Search: CRISPR

Designed Human Embryos (CRISPR-CAS9)

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I attended a conference in Atlanta this month titled “Beings2015: Biotech and the Ethical Imagination.” During the main sessions, much was discussed regarding CRISPR, or what is more commonly known as gene editing. “Beings2015” convened to discuss how biotech should proceed and who should regulate advances like CRISPR in order to draft a statement of […]

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What is Brave New World Really About?

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I’m a huge science fiction fan, and I particularly like works of speculative and dystopian fiction. Some of my favorite, relatively recent books include Oryx and Crake, Snow Crash, and Anathem. Perhaps the most significant dystopian work, however, is Aldous Huxley’s 1932 Brave New World. Indeed, we here at the CBC sometimes use the phrase “Brave […]

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Artificial Wombs: What’s Really Needed

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A recent article in Nature Communications announces the development of a kind of artificial womb (or extracorporeal gestational system). So far it has been used to further the development of premature lambs. Technology website Gizmodo breaks down the technical journal article in more understandable terms. The research team, led by Alan Flake from the Children’s […]

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Ethics and Embryo Editing

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In a world where it seems the news is endlessly dominated by events in and around the White House, one story this week has clearly broken through: U.S.-based researchers have succeeded in editing the genes in human embryos. This news was first reported by MIT Technology Review, but numerous other outlets — Associated Press, Scientific […]

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The Unethical Uneasiness with Human Gene Editing Technology

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It has just been announced that “the first known attempt at creating genetically modified human embryos” in the U.S. has been made. Through a new technique, often called CRISPR, germline modification can be made at the embryo stage—germline, meaning the genetically modified child would pass these changes onto future generations through his or her sperm […]

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Last Week in Bioethics

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Even though summer is more-or-less in full swing, last week seemed like it was extra busy with bioethics news items. Below is a taste of some of the top items, all of which we posted on our Facebook page and Twitter feed (to keep up with all the latest, be sure to like and follow […]

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New Survey Reveals Americans Wary of Faking Life

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A number of outlets are reporting this week on a new survey that reveals a wariness among American adults toward biotechnologies that can be used for enhancement purposes. The survey of 4,700 adults also involved six focus groups to allow researchers to delve into the reasons behind the survey responses. The main takeaways from the survey […]

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How Much Further Down the Road of Artifice Should We Travel?

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The cover story in July 4 edition of Time magazine examines the gene editing technique known as CRISPR. The article is helpful for understanding the basics of the science of CRISPR, and it raises a number of the ethical issues involved—the unknowns of heritable genetic changes, the potential for weaponization, imperfections in the technique itself. […]

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Human Gene Editing and Eugenics

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A recent essay by Brendan Foht in the Washington Post reveals the backwards logic of scientists who advocate for human gene editing and those who also support the idea that embryos that have been genetically modified must be destroyed. The advent of CRISPR technology allows for the possibility of us forever altering the human genome […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. New Records Set For Reproductive Technology in the United States According to a new report, the U.S. reproductive technology industry is slated to reach over $4 billion by 2020. The largest sector of the market, $1.2 billion, comes from fertility drug revenue. As we’ve long said, infertility has become a booming business in the […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. European Parliament Condemns Surrogacy This week the European Parliament condemned surrogacy—delivering a huge victory for women and children. In their statement, the EP concluded that surrogacy “undermines the human dignity of the woman since her body and its reproductive functions are used as a commodity.” We hope that policy makers around the world will […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. Germany Approves Physician Assisted Suicide Last Friday the government of Germany passed legislation that would regulate assisted suicide in the country. The new law will prevent the commercialization of the practice, but it will allow terminally ill patients to end their lives with the aid of a doctor. For a country whose recent history […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. Physician Assisted Suicide on Life Support In a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, CBC board member Dr. Aaron Kheriaty chronicles the general public’s wariness toward physician assisted suicide. As he points out that “in the past 20 years, more than 100 campaigns to legalize assisted suicide have been introduced in various states. All but […]

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