This Week in Bioethics #110

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1. Update on New Jersey and New York As I write, we’re waiting to hear whether New Jersey Governor Murphy is going to sign the surrogacy-enabling legislation on his desk. Meanwhile, hearings are scheduled in New York for later this month on a bill seeking to legalize surrogacy in the Empire State. We are keeping […]

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We Don’t Yet Fully Understand all of the Implications

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NPR recently ran an article on the latest developments in the area of “three-parent embryos.” Such embryos are being created in an effort to help those who carry a genetic defect in their mitochondrial DNA. The article is a long and at times technical read, but the upshot is that there is much scientists do […]

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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 Exceptionalism Shown by Babies

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I haven’t read Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes, but a comment in Forbes about its content caught my interest. Apparently, human babies quickly develop an interest, not only in surrounding objects, but also in what others think about them. From, “Neanderthal Man and the Science of Human Uniqueness,” by John Farrell: One study, for example, reveals […]

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Here Comes the “Death Test!”

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Scientists think they may have devised a test that will tell us the chances we will die in five years–even if healthy. From the Telegraph story: A ‘Death Test’ which predicts the chance of a healthy person dying from any medical condition in the next five years has been developed by scientists. Researchers said they […]

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Test Advances Destroy Down Babies Agenda

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Currently about 90% of Down fetuses are aborted. Now, a new test makes the search part of the overarching search and destroy mission less invasive and more accurate. From NPR story: A new blood test offers pregnant women a safe and much more accurate way to screen for Down syndrome. A study that evaluated the […]

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The Fallacy of Intelligence and Genetic Determinism

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By Kathleen Sloan, Consultant to the CBC Once again, the mainstream media has jumped on the bandwagon of the latest attempt to link intelligence with genetics, hailing the “wunderkind” behind it. The Wall Street Journal of February 16, 2013, grabbed attention with the headline “A Genetic Code for Genius?” Any serious geneticist would easily dismiss […]

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Searching for Family

By Jennifer Lahl, CBC President Several months back, a donor-conceived friend of mine challenged me to undergo DNA testing as part of my ongoing advocacy in the space of anonymous egg and sperm donation. It was a sort of ‘walk a mile in my shoes’ challenge; see what it’s like to go and search for […]

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