Science Progress | Where science, technology, and progressive policy meet


Addressing Race and Genetics

Personalized medicine holds great potential to improve the efficacy and reduce the costs of care, but there are major hurdles to ensuring access to this new form of medicine is open to all.


Defining the Boundaries of Genetic Testing

A recently released study by direct-to-consumer genetic testing company 23andMe reveals the privacy challenges ahead for public health policymakers as so-called genome-wide association studies, which look for specific genetic traits in huge genetic databases, enter the mainstream of scientific inquiry. [...]


Vision Renewed

A new study points to the possibility that retina cells can be derived from embryonic stem cells, but new regulatory procedures need to be in place to oversee the research going forward.

Bioethical Marching Orders

President Obama wasted no time sending a letter to Amy Gutmann, chair of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, requesting a report on how the administration can support the growth and appropriate governance of synthetic biology. The [...]

Legislation Introduced to Codify Stem Cell Rules

Last week, Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) introduced a bill that would codify the bedrock bioethical safeguards for federally-funded human embryonic stem cell research. These provisions reflect the guidelines that have been in effect at the National Institutes of Health since [...]

Perfecting Policy on Stem Cells

The National Institutes of Health has a smart and ethical stem cell policy in place, but that doesn’t mean that the agency can’t improve upon the policy once it is put into practice. A new regulatory notice published this week [...]

They’re Not Perfect Cells, But They’re Model Cells

In his final column for Science Progress, Rick Weiss responded to critics of stem cell research who argue that injections of stem cells will never serve as treatments for certain chronic diseases. True enough, Weiss wrote, injections of stem cells [...]

Genomic Medicine on the March

On Thursday, the Secretary’s Advisory Committee for Genetics, Health, and Society at the Department of Health and Human Services will meet to discuss a set of reports on the future of genomic medicine. The meeting will cover a range of [...]

Science Education Progress

Yesterday, President Obama led some much needed pomp and circumstance over STEM education. In a speech at the White House, he emphasized the critical importance of an aggressive commitment to improving our nation’s education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, [...]

More Stem Cells Lines Approved, Process Proves Smart

The National Institutes of Health have added 27 more human embryonic stem cell lines to the 13 approved two weeks ago. These new lines come from Harvard University and have some interesting stipulations attached to them that illustrate the diligence [...]

Line Up for the New Lines

Yesterday, the National Institutes of Health approved 13 new embryonic stem cell lines according to the rigorous ethical guidelines that went into effect July 7th. The lines will now be eligible for use in federally funded research. The 15-point rules [...]

Your Commission, Should You Choose to Accept It (And We Do!)

Yesterday President Obama issued an Executive Order establishing the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. The Commission’s Chair will be Amy Gutmann, President of the University of Pennsylvania and a political theorist. Its Vice Chair will be James [...]


Genetic Testing 101

With new opportunities come questions about how to interpret the avalanche of genetic information and how to protect it from improper use.