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

BIOETHICS

Unnatural Selection

As prenatal screening for both medical and nonmedical traits becomes a serious possibility, we walk a moral tightrope between letting parents choose and upholding our societal standards of tolerance.

GENOMICS

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.

INVESTING IN INNOVATION

Investing in Innovation Pays Off

Science and technology are what move our economy forward. Two new studies show the pay off from federal investments in life science innovation is off the charts.

BIOETHICS

One Step Closer to Designer Babies

A new approach to testing the genes of early-stage fetuses could radically alter the experience of pregnancy and parenting from as early as five weeks, leading to a potentially dangerous moral quandary.

WONK LAB PODCAST

Personal Profiling

Will access to our own genetic information make us healthier? That’s the idea, but there’s a lot to learn as we share and interpret it. Meanwhile, questions remain about proper oversight of an industry that blurs the line between consumer and research participant.

BIOETHICS

The Color of Our Genes

Advances in genomics may yield profound medical, scientific, and social advances. But if we are not careful, commercial and forensic applications may resuscitate harmful ideas about race.

Roundup: ACLU Sues Over Breast Cancer Gene Patents

The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit Tuesday against the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Myriad Genetics, and the University of Utah, arguing that patents for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are invalid. Mutations in the two genes are responsible [...]

F.B.I. Plans to Grow DNA Database

The Federal Bureau of Investigation plans to grow its DNA database, reports The New York Times. Currently 6.7 million profiles strong, the idea is to go from 80,000 new entries every year to 1.2 million in 2012. While genetic information [...]

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

How Genes Are Like Plutonium

Patenting unmodified genes rewards discovery, not invention. We must prohibit the process and invalidate all claims to unmodified genes to facilitate more open science.

New Transparency for Genomic Data

The National Human Genome Research Institute recently posted a searchable database and spreadsheet of genome-wide association studies, or GWAS. The catalog includes data on 1309 single nucleotide polymorphisms, called SNPs, from articles in 296 publications. The table explains what traits [...]

BIOETHICS

Designing Baby Neanderthals

Researchers recently reported reconstruction of the Neanderthal genome, which raises the possibility of reconstructing the species. The problem here concerns what we do to sentient creatures, not what we do to nature.

WEISS'S NOTEBOOK

Age, Race, Religion, Sex, Disability…and DNA

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission just proposed rules to implement the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. But that still leaves several agencies to sort out how to protect consumers from insurance discrimination.

BIOETHICS

Baby Bailouts and Benetton Babies

Two stories in the news this week call for the establishment of international standards for reproductive services that draw a line between procedures that are medically appropriate and scientifically compelling.

FDA Approves First Drug Made in a Mammal

The Food and Drug Administration gave a thumbs up today for ATryn, a blood-thinning drug produced in the milk of genetically engineered goats. As we’ve previously described, it’s the first drug made in the milk of a farm animal to [...]

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