Genes and Society in the News:
- There is a new Radiolab program on CRISPR. Carl Zimmer was hosted on a Radiolab podcast on the same topic two years ago. Then he was very positive. Now, he’s more reserved.
- NYTimes, March 21. Carl Zimmer. A New Form of Stem-Cell Engineering Raises Ethical Questions. This article questions synthetic biology creating embryos without using eggs. Instead from stem cells organized into embyolike structures called “synthetic human entities with embryolike features” (Sheefs for short).
- A journal article addresses ethical issues of Sheefs in Aach et al. 2017. eLIFE.
- Derek Lowe. In the Pipeline. Science Translational Medicine blog post. PcsK9 real world data arrives, unfortunately. People with PCSK9 null mutations have very low levels of LDL. Monoclonal drugs developed by Amgen and Regeneron/Sanofi tested in clinical trials were effective but are very costly compared to Statins. (Pedersen, T.R. (2017). Evolocumab and Clinical Outcomes in Patients with Cardiovascular Disease. New England Journal of Medicine. doi:10.1056/nejmoa1615664).
- GINA H.R.1313 Circumvent GINA supporting employer genetic testing (GINA exempted wellness). High penalty if you don’t join. But if you do join, then company can impose genetic testing. https://www.statnews.com/2017/03/10/workplace-wellness- genetic-testing/
- Harriet Washington. Medical Apartheid The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present. (2010). Paw Prints. Jon recalled that with XYY screening in 70’s, two states MA and MD were already screening. African American community very distrustful of Johns Hopkins. They had been conducting criminality studies which were probably the XYY karyotype. Also, Shelly was expert witness in trial in Baltimore on Johns Hopkins informed consent protocol on a chelation drug therapy for lead exposure. Informed consent protocol was very flawed and they would not allow mention of Tuskegee or allow Harriet Washington to testify.
Article for discussion:
- P., Wobegon, E., Eigler, F. C., P., A., G., . . . Gitlin, J. (n.d.). Race, Science, and the Continuing Education of Razib Khan. UnDark Magazine.
- Razib is recognized as an excellent human population geneticist and has been a successful and prolific blogger.
- Was hired by NYTimes in March 2015 as contributing opinion writer, then immediately fired after discovering his association with white supremacist publications.
- Check out https://undark.org for in-depth coverage in a journalistic style of wide range of science topics.