Human Genetics

Aug 192016
 
In the fight for our genes, could we lose what makes us human?

by Ziyaad Bhorat (Open Democracy) There’s more to human beings than biology and physiology—and it shouldn’t be for sale. In the last 70 years we’ve come a long way towards unraveling the building blocks of human life. The human genome has been identified, sequenced, mapped, decoded, and interfered with. We’ve used this knowledge to clone Dolly the sheep, discover breast cancer-causing genes and create stem cells from our own skin. And now we stand on [More]

Jul 192016
 
Do CRISPR enthusiasts have their head in the sand about the safety of gene editing?

By Sharon Begley (STAT) WASHINGTON — At scientific meetings on genome-editing, you’d expect researchers to show pretty slides of the ribbony 3-D structure of the CRISPR-Cas9 molecules neatly snipping out disease-causing genes in order to, everyone hopes, cure illnesses from cancer to muscular dystrophy. Less expected: slides of someone kneeling on a beach with his head in the sand. Yet that is what Dr. J. Keith Joung of Massachusetts General Hospital showed at the American Society of [More]

Jan 152015
 
Bad-Boy Scientism

by Pete Shanks (Originally appeared on HuffPo.) Austen Heinz of Cambrian Genomics has been trolling hard lately, as blogger Josh Cunningham notes. That is, he’s been spouting provocative opinions to get attention. And it seems to be working, from his point of view. Not only was Heinz involved in the vagina bio-hack nonsense, but he told the Wall Street Journal last June, “I can’t believe that after 10 or 20 years, people will not design their children digitally.” And he doubled down in [More]

May 082014
 

JULIE STEENHUYSEN This was originally published by Reuters News Service on May 6, 2014. Genome pioneer J. Craig Venter is teaming up with a unit of United Therapeutics Corp. to develop pig lungs that have been genetically altered to be compatible with humans, a feat that, if successful, could address the urgent need for transplant organs for people with end-stage lung disease. Venter’s privately held company Synthetic Genomics Inc. on Tuesday said it has entered [More]

Apr 012014
 

“Hacking Your DNA” Reposted from Newsweek Imagine a future when Big Data has access not only to your shopping habits, but also to your DNA and other deeply personal data collected about our bodies and behavior—and about the inner workings of our proteins and cells. What will the government and others do with that data? And will we be unaware of how it’s being used—or abused—until a future Edward Snowden emerges to tell us? Consider [More]

Apr 012014
 

Reposted from the Wall Street Journal U.S. Government Files First Cases Under Statute Meant to Protect Workers By Melanie Trottman Genetic testing is becoming a cornerstone of modern medicine—used to measure the likelihood of developing diseases from cancer to mental illness. Employers increasingly are running up against a federal law that governs how genetic information can be used. Pictured, a DNA sample in a Petri dish. Getty Images But as health-care providers move quickly to [More]

Apr 012014
 
How Private is your DNA? – Critical Conversations on Emerging Technology – 7:30, April 17 - Video coming soon

Download hi-res (8.3mb) pdf of flyer. Scientists are now able to map our bodies’ DNA with increasing ease and decreasing costs. But what is being done with this information and for whose benefit? How much control do we have over our genetic information and what can we do to protect our privacy? WHEN: Thursday, April 17, 2014 – 7:30pm WHERE: Brower Center Theater 2150 Allston Way in Berkeley, CA Free and Open to the Public [More]

Mar 242014
 
Human Applications of Synthetic Biology (Resource List)

A listing of articles on human applications of synthetic biology (updated 5-24-13). ****** General Gods and Monsters Mark Dowie, Mother Jones, January/February 2004 [Talking apes, flying pigs, superhumans with armadillo attributes, and other strange considerations of Dr. Stuart Newman’s fight to patent a human/animal chimera] Big Promises Backed by Bad Theory Eric Hoffman and Stuart Newman, GEN, May 15, 2012 [Overview, not very focused on human applications but including them] ****** Picks from the Center for Genetics and [More]

Aug 132013
 
California Governor Jerry Brown Vetoes Bill that Would Have Legalized Sale of Human Eggs

Advocates for women’s health and opponents of the commercialization of human genes by corporate research interests won a small victory August 13, 201.  California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would have allowed the sale of human eggs for research purposes. Brown acknowledged that the health risks of the egg extraction procedure would be compounded if women were paid to allow their eggs to be harvested. Brown said “Not everything in life is for [More]

Jun 262013
 
Coalition urges VETO of  AB 926 - Human Egg Harvesting Threatens Women's Health

Contact Governor Brown today and urge him to: VETO AB 926!! AB 926 will expand the market in human eggs by paying young women to “donate” their eggs for research. But egg harvesting involves serious health risks! Tell Governor Brown that if California approves paying women to risk their health and fertility it should take steps to provide evidenced based informed consent, one that is the product of long term follow up and study. In [More]