Category Archives: genetics

Human germline engineering: The mom’s not in the picture

U.S. and British government agencies are moving toward enabling what would be the first clinical trials of what is, in effect, human germline engineering – genetic modifications that would be passed down through the generations. The modifications would not be…

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Spittin’ Image: Or, How I Am Probably Going to Die

“Once you obtain your genetic information, the knowledge is irrevocable,” warn the service terms at saliva-testing firm 23andMe.com. The news wasn’t so bad, except for Alzheimer’s. Also, I’m sort of related to Stephen Colbert. Of course, 23andMe, of Mountain View,…

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Evolution: Survival of the Fittest, and Some Others

If you believe in evolution at all, you probably think of it as a good thing for the evolving organism, enabling it to keep up with its environment as that environment changes. I sure do. Of course, we realize that…

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Patients Take the Lead in Clinical Whole Genome Sequencing

A decade after the first human genome sequence was completed, it would probably be fair to say that whole genome sequencing is not yet ready for prime time. The problem is not the technology ‑ it’s the resulting vast quantity…

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DNA Donor Anonymity: for the Lucky Few?

Privacy concerns related to DNA sequencing got yet another airing today when a team from the Whitehead Institute reported in Science that using only publicly available information, they have been able to identify about 50 men who had anonymously donated…

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Grappling with the Ethics

With science boldly taking us where we’ve never gone before, we’re exploring new worlds and stretching the boundaries of our universe. While these are exciting times for the adventurer in us, they can be discomfiting for our inner ethicist. From…

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