|Old Songs, New Tests, and Expensive ChildrenFebruary 20th, 2014The CEO of AOL justified a restructuring of the company’s 401(K) plan by citing two "distressed babies." This tone-deaf insensitivity was answered by a disapproving choir, but it sadly resembles too many descriptions of the "cost" of people with disabilities.
|On Race and Medicine, The ScientistFebruary 1st, 2014While age and gender are strongly associated with biological differences that may have a significant impact on disease susceptibility and treatment response, the role of race/ethnicity is far less clear.|
|Is genius in the genes?, TESJanuary 24th, 2014The debate about genes and intelligence has resurfaced, and it’s more fervent than ever. Can achievement truly be inherited? Should education be tailored to individuals’ genetic potential?|
|[UK] NHS patient data to be made available for sale to drug and insurance firms, The GuardianJanuary 19th, 2014Drug and insurance companies will from later this year be able to buy information on patients – including mental health conditions and diseases such as cancer, as well as smoking and drinking habits – once a single English database of medical data has been created. Harvested from GP and hospital records, medical data covering the entire population will be uploaded to the repository controlled by a new arms-length NHS information centre, starting in March. Never before has the entire medical history of the nation been digitised and stored in one place.|
|A Short History of Biological Explanations for Poverty, Biopolitical TimesJanuary 2nd, 2014“The Biological Inferiority of the Undeserving Poor” sketches the history of biological explanations for social ills, and warns that we should pay close attention to their current resurgence. |
|Professor Plomin Goes to Parliament, BioNewsDecember 16th, 2013The House of Commons Education Committee, currently investigating 'underachievement in education of white working class children,' heard about the genetics of children with learning disabilities.|
|Singularity: Reading our genes like computer code[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky], BBC NewsDecember 9th, 2013Marcy Darnovsky tells the BBC: "It's becoming ever more clear that genetic information will never yield solid actionable data about an individual's risks for the vast majority of common complex diseases."|
|Philanthropy's Original Sin, The 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.”|
|NIH Seeks Comments on Plan to Share Genomic Data, Biopolitical TimesNovember 7th, 2013The National Institutes of Health is accepting public comments until November 20 on a draft Genomic Data Sharing Policy that promotes the wide-scale sharing of human and non-human genomic data.|
|Disability Studies: A New Normal, The New York TimesNovember 1st, 2013Like black studies, women’s studies and other liberation-movement disciplines, disability studies teaches that it is an unaccepting society that needs normalizing, not the minority group. |
|Update: The FDA and the Human Germline, Biopolitical TimesOctober 10th, 2013The FDA's scheduled October 22–23 meeting to discuss germline mitochondrial replacement is attracting attention from the media and elsewhere.|
|Girls Not Allowed, New InternationalistOctober 4th, 2013Honest regulation of sex selection, however tricky to enforce, is necessary because individual acts are having extremely harmful collective consequences.|
|Your Body, Their Property, Boston ReviewSeptember 30th, 2013When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down human gene patents it took one aspect of the debate over property interests in human biological materials off the table. But other body parts are still considered fair game.|
|30 Years Later, A MacArthur 'Genius' Reflects[Discusses the work of CGS's Osagie Obasogie], WGBH NewsSeptember 26th, 2013Former MacArthur Foundation fellow Ramón Gutiérrez calls Osagie Obasogie's work on how blind people understand race the most interesting research he's come across lately.|
|More DNA Samples, More Debate, The Wall Street JournalSeptember 23rd, 2013In Orange County, California, officials are taking DNA samples from people charged with minor offenses such as shoplifting and drug possession, in exchange for agreeing to dismiss the charges or as part of plea deals.|
|Gendercide in the CaucasusThe EconomistSeptember 21st, 2013The practice of aborting female foetuses is found mostly in China and other Asian countries. But it is prevalent in the Caucasus, too. Two new studies look at why—and suggest the practice may spread.|
|More Concerns Over Familial DNA Searching, Biopolitical TimesAugust 28th, 2013A recent paper by Rori Rohlfs et. al., and two accompanying videos, suggest that real concerns still remain with familial searching in California's DNA databases.|
|Involuntary Sterilization Then and Now, Biopolitical 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?|
|The Empire Strikes Back, AnthropomicsAugust 19th, 2013New claims about the geneticist who collected samples from Native Americans to study diabetes, and then piggybacked research on schizophrenia without consent, compels us to revisit the case. |
|Deal Done Over HeLa Cell Line, NatureAugust 7th, 2013Over the past four months, the director of the US National Institutes of Health met with Henrietta Lacks's family members to discuss what should be done with genome data from the HeLa cells.|
|The Fallibility of DNA, The 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.|
|UK Forensic Science Slammed by Inquiry, NatureJuly 25th, 2013UK government failures over forensic science are leading to fragmentation, research gaps and possibly even miscarriages of justice, according to a parliamentary inquiry on the subject.|
|A Few Notes on the InvisibleJuly 23rd, 2013Thoughts about disability, invisibility, Ethan Saylor's death at the hands of private police, and news that the extra chromosome that causes Down syndrome may one day be “silenced.”|
|Is Your DNA in a Police Database?, Associated PressJuly 12th, 2013Countries around the world are collecting genetic material from millions of citizens in the name of fighting crime and terrorism — and, according to critics, heading into uncharted ethical terrain.|
|The Gene For Hubris, GenotopiaJuly 10th, 2013Genetics and reproduction are intensely potent, and wherever we find abuse of power we should be alert to the harnessing of biology in the service of tyranny.|
|Guilty Knowledge, The Sydney Morning HeraldJuly 6th, 2013A neurocriminologist's new book raises the ethically fraught question of whether we should use biological clues to identify potential criminals and intervene.
|A Culture of Consent, NatureJune 26th, 2013More than 50 years after the WI-38 cell line was derived from a fetus, science and society has still to get to grips with the ethical issues of using human tissue in research.|
|Welcome to the “Genetic Panopticon”, Biopolitical TimesJune 5th, 2013In a forceful blow to the Fourth Amendment, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that police can collect DNA from people who have been arrested – but who have not been convicted, and may never be.|
|Discussing "De-Extinction", Biopolitical TimesJune 5th, 2013A one-day conference, "De-extinction: Ethics, Law & Politics," included advocates of the idea, as well as environmentalists, animal welfare experts and philosophers expressing a range of concerns.|
|Pregnant at 60Where there's a uterus, there's a way? , The AtlanticMay 22nd, 2013A look behind the headlines reveals a 35-year landscape of assisted reproductive technologies that continue to fail far more often than is reported, particularly in older women. |
|There's More to Life Than Freezing Your Eggs[Quotes CGS's Diane Tober], The AtlanticMay 14th, 2013Suddenly, it seems, everyone is singing the praises of egg freezing as the latest cure for a woman's declining fertility, but it isn't quite the panacea the media would have you believe.|
|The Dark Art of Racecraft, The AtlanticMay 13th, 2013Jason Richwine takes his place in a long history of research on race and IQ, one of the most discredited fields of study in modern history.|
|Talking Biopolitics is Back!, Biopolitical TimesMay 13th, 2013A series of live web-based conversations with cutting-edge thinkers on the social meaning of human biotechnologies will be kicking off next week. RSVP now to join the conversations!
|The Big Freeze, Biopolitical TimesMay 9th, 2013The Wall Street Journal devoted almost two full pages to a piece championing social egg freezing, and gave it a headline that is pure sales.|
|The Baby Blueprint [VIDEO][With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]Al Jazeera EnglishApril 22nd, 2013Would you choose your child's genetic potential? Live debate with Marcy Darnovsky, Stuart Newman, Julian Savulescu, and Nita Farahany.|
|Synthetic Biology as Public Relations, Biopolitical TimesApril 17th, 2013Recent synthetic biology projects related to malaria, flu and conservation are providing PR cover for the field and its corporate sponsors.|
|Who Decides What Patients Need to Know?, Biopolitical TimesApril 2nd, 2013The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics report on "incidental findings" in genetic tests has kicked up a storm of controversy, not least because it seems to contradict February's ACMG recommendations about testing children.|
|The Era of Genetics-Based Advertising is Coming, WiredMarch 28th, 2013If you thought personalised advertising based on your Facebook status updates, Gmail content or online browsing behaviour was creepy, just you wait. The era of genetics-based advertising is coming, and it could be just as profitable.|
|The Throwaways, GuernicaMarch 1st, 2013In Kenya, doctors are force-sterilizing HIV-positive women—in some cases, without their knowledge.|
|Connecting the Neural Dots, The New York TimesFebruary 25th, 2013In setting the nation on a course to map the active human brain, President Obama may have picked a challenge even more daunting than ending the war in Afghanistan or finding common ground with his Republican opponents. |
|DNA and the Constitution[Editorial]The New York TimesFebruary 24th, 2013The substantial harm to innocent people that could result from the misuse of DNA greatly outweighs the benefits. And the safeguard against such harm is the Fourth Amendment, whose fundamental protections the Maryland court upheld. The Supreme Court should do likewise. |
|New Guidelines for Genetic Testing in Children, TimeFebruary 21st, 2013The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics have released a new statement on genetic testing in children, suggesting ways to navigate the ethical, legal, and social complexities.
|We Are Egg Donors: A New Self-Advocacy Community , Biopolitical TimesFebruary 19th, 2013Women who have donated their eggs or are considering it can share stories and research, provide mutual support, and leverage their presence beyond that of individual women who are heavily recruited and then instantly forgotten.|
|Too Much InformationSupreme Court 2013: Why collecting DNA from people who are arrested won’t help solve more crimes., SlateFebruary 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.|
|French Gay Marriage Plans Stir Parenthood Debate, NPRJanuary 31st, 2013The president's promise to legalize gay marriage was seen as relatively uncontroversial when it first came up, but the news reopened a raw national debate on fertility treatments, surrogacy and adoption. |
|Privacy Fear for DNA Dragnet, Stuff (New Zealand)January 20th, 2013A district court judge who is a world expert in forensic DNA has called for a public debate on the use of familial DNA testing, saying it raises serious privacy issues and has the potential to subject entire families to life-long genetic surveillance. |
|Born to Run the World?, Biopolitical TimesJanuary 17th, 2013Forget about glass ceilings, sexism in employment, gender inequities, and all those other structural and societal policies and practices that put obstacles in the way of women (and racialized groups) getting ahead. Maybe they just lack the "leadership gene."|
|More Female Fetuses Aborted in Europe, DWJanuary 7th, 2013Sex selection is not just a problem confined to China and India: New statistics show skewed sex ratios in favor of boys in Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro.|
|Rape in India: A Result of Sex Selection?
, TimeJanuary 4th, 2013Behind the angry protests over the horrific gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old medical student is an even deeper story: the preference for male babies in India and much of the world may be at the root of this senseless violence.
|As a Girl in India, I Learned to Be Afraid of Men, The AtlanticJanuary 4th, 2013Sex-selective abortion, female infanticide and the sheer neglect of girls have made for a growing gender gap in India. In the wake of the brutal gang rape of a young paramedical student in Delhi, Indian citizens have taken to the streets to show their outrage. |
|Welcome to DownTown Abbey, Page Six MagazineDecember 6th, 2012New York City's modern-day dukes and duchesses blur the lines between upstairs and downstairs, demanding their household help provide everything from donated eggs to properly behaved aquatic animals.
|Social Codes: Sharing Your Genes Online, WiredNovember 9th, 201223andMe, which calls itself "the first genetic social network," is launching a mobile app that lets users organize and share their genomes online. Privacy is a concern the company will leave to its users to navigate.|
|Military Mind Wars, The ScientistNovember 1st, 2012How neuroscience research can inform military counterintelligence tactics, and the moral responsibilities that accompany such research.|
|Money Doesn't Talk, It Lies, Biopolitical TimesNovember 1st, 2012California's Proposition 37, which would require labeling of genetically modified food, is being battered by a million dollars a day of deceptive commercials, but the race is roughly tied.|
|DNA Analysis: Far From an Open-and-Shut CaseForensic evidence is widely considered to be the result of purely objective lab tests, but there's growing proof that psychological bias plays a part, Guardian [UK]October 13th, 2012DNA forensics can become less a case of "matching barcodes" than one of deciding whether any one of the numerous and disjointed "barcode fragments" seem to fit the original.
|Vote for the
Dinner PartyIs this the year that the food movement finally enters politics?, New York TimesOctober 10th, 2012California’s Proposition 37, which would require that genetically modified foods carry a label, has the potential to change the politics of food not just in California but nationally too.|
|Economics and Genetics Meet in Uneasy UnionUse of population-genetic data to predict economic success sparks war of words., NatureOctober 10th, 2012A paper about to be published in a prestigious economics journal claims that a country’s genetic diversity can predict the success of its economy. Critics of the study see genetic determinism, and even racism.|
|Selling Sickness: The Conference, Biopolitical TimesSeptember 19th, 2012Health care reformers and drug industry critics will gather to
challenge the global tide of disease mongering. |
|Forensics on the Hill: Part I , Huffington 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?|
|DNA Test Jailed Innocent Man for Murder, BBC NewsAugust 31st, 2012Scientists, lawyers and politicians have raised concerns over the quality of forensic evidence testing - is the criminal justice system too reliant on lab tests without seeing their limitations?|
|Stop and Swab: Dramatic Increases in DNA Police Databases, Biopolitical 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.
|Special Journal Issue on Genes and Athletics, Biopolitical TimesAugust 9th, 2012Just in time for the 2012 Summer Games, the journal Recent Patents on DNA & Gene Sequences has published a special issue on genetics and athletics.|
|The Place of Race in Understanding Health, Biopolitical TimesJune 27th, 2012Anne Fausto-Sterling considers the meaning of race in health disparities, comparing the work of three prominent scholars who may shake up the status quo.
|Klout, Social Media and the Politics of Science , Biopolitcal TimesMay 23rd, 2012The social media landscape is not an even playing field - money delivers an edge, and hype often sells. How are social media and online influencers shaping discourse in the realm of science and technology?|
|Stop the Genetic DragnetPolice currently collect samples of DNA from detainees—retaining the DNA even if a suspect turns out to be innocent, Scientific AmericanNovember 22nd, 2011Police in about 25 states and federal agents can take a DNA sample after arresting, and before charging, someone. If they are cleared, their DNA stays downtown, a record that is hard to erase.
|Lab Fight Raises U.S. Security Issues, New York TimesOctober 22nd, 2011Biosafety expert Paul Rabinow resigned from the UC Berkeley-led Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center, and asserted that the Center is not doing enough to prevent a biological disaster.|
|Celebrating Dorothy Roberts and Fatal Invention, Biopolitical TimesOctober 6th, 2011The Center for Genetics and Society co-sponsored two events celebrating Dorothy Roberts' new book, Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-Create Race in the Twenty-First Century.
|Turning 40, Going GlobalSeptember 28th, 2011Born in Boston, Our Bodies, Ourselves has become an international force for women's rights.|
|The Problem with Twin Studies, Biopolitical TimesAugust 26th, 2011Slate's Brian Palmer critiques the proliferation of scientific findings based on twin studies that claim to isolate the genetic underpinnings of human behavior.|
|New Book on the Biopolitics of Race, Biopolitical TimesAugust 18th, 2011Dorothy Roberts' new book meets an urgent need: encouraging greater thought and public discussion on what new genetic technologies mean for society’s understanding of racial difference and its commitment to racial justice. |
|The Myriad Breast Cancer Patent Case Continues, Biopolitical TimesAugust 1st, 2011A federal appeals court mostly overturned the lower court ruling that invalidated Myriad's patents on breast cancer genes, but further appeals are expected.|
|Sperm Donor's 24 Kids Never Told About Fatal Illness, ABC NewsJuly 21st, 2011Guidelines indicate that donated sperm cannot have any "relevant communicable disease or agent," but there is no limit on how many donations can be made nor is there any sharing of medical information between the donor and the child's family. |
|Al Jazeera’s Fault Lines on Outsourcing Clinical Trials, Biopolitical TimesJuly 19th, 2011Fault Lines’ Zeina Awad offers a compelling inside look into the questionable business of using vulnerable populations from the developing world to test drugs that will not benefit them and will largely be consumed by Westerners.|
|Eight Babies and the End of a Doctor's Career, Biopolitical TimesJune 15th, 2011Fertility specialist Dr. Michael Kamrava lost his license to practice medicine for repeated negligence involving three patients, including the mother of octuplets.|
|Honorary Degree For Henrietta Lacks, Biopolitical TimesJune 9th, 2011One of the most interesting ways in which Lacks has been recognized is the granting of a posthumous honorary degree (doctorate of public service) by Morgan State University|
|New Book on Race and Genetics, Biopolitical TimesMay 12th, 2011Science writer Alondra Oubré has just published an ambitious new book entitled Race, Genes, and Ability: Rethinking Ethnic Differences.|
|Petition for an Egg Donor Registry, Biopolitical TimesMay 5th, 2011A petition being circulated by the Alliance for Humane Biotechnology calls for the creation of a well-publicized national registry to track the long-term risks of egg retrieval.|
|Media Passes Gene Test, Parents Flunk, Biopolitical TimesApril 21st, 2011Parents interested in having their own genes tested also want to test their kids, but the media reports quote experts recommending against routine testing of children for adult-onset diseases.|
|More Arguing About Human Gene Patents in Court, Biopolitical TimesApril 7th, 2011A Federal Court of Appeals panel heard oral arguments in the Myriad case, but gave no hint of its decision; either way, many expect it to go to the Supreme Court.
|Profits, Princes and Police DNA Databases, Biopolitical TimesMarch 16th, 2011A new investigation reveals disturbing commercial pressures to establish forensic DNA databases that may go well beyond legal limits in Europe and the US.|
|Courts 'will reject test secrecy'[The United Kingdom], BBC News February 24th, 2011There is a serious mismatch between the government's aim to commercialise forensic science and the requirement of courts for openness, according to a top forensic expert.
|Fertility Industry Fraud…Yet Again , Biopolitical TimesFebruary 14th, 2011An Idaho fertility company failed to pay egg donors and lied to investigators when questioned about the non-payments.|
|Clinical trials on trial[Commentary], The New ScientistJanuary 22nd, 2011Vulnerable people are increasingly targeted as subjects for clinical research. Have we forgotten the lessons of past abuses?
|Uncle Sam could want YOU and your DNA, too, Biopolitical TimesJanuary 20th, 2011A secretive group of scientific advisors recommends that the Department of Defense collect DNA from US soldiers, and gives little attention to the potential implications of such a practice.
|Bioethics and its DiscontentsJanuary 4th, 2011A call for bioethics to expand its framework, and to balance autonomy against the collective good without privileging either a priori. |
|Habermas Warns of Genetic Claims that Bolster Xenophobia
, Biopolitical TimesNovember 4th, 2010One of the most influential living philosophers uses a New York Times op-ed to caution that "false biological conclusions" are fueling discrimination against Muslim immigrants in Germany.|
|Abolition of HFEA 'won't save anything'BBC NewsSeptember 24th, 2010The former chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, one of many publicly funded non-governmental advisory bodies in the UK that may be scrapped, analyses the gap the abolition of the body will leave.|
|60 Minutes on Stem Cells and Snake Oil, Biopolitical TimesSeptember 22nd, 201060 Minutes recently re-aired a story about stem cell con artists who play on the desperation of people with fatal degenerative diseases.|
|Gopher Kids or Guinea Pigs?August 13th, 2010University of Minnesota researchers attempting to investigate the genetic features of “normal and healthy” kids plan to solicit DNA samples from child-parent volunteer pairs at this month’s state fair.|
|Stem cells, human genes, and patents, Biopolitical TimesMay 14th, 2010A recent ruling on a stem cell patent is similar with concurrent challenges to patents on human genes related to breast cancer.|
|Gene Patents on CBS's "60 Minutes", Biopolitical TimesApril 2nd, 2010This Sunday, the long-running American television news show will air a segment on the debate over human gene patents.|
|Public Interest Group Praises Court Decision that Human Genes Cannot Be PatentedCenter for Genetics and Society Calls Ruling a Victory for Patients, Consumers and Responsible ResearchMarch 30th, 2010CGS welcomed yesterday's District Court decision invalidating patents on genes associated with breast and ovarian cancer, which ruled that human genes cannot be patented because they are products of nature|
|Pin the Sperm on the Egg, Biopolitical TimesFebruary 19th, 2010A San Francisco couple put a twist on the baby-making process by hosting a $35 a head party to raise funds for assisted reproduction.|
|Are UK Cops Pushing People Into the Pool? , Biopolitical TimesNovember 27th, 2009A new report from the UK suggests that police may be taking a new tactic: arresting people for the sole purpose of getting their DNA.|
|Genes and Jobs: U of Akron Tests the Testing Laws, Biopolitical TimesNovember 4th, 2009The University of Akron (UA) has a policy that could require any candidate for employment to submit a DNA sample, despite the Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act.|
|ACLU Challenges California Prop. 69 , Biopolitical TimesOctober 16th, 2009Prop. 69’s arrestee provision marks a radical expansion of the government’s power to indefinitely retain intimate information about citizens – many of whom may have done nothing more than be accused of committing a crime.|