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- Why Avoid the “M-Word” in Human Genome Editing?
Posted on April 3, 2019
It is a truism that good ethics begins with good facts. Here are some of the facts about the ethics and politics of heritable human genome editing from 2015 to 2019.
- Scientists Disagree About the Ethics and Governance of Human Germline Editing
Posted on January 17, 2019
Despite the appearance of agreement, scientists are not of the same mind about the ethics and governance of human germline editing. A careful review of public comments and published commentaries in top-tier science journals reveals marked differences in perspective. These divergences have significant implications for research practice and policy concerning heritable human genome editing. The… Read more
- He Jiankui: A Sorry Tale of High-Stakes Science
Posted on December 10, 2018
In response to news of the world’s first babies born in China from gene-edited embryos, Sam Sternberg, a CRISPR/Cas9 researcher at Columbia University, spoke for many when he said “I’ve long suspected that scientists, somewhere, would rush to claim the ‘prize’ of being first to apply CRISPR clinically to edit the DNA of human embryos,… Read more
- Are Canadian Fertility Services Breaking the Law?
Posted on May 1, 2012
In Canada, payment for eggs, sperm, in vitro embryos, and surrogacy is prohibited under the Assisted Human Reproduction Actof 2004. Offering or advertising such payments and brokering deals for eggs, sperm, embryos, and surrogacy are also prohibited. Punishment for breaking the law includes a fine of up to 500,000 Canadian dollars, imprisonment for up to… Read more
- The Hazards of Fast Science
Posted on March 20, 2012
A recent editorial in Nature lauds the U.S. government for its efforts to promote open communication between government scientists and journalists, but it condemns the Canadian government for its opposing efforts to limit what federal scientists can freely communicate to journalists. TheNaturecriticisms of the Harper government are well-founded. But the problem for science in Canada extends far… Read more
- Geron’s Discontinued Stem Cell Trial: What About the Research Participants?
Posted on December 2, 2011
On November 14, Geron, a pioneer in the field of human embryonic stem cell research, announced that it would discontinue its stem cell programs. This abrupt decision, which shocked the science and business communities, raises important ethical questions about clinical trials conducted by for-profit corporations. Last year, the company started the world’s first clinical trial… Read more
- Children at all Costs?
Posted on February 18, 2009
In the past few weeks, the North American media has been rife with stories about unusual births following fertility treatment. The first was that of Nadya Suleman (christened by the media as Octo-Mom, or Madame Ovary) – a California woman who recently gave birth to octuplets. This case raised a number of challenging ethical questions:… Read more
- ES Cells and iPS Cells: A Distinction with a Difference
Posted on March 4, 2008
Gregory Kaebnick recently suggested in Bioethics Forum that apparent differences between induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells and embryos created by somatic cell nuclear transfer may not be all that relevant from a moral point of view. As Kaebnick explains, both techniques involve the reprogramming of somatic nuclei (either with the addition of gene transcription factors… Read more