pioneer, Monsanto, and LG Seeds.
Coming to U.S. for Baby, and Womb to Carry Itby Tamar LewinThe New York TimesJuly 5th, 2014With paid surrogacy not allowed in most of the world, foreign couples are heading to the US for surrogate pregnancies in increasing numbers.
About That Creepy Biometric Database, FBI, We'd Like to Know a Bit Moreby J.D. TuccilleReasonJune 26th, 2014The FBI's facial recognition database, into which it wants to put 52 million of our mugs by the end of 2015, is only part of its larger Next Generation Identification program.
Deadline Looms for NC Eugenics Victims Paymentsby Jerome Batley jrAssociated PressJune 26th, 2014North Carolina is the first of 33 states that ran forced sterilization programs to compensate victims. 520 people have come forward.
Vasectomies Should Not Be Used as Punishmentby Amanda MarcotteSlateJune 18th, 201420 months in prison, five years of probation, and a vasectomy. As part of his plea deal, Jesse Lee Herald had to agree to get snipped when he got out of jail.
Children of Surrogacy Campaign to Outlaw the Practiceby  Jane RidleyNew York PostJune 16th, 2014"You can’t sell your kidney for profit but you can purchase an egg or sell a child. There needs to be more checks and balances."
Eugenicists Never Retreat, They Just Regroup: Sterilization and Reproductive Oppression in Prisonsby Loretta RossRH Reality CheckJune 12th, 2014Women in California prisons have been illegally sterilized, nearly four decades after sterilization abuse guidelines were implemented at the state and the federal level.
A Problem Like No Other: Science And Politicsby Adam FrankNPR BlogJune 10th, 2014Ignoring what scientists are telling us is an ultimately self-destructive act. But when it comes to telling us what we should do, scientists are not in a privileged position.
"This is Mine!": Property and Ethical Rights of Your Body by Yourself and Othersby Maurice BernsteinBioethics DiscussionJune 8th, 2014Through the rambling pathways of property and intellectual property law, we are fast approaching the point at which just about anyone can have property rights in your cells, except you.
A $4.5 Billion Price Tag for the BRAIN Initiative?by Emily UnderwoodScienceJune 5th, 2014An NIH-convened working group has offered an appraisal of the funding needed: $4.5 billion over the course of a decade, or roughly quadruple the project’s currently planned budget.
Report Debunks Conservative Case for Sex-Selection Abortion Bansby  Jessica Mason PiekloRH Reality CheckJune 4th, 2014The new report identifies six major inaccuracies commonly associated with legislation seeking to ban sex-selection abortions.
A Medical Student’s Call for Action Against Research Misconductby Eden AlmasudeThe Hastings CenterJune 3rd, 2014Is research misconduct and abuse the norm in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Psychiatry? A recent investigative report suggests that the answer may well be yes.
DNA Bill Assaults our Liberties in R.I. by Steven Brown and Mary McElroyProvidence JournalMay 22nd, 2014The presumption of innocence lies at the heart of our system of criminal justice, but a bill now in the Rhode Island House of Representatives deeply undercuts that presumption.
Familial DNA is Debatable Procedureby Andy ThompsonPost-Crescent MediaMay 20th, 2014Wisconsin has joined a handful of states in allowing familial DNA testing — a powerful but debatable procedure — to identify suspects in murders and sexual assaults.
Lawsuit Alleges Unauthorized Publication of Personal Genetics Databy Cyrus FarivarArs TechnicaMay 14th, 2014An Alaska man is the lead plaintiff in a proposed class-action lawsuit against the makers of Family Tree, a Texas-based DNA testing company.
Parents and Children Deserve Genetic Privacyby Twila BraseUS News & World ReportMay 1st, 2014Newborn screening has many health benefits. But ownership of infant samples and the DNA they carry must not be transferred from newborns to the state.
Bracing For A Battle, Vermont Passes GMO Labeling Billby Eliza Barclay and Jeremy BernfeldNPRApril 24th, 2014The Green Mountain State is poised to become the first to require food companies to label products containing genetically modified ingredients.
Fetal Abnormalities: The Next Minefield in the Abortion Wars?by Amelia Thomson-DeveauxThe American ProspectApril 9th, 2014Conscience clauses are just the beginning—genetic counselors are on a collision course with state-level abortion politics.
Fearing Punishment for Bad Genesby Kira PeikoffThe New York TimesApril 7th, 2014People are avoiding genetic testing because of a major omission in the 2008 federal law that bars employers and health insurers from seeking the results of the tests.
Update on Controversial Police DNA Collection in the Statesby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesApril 3rd, 2014In California, the Court of Appeals confirmed that police may take DNA samples from anyone arrested for a felony, at least for now; many other states, but not all, do the same.
Reproductive Justice Advocates: Don’t Roll Back Sterilization Consent Rulesby Deborah ReidRH Reality CheckApril 2nd, 2014Given the historic context and lingering reproductive inequalities involving underserved women, an informed dialogue is a critical first step in any re-evaluation of the Medicaid sterilization consent requirement.
Inconvenient Truths About Commercial Surrogacyby Kathleen Sloan and Jennifer LahlTwin CitiesApril 1st, 2014It's time for the shenanigans and propaganda to stop and for the inconvenient truths about commercial surrogacy to be told.
South Dakota Governor Signs Sex-Selective Abortion Banby Teddy WilsonRH Reality CheckMarch 31st, 2014South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed a bill Wednesday to punish any physician in the state who is found to perform sex-selective abortions.
Surrogacy Births Bill Sails Through House Committeeby Michelle MillhollonThe Advocate [Louisiana]March 27th, 2014The compromise includes criminalizing financial compensation other than medical, legal and travel expenses for the surrogacy.
Forced Sterilization Nurse: ‘I Can See Now It Was So Wrong’by Lori Jane GlihaAlJazeera AmericaMarch 24th, 2014A nurse at the government-run 'State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded' and witnessed what may have been thousands of forced sterilizations - part of a government effort to rid society of the “defective,” and create a super race.
Hitler’s Favorite American: “Biological Fascism” in the Shadow of New York Cityby Paul MartinSalonMarch 23rd, 2014Eugenicists advocated three ways of dealing with the perceived problem of bad genes: immigration restrictions, the prevention of “unfit” marriages, and involuntary sterilization of “defective” individuals in state care.
Sterilization Survivors Can't Fully Escape Eugenics Eraby Calvin TriceNews LeaderMarch 23rd, 2014Some three dozen states had eugenics laws, and Virginia has been among those who have for decades resisted any attempts at compensating victims who are still alive.
Sex-Selective Abortion Bans Highlight Faultlines in the Reproductive Rights Movementby Eesha PanditRH Reality CheckMarch 12th, 2014The South Dakota bill that would ban “sex-selective” abortions is a means to an end — the end, of course, being banning all abortions.
GOP Lawmaker: We Need to Ban Sex-Selective Abortions Because of Asian Immigrantsby Molly ReddenMother JonesFebruary 25th, 2014"The racism and the stereotypes and the stigma is laid so bare here," says Miriam Yeung, the director of the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum.
Worlds, and Wombs, Collide in Kansas Bill Criminalizing Surrogate Pregnancy Contractsby Patricia J. WilliamsThe NationFebruary 5th, 2014There is danger in turning surrogacy into a sexless crime.
New Rule Allows Patients to Get Test Results Directly From Labs, Without Doctors’ Clearanceby  Sandhya SomashekharThe Washington PostFebruary 3rd, 2014Patients may obtain their test results directly from the laboratory that produced them, without having to go through their doctors, under regulations announced Monday by the Obama administration.
Court: Marotta is a father, not merely a sperm donorby Steve FryTopeka Capital-JournalJanuary 23rd, 2014A Kansas court has ordered a sperm donor to pay child support because a doctor was not involved in the insemination process.
Doctor suspended for stem cell treatment by Nigel DuaraAssociated Press / Seattle Post IntelligencerJanuary 10th, 2014The Oregon Medical Board has issued a rare emergency suspension of a physician's license after the doctor conducted experimental stem cell treatments on patients, which the board considers an immediate danger to the public.
Screening Newborns For Disease Can Leave Families In Limboby Nell GreenfieldboyceNPRDecember 23rd, 2013Patient advocacy groups have been pushing states to adopt mandatory newborn screening for more and more diseases, including ones that have no easy diagnosis or treatment.
Virginia Under Renewed Pressure to Give Reparations for Those Sterilized Under State Lawby Fredrick KunkleThe Washington PostDecember 8th, 2013A drumbeat from both the left and the right of the political spectrum has revived outrage over eugenics and 20th-century forcible sterilizations.
San Diego Woman Sues 23andMe Over DNA Testby Gary RobbinsUT San DiegoDecember 3rd, 2013A class-action lawsuit alleges that 23andMe knowingly misled consumers into thinking that its DNA test kits produce a reliable look at a person’s relative risk for hundreds of diseases and disorders.
The Unregulated Sperm Industryby Rene AlmelingThe New York TimesNovember 30th, 2013The new movie “Delivery Man” stars a former sperm donor who finds out that he has more than 500 children. Is this a Hollywood exaggeration or a possible outcome? Truth is, no one knows.
Philanthropy's Original Sinby William A. SchambraThe New AtlantisNovember 15th, 2013For all of philanthropy's wonderful qualities, it's important to understand that the first American foundations were deeply immersed in eugenics — the effort to promote the reproduction of the “fit” and to suppress the reproduction of the “unfit.”
Death-Row Organ Donations Pose Practical, Ethical Hurdlesby Daniella Silva and Tracy ConnorNBC NewsNovember 14th, 2013Ohio's governor has postponed the execution of a child-killer so he can study his offer to donate organs — a proposal that experts say would be a logistical nightmare and an ethical minefield.
How Do Eugenics Victims Find Justice? by Belle BoggsIndy WeekNovember 9th, 2013This year, the North Carolina Legislature approved monetary compensation for the state's eugenics victims. Is that enough?
The Odds of Innocenceby Coralie Colmez & Leila SchnepsNautilusNovember 3rd, 2013Juries in criminal trials are often encouraged to think of DNA profiling as an exact science. The statistics, however, tell a different story.
Case Explores Rights of Fetus Versus Motherby Erik EckholmThe New York TimesOctober 23rd, 2013Alicia Beltran was accused of endangering her unborn child because she refused her doctor's order to start an anti-addiction drug. She had already beat the addiction on her own.
Court dismisses lawsuit over Arizona's "race- and sex-selective" abortion banby Katie McDonoughSalonOctober 4th, 2013A judge dismissed a challenge to a law that reproductive rights advocates say forces doctors to profile patients.
The Politics of Sex Selective Abortion Bans in the UK and the USby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesSeptember 12th, 2013Recent publicity in the UK, and lawsuits and legislative hearings in the US, are a reminder that right-wing activists make cynical use of the sex selection issue to restrict women's reproductive rights.
Involuntary Sterilization Then and Nowby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesAugust 28th, 2013North Carolina will be the first US state to offer compensation to victims of state-sponsored forced sterilization programs. The decision marks a milestone in the long struggle for recognition of this tragic history, but what about the questionable sterilizations still taking place today?
Righting a Wrong: NC to Pay Victims of Forced Sterilizationby Kimberly JohnsonAljazeera AmericaAugust 23rd, 2013Many states had eugenics programs; North Carolina will be the first to provide financial compensation.
Is Individuality the Savior of Eugenics?by Nathaniel ComfortScientific AmericanAugust 23rd, 2013Once defined as “the science of human improvement through better breeding,” eugenics has roared back into the headlines in recent weeks in both Mr. Hyde and Dr. Jekyll personae.
Sex-Selective Abortion Bans: Just Another Right-Wing Ruse by Katie McdonoughSalonAugust 19th, 2013A lawsuit by National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum and other groups says bans on sex-selective abortions are just another way to limit women's rights.
Whose Stem Cells are They Anyway?by EditorialNew ScientistAugust 13th, 2013Patients are right to question government control of their body parts. It’s time for a shake-up.
North Carolina’s Bold Model for Eugenics Compensationby Peter Hardin and Paul LombardoRichmond Times-DispatchAugust 11th, 2013In a landmark action, North Carolina legislators have voted to spend $10 million to compensate men and women sterilized under the state’s 20th century eugenics program.
The Fallibility of DNAby Michael RisherThe New York TimesJuly 31st, 2013The myth of DNA infallibility has another dimension: when the government warehouses DNA samples on a large scale, we increase the chances that innocent citizens might be arrested and jailed.
Payouts to NC Eugenics Victims Could be Modestby Michael BieseckerAssociated PressJuly 22nd, 2013State lawmakers have agreed to compensate victims of a eugenics program that for decades forced people who social workers said were developmentally disabled to undergo sterilization.
Legislature Can Still Do Eugenics CompensationCharlotte ObserverJuly 8th, 2013The North Carolina legislature can still include money in this year’s budget to compensate victims of the state’s disgraceful and long-running eugenics program.
Expansion Of The Genetic Surveillance State: Taking The Blood Of Babies Born To Mississippi Teensby Kashmir HillForbesJuly 2nd, 2013A new law requires Mississippi hospitals to store the blood of babies born to mothers 16 and younger - "a very invasive law to a woman who is already in a vulnerable situation."
Police Agencies Are Assembling Records of DNAby Joseph GoldsteinThe New York TimesJune 12th, 2013A growing number of local law enforcement agencies across the country have begun amassing their own DNA databases of potential suspects, some collected with the donors’ knowledge, and some without it.
Should Police Use DNA to Investigate a Suspect’s Family Members?by Nanibaa’ A. Garrison, Rori V. Rohlfs, and Stephanie M. Fullerton, Biopolitical Times guest contributorsJune 11th, 2013A DNA-based technique called familial searching can help police solve serious crimes. It can also be abused in ways that expose innocent people to unwarranted police surveillance.
Groups File Suit Against Arizona Law that Bans Abortion Based on Race, Gender Selectionby Howard FischerEast Valley TribuneMay 29th, 2013A coalition of rights groups are suing to overturn a two-year-old Arizona law banning abortion for race or gender selection.
Cloning-Derived Stem Cells Raise Policy Questionsby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMay 16th, 2013Yesterday’s announcement that stem cells have been derived from cloned human embryos set off a media flurry, but important questions about reproductive cloning and women’s health were not widely addressed.
Branstad Signs Bill Widening DNA Sampling to Misdemeanor CasesAssociated PressMay 16th, 2013People convicted of certain aggravated misdemeanors in Iowa now will be required to submit DNA samples to the federal DNA database.
Cloning, Stem Cells Long Mired In Legislative Gridlock[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Julie RovnerNPRMay 16th, 2013The news that U.S. scientists have successfully cloned a human embryo seems almost certain to rekindle a political fight that has raged, on and off, since the announcement of the creation of Dolly the sheep in 1997.
The DNA in Your Garbage: Up For Grabsby Kevin HartnettThe Boston GlobeMay 12th, 2013Drop a hair? Anyone can legally sequence your genetic material—and privacy experts want to close that gap.
Made-to-Order Embryos: You Want to Sell What?!by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMay 2nd, 2013The fact that a fertility clinic can own and sell made-to-order embryos for profit raises novel concerns that should not be collapsed into predefined frameworks used to assess other assisted reproductive technologies.
Wake Forest examines eugenics here and abroadby John HintonWinston-Salem JournalApril 2nd, 2013A conference examines the history of forced sterilization in North Carolina and Central Europe, and the legacies of eugenics.
Surrogate Offered $10,000 to Abort Babyby Elizabeth CohenCNNMarch 6th, 2013A surrogate refused to have an abortion after severe abnormalities were spotted on an ultrasound and moved to Michigan, where she became the legal mother.
Should Patients Understand that They are Research Subjects? by Jenny ReardonSan Francisco ChronicleMarch 3rd, 2013A routine form at a UCSF doctor's appointment stipulates that your tissues and cells can be collected, and that you have no rights to any "commercially useful products that may be developed."
Stem Cells in Texas: Cowboy Cultureby David CyranoskiNatureFebruary 13th, 2013By offering unproven therapies, a Texas biotechnology firm has sparked a bitter debate about how stem cells should be regulated.
Yes, Virginia, Your Reproductive Rights Are Compromised by Alex SternHuffington PostFebruary 12th, 2013In Virginia as in many other states, legislative battles about reproductive rights are front and center. One pending bill proposes reparations for victims of the state's eugenic sterilization policy; the other seeks to end the 30-day waiting period for sterilization.
Too Much InformationSupreme Court 2013: Why collecting DNA from people who are arrested won’t help solve more crimes.by Brandon L. Garrett and Erin MurphySlateFebruary 12th, 2013Research shows that police solve more crimes not by taking DNA from suspects who have never been convicted, but by collecting more evidence at crime scenes.
Will Pre-Conviction DNA Collection Become the National Norm?by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesFebruary 7th, 2013The United States Supreme Court will hear a case later this month that will determine the legality of collecting DNA from people who are arrested for but not convicted of any crime.
Eugenics Compensation Bill Sidelined in Va. Houseby Bill SizemoreThe Virginian-PilotFebruary 5th, 2013A bipartisan proposal to compensate Virginians who were involuntarily sterilized during the eugenics era is going nowhere, sidelined by its potential price tag.
Arrivederci, GINAby Alex PhilippidisGenetic Engineering & Biotechnology NewsFebruary 4th, 2013A new study demonstrates that individuals can be identified based on personal genetic material they submitted for research.
Proposal to Collect DNA From Immigrants Too Orwellian: Opinion by Opinion staffDaily NewsJanuary 31st, 2013Undocumented immigrants should not be required to submit DNA samples as a condition of staying in the United States.
State Lawmaker Wants To Take All Misdemeanor Offenders’ DNACBS DenverJanuary 30th, 2013Colorado already collects DNA from the worst felons. Now there’s a proposal to follow in New York's footsteps and add the DNA of people convicted of misdemeanors.
Biotech Firms, Billions at Risk, Lobby States to Limit Genericsby Andrew PollackThe New York TimesJanuary 28th, 2013Some of the nation’s biggest biotechnology companies are lobbying intensively to limit generic competition to their blockbuster drugs, potentially cutting into the billions of dollars in savings on drug costs contemplated in the federal health care overhaul law.
3 Years After Inception, a DNA Technique Yields Little Success for the Policeby Joseph Goldstein and J. David GoodmanThe New York TimesJanuary 27th, 2013The process of turning crime-scene DNA into a family tree of possible leads has been quietly undertaken in more than two dozen cases in New York City since 2009, but there have as yet been no cases solved due to a lead generated by a "family search."
A Small Sign of Virginia's Sins[Editorial]The Virginian-PilotJanuary 25th, 2013The General Assembly is considering a measure that would offer $50,000 to people once deemed by the state to be unfit to have children.
Sickle Cell Test Gets NCAA OK Despite Docsby Cole PetrochkoMedPage TodayJanuary 21st, 2013The National Collegiate Athletic Association has approved mandatory confirmation of sickle cell trait status in Division III student athletes, despite the objections of the American Society of Hematology.
New York Examines Over 800 Rape Cases for Possible Mishandling of Evidenceby Joseph GoldsteinThe New York TimesJanuary 10th, 2013The review underscores that DNA evidence, widely perceived as providing nearly irrefutable proof of guilt or innocence, is subject to human error.
Tell the FDA: No Genetically Modified Salmonby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesJanuary 2nd, 2013The FDA released a "Preliminary Finding of No Significant Impact" about a modified Atlantic salmon, but invites comments before a final decision.
Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing: The Dollars are in the Database by Emily StehrBiopolitical TimesDecember 18th, 201223andMe raised $50 million and plans to use it to lower the cost of its spit kit to $99. CEO Anne Wojcicki hopes this will lead to a very valuable database of one million users' genetic information.
N.C. House will Consider Eugenics Payouts Againby Patrick GannonStar News OnlineDecember 13th, 2012The North Carolina House will again pursue legislation in 2013 to compensate residents sterilized decades ago by a state-sanctioned board.
DNA Forensics Update by Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesNovember 28th, 2012The U.S. Supreme Court has decided to consider a potentially significant case about police collection of DNA from suspects rather than criminals; and forensic DNA databases round the world continue to proliferate.
Is This Informal Surrogacy or Exploitation?by Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesOctober 2nd, 2012A bizarre situation in Texas is either the result of a horrible misunderstanding about an informal, unpaid surrogacy or an appalling case of exploitation.
Federal Judges Reconsider Police Collection of DNAby Emily StehrBiopolitical TimesSeptember 20th, 2012A federal court of appeals will decide the fate of a California law requiring that police take DNA samples of anyone arrested on suspicion of committing a felony.
California and the Fourth Amendment[Editorial]The New York TimesSeptember 18th, 2012The New York Times editorializes on California's law requiring police to take DNA samples from people arrested but not yet convicted of felonies: "It is unconstitutional."
Science, Standards and Forensics: Part III by Brandon L. GarrettHuffington PostSeptember 9th, 2012If we are going to use forensics to put people in prison for years, Congress should pass legislation to make forensics far more of a science.
Forensics on the Hill: Part I by Brandon L. GarrettHuffington PostSeptember 5th, 2012Donald Eugene Gates' fate was sealed by two stray hairs and he spent nearly three decades in prison, before his innocence was finally proven. How often is DNA forensics wrong?
South Carolina to Collect DNA After Every Felony Arrestby Seanna AdcoxAssociated PressSeptember 1st, 2012South Carolina’s law enforcement agency will soon collect DNA samples from people when they’re arrested for a felony – rather than post-conviction.
British Couples Flying to US For Banned Baby Sex Selectionby  Stephen AdamsTelegraph [UK]August 28th, 2012Dozens of couples are flying to the US every year to choose the sex of their babies, a practice banned in Britain three years ago.
Vt. High Court to Weigh Pre-Conviction DNA Testingby Dave GramThe Boston GlobeAugust 20th, 2012The Vermont Supreme Court has been asked to rule on the constitutionality of a 2009 law allowing the state to take DNA samples from people charged with but not yet convicted of crimes.
Stop and Swab: Dramatic Increases in DNA Police Databasesby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesAugust 20th, 2012DNA databases continue to grow exponentially as more U.S. states allow police to seize DNA samples from people who have been arrested but not convicted, and from those suspected of misdemeanors as well as felonies.
Virginia Lawmaker Proposes Symbolic Reparations for Victims of Eugenic Sterilizationby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesAugust 9th, 2012To mark the 85th anniversary of the US Supreme Court’s ruling that state governments can forcibly sterilize “inferior” members of society, Virginia lawmaker Patrick A. Hope calls for “a symbolic payment” to living victims.
Christie Vetoes Bill That Would Have Eased Tough Rules for Gestational Surrogatesby  Susan K. LivioNew Jersey Star LedgerAugust 8th, 2012The governor of New Jersey has vetoed a bill that would have relaxed the state's regulation of commercial surrogacy.
On Anniversary of Eugenics Ruling, a Va. Delegate Proposes Payments for Living Victimsby Bob LewisThe Washington PostAugust 5th, 201285 years ago, the US Supreme Court ruled that state governments could force involuntary surgical sterilizations; Virginia lawmaker Patrick Hope calls for “a symbolic payment” for the living victims.
Wisconsin Ruling Prevents Most Insurers From Denying Benefits to Surrogatesby Gina BartonMilwaukee Journal SentinelAugust 4th, 2012The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled that insurance companies cannot deny coverage based on circumstances of pregnancy.
DNA Samples in Felony Arrests Boosts Ohio Database by Andrew Welsh-HigginsSan Francisco ChronicleAugust 3rd, 2012An Ohio law that requires DNA from anyone arrested on a felony charge has nearly doubled the number of DNA database samples in a single year.
NY Law Expanding DNA Database Takes Effectby Dan WiessnerReutersAugust 1st, 2012Almost anyone convicted of a crime in New York is now required to submit a DNA sample to the state's sweeping criminal database.
Supreme Court May Review Case over DNA Samplesby Jonathan Stempel and Terry BaynesReutersJuly 30th, 2012The Supreme Court signaled on Monday that it may review whether law enforcement officials may collect DNA samples from people who have been accused, but not convicted, of serious crimes.
Supreme Court Stays DNA Rulingby Matt ZapotoskyThe Washington PostJuly 18th, 2012The Supreme Court has temporarily suspended a ruling by a Maryland court that prohibits DNA collection from suspects charged but not yet convicted in violent crimes.
High Doses of Hormones Faulted in Fertility Care[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Jacqueline MrozThe New York TimesJuly 16th, 2012OHSS can be a complication of fertility treatments that rely on high doses of hormones, which are standard in the United States and the United Kingdom on the grounds of higher success rates.
Conflict Potential Seen in Genetic Counselorsby Andrew PollackNew York TimesJuly 13th, 2012Is it ethical for genetic counselors, who advise patients on whether to undergo testing, to be paid by the companies that perform the tests?
DNA Match Tying Protest to 2004 Killing Is Doubtedby Willam Rashbaum and Joesph GoldsteinThe New York TimesJuly 11th, 2012An alleged DNA link between the 2004 murder of a Juilliard student and a chain placed around an Occupy Wall Street protest in March is likely a laboratory error, experts say.
"Tainted Families" Ancient and Modernby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesJuly 11th, 2012Paul Lombardo has well summarized the use of the "Jukes family" myth to promote eugenics, in the 19th, 20th and now 21st century.
Patients Seek Stem-Cell Compensationby David CyranoskiNature NewsJuly 6th, 2012Six patients in California are suing RNL Bio, one of the world’s largest stem-cell companies, for allegedly misleading them about the effectiveness of its stem-cell treatments.
Weak DNA Evidence Could Undermine Justice, Experts Sayby Steve MillsChicago TribuneJuly 6th, 2012The powerful allure that DNA-based forensic techniques hold for jurors may lead to wrongful convictions.
How to Tell When A Drug Company Fibs About Clinical Trial Resultsby Adam FeuersteinThe StreetJuly 3rd, 2012Osiris Therapeutics "disappeared" important data when it announced results of a study of a stem cell therapy in heart attack patients.
Arizona High Court Limits Analysis of Juvenile Defendants' DNAby Howard FischerArizona Daily StarJune 28th, 2012Analyzing the DNA samples of juveniles who have not been found guilty of any crime is an unconstitutional warrantless search, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled.
North Carolina Survivors of Eugenic Sterilization are Passed Over Againby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJune 28th, 2012The North Carolina Senate has turned down compensation for living victims of the state-sponsored forced sterilization program that continued into the 1970s.
Will the FDA Close Down Celltex? by Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesJune 28th, 2012An FDA report itemizes 79 specific problems with the Texas stem-cell company Celltex, and more trouble may be on the way.
Stop and Frisk -- and DNA Test? by Jason SilversteinHuffington PostJune 22nd, 2012Taking DNA samples from people arrested, but not convicted of a crime, has the potential to make our already racially biased justice system even more problematic.
Surrogacy Gives Birth to IndustryOregon's Medical Advances, Willing Mothers Attract International Clients Who Bring Cash With Their Dreamsby Peter KornPortland TribuneJune 21st, 2012Couples from around the world looking for surrogate gestational carriers have discovered Oregon, with its liberal surrogate laws and highly rated reproductive medicine clinics.
Judge Says Montana Parents Can Sue Over Lack of Genetic Testingby The Associated PressGreat Falls TribuneJune 21st, 2012A Montana couple who say they would have aborted their pregnancy if they knew the child would be born with cystic fibrosis are suing their healthcare providers for not conducting a more thorough genetic screening.
The Burden of Enforcing GINA: EEOC v. Nestle Illustrates One Challenge in Pursuing Genetic Discrimination Claimsby Jennifer K. Wagner and Dan VorhausGenomics Law ReportJune 20th, 2012A recent court case demonstrates the challenges of enforcing the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.
Informed Consent: A Broken Contractby Erika Check HaydenNature NewsJune 20th, 2012As large-scale genetic research has become faster and cheaper, more and more personal genetic data collected for one purpose ends up being used for another.
Payments for Victims of Eugenics Are Shelvedby Kim SeversonThe New York TimesJune 20th, 2012North Carolina’s effort to compensate people who were sterilized under a widespread eugenics program that stretched into the 1970s all but died in the State Senate on Wednesday.
Policy Group’s Study Shows At Least 38 Wrongful Convictions Likely in Old Virginia Casesby Associated PressThe Washington PostJune 18th, 2012A new study of archived DNA samples has found that wrongful convictions in Virginia are higher than thought, especially in sexual assault cases.
Gene Patent Case Ramps Upby Amy MaxmenNature News BlogJune 15th, 2012The ACLU has filed additional documents in its lawsuit challenging patents on DNA in preparation for a hearing next month by a federal appeals court.
A Moment of Judicial Sanity on DNA Forensicsby Osagie ObasogieBiopolitical TimesJune 13th, 2012The Maryland Court of Appeals recently ruled that collecting DNA samples upon arrest is unconstitutional – a decision that runs counter to many other states’ decisions to expand their DNA databases through such tactics.
N.C. House Approves Measure Compensating Victims of Eugenics Programsby Lynn BonnerNews ObserverJune 5th, 2012In a 86-31 vote, the state House approved a measure that will compensate people sterilized by a state authority over four decades ago.
Bill Banning ‘Sex-Selective Abortions’ Fails in the Houseby Ed O'KeefeWashington PostMay 31st, 2012A measure to ban abortions based on the sex of a fetus failed to pass in a House vote. Opponents of reproductive rights will try to use the vote against Democrats.
Maryland Law Enforcement Agencies Still Collecting DNA Samplesby Yvonne WengerBaltimore SunApril 25th, 2012Despite a recent court ruling by the state's top court, Maryland police say they will continue to collect DNA samples from people arrested but not convicted for certain crimes.
$10.3 Million for Eugenics Compensation by Herbert L. WhiteCharlotte PostApril 25th, 2012North Caroliona Governor Bev Perdue’s proposed budget will include $10.3 million for people involuntarily sterilized by the state.
Md. High Court Strikes Down DNA Collection at Arrest by Yvonne WengerBaltimore SunApril 24th, 2012Defying government and law-enforcement interest in expanding DNA profiling, Maryland's high court rules that collection of DNA at arrest violates civil rights.
The Texas Two-Step: New State Regs Allow Stem Cell Companies to Circumvent FDA Evaluations by Daniel SharpBiopolical TimesApril 19th, 2012New regulations in Texas allow stem cell corporations to circumvent FDA review, raising concerns for health and safety.
Texas Board Approves Rules on Use of Stem Cellsby Minjae ParkNew York TimesApril 13th, 2012Amidst criticism, Texas approves controversial regulations for adult stem cells.
Statement to Institute of Medicine Committee on the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine by Marcy DarnovskyApril 10th, 2012Marcy Darnovsky of the Center for Genetics and Society made this statement before the Institute of Medicine Committee regarding CIRM's funding and governance structure.
New York Expands DNA Database . . . Again by Osagie K. ObasogieApril 5th, 2012Governor Cuomo signed an “all crimes” bill into law in late March, making New York the first state to require anyone convicted of a crime – including small misdemeanors like skipping transit fare – to submit DNA to the state database.
North Carolina Leads the Way in Compensation for Eugenic Sterilization Victimsby Emily BeitiksBiopolitical TimesMarch 22nd, 2012Will North Carolina’s efforts to compensate victims of eugenic sterilization encourage other states to follow suit?
More than 100 N.C. Eugenics Matches Madeby Herbet L. WhiteCharlotte PostMarch 19th, 2012More than 100 individuals have been identified as victims of involuntary sterilizations in North Carolina.
New York State Set to Add All Convict DNA to Its Databaseby John Eligon and Thomas KaplanNew York TimesMarch 14th, 2012New York is poised to establish one of the most expansive DNA databases in the nation, requiring DNA samples to accompany all convictions.
Stem Cell Fraud Is the Real Issue in Texasby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesMarch 2nd, 2012Bioethicist Glenn McGee has resigned from Celltex. His connection with the controversial stem-cell company has raised important issues about its business practices.
Rick Perry, Glenn McGee and Selling Texas Stem Cellsby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesFebruary 16th, 2012Gov. Perry is actively promoting an industry based on adult stem cells, in which Glenn McGee, until recently editor of the American Journal of Bioethics, is now employed.
Non-Consenting AdultsThe Nuremberg Code, set up to protect the human subjects of research, is being routinely ignoredby Harriet A. WashingtonSlateJanuary 22nd, 2012Marginalized groups have frequently been coerced into studies that violate their right to consent. Now such practices are spreading.
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