Braingenethics Update: Monthly Roundup of Developments in the Genetics of Complex Human Behaviors

A new free monthly e-newsletter tracks rapidly evolving findings on genetic contributions to psychiatric, neurologic, and behavioral traits. Braingenethics Update is geared to scholars, scientists, journalists, and members of the public who are interested in news, academic literature, and events concerning the ethical, legal, and social implications of knowledge about the genetics of complex human behaviors.

Braingenethics Update is produced by The Hastings Center as part of the Center for Research on Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of Psychiatric, Neurologic and Behavioral Genetics at Columbia University Medical Center, which is directed by Paul Appelbaum. Two Hastings Center research scholars –Erik Parens and Josephine Johnston– are core faculty members of the center, which is supported by a grant from the National Human Genome Research Institute.

The latest Braingenethics Update includes findings on epigenetics and obesity, the impact of social stress on children’s genomes, and ethical issues in the use of genetic testing of patients with schizophrenia and their families. A commentary by Parens considers a decade’s worth of gene-environment interaction studies, and another, by Maya Sabatello, discusses the growing use of genetic testing in court cases. There is also a schedule of pertinent upcoming public conferences at Columbia.

“Our primary aim is to create a resource for people interested both in the state of the genetic science and in what the science means for how we understand ourselves as human beings,” says Parens. To sign up for a free subscription to Braingenethics Update, click here.