Genes and Society in the News:
- April 8, 2017 Issue of The Lancet on Equity and Health and Structural Racism includes an article by Bernie Sanders. http://thelancet.com/journals/lancet/issue/vol389no10077/PIIS0140-6736(17)X0015-9
- May 2, 2017 Medpage Today. “Racial Mortality Gap Closing: CDC” https://www.medpagetoday.com/publichealthpolicy/publichealth/64965
- May 2, 2017 Genomics Law Report Keeping an Eye on “Perceived Disability” Litigation in California: Chadam v. Palo Alto Unified School District Cystic Fibrosis case of boy (carrier for CF) forced to leave his middle school where two siblings with CF were attending. Perceived disability according to ADA. District court dismissed the case. https://www.genomicslawreport.com/index.php/2017/05/02/keeping-an-eye-on-perceived-disability-litigation-in-california-chadam-v-palo-alto-unified-school-district/#more-13799, https://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2016/01/24/palo-alto-dna-privacy-case-could-have-wide-implications
Articles for Discussion:
- NAS and NAM Executive Summary on Human Genome Editing Science. Ethics, and Governance (CRISPR/Cas9)
- Crossing the Germline Barrier: The Three Genome Baby, article on mitochondrial donation
- Germline Gene Therapy versus Somatic Gene Therapy exists as a clear ethical distinction.
- Yet, mitochondrial donation techniques that would affect germline seemingly not considered to cross this line.
- Group agreed that this does constitute a germline therapy and recognize the possibility of mitochondrial/genome incompatibility. This incompatibility is not well understood if it is an issue. Do mitochondria genomes need to be adaptable as each generation a paternal genome is?
- UK terminology calling it “mitochondrial donation” may have been purposeful to keep within the rule banning germline modification.
- Could “mitochondrial donation” be the wedge to begin germline therapy? “Naturally occurring” may be perceived as better. So, if you modified a mitochondrial genome through recombinant DNA techniques, would this be less well received?
- Articles point out that there is a less clear ethical boundary between medical therapy and enhancement than the germline/somatic distinction.
- Canadian experiment reflects the autologous mt donation used in which stem cells in ovary are used to refresh the in eggs, increasing IVF success.
- NAS NAM reports do allow germline clinical research trials only for compelling purposes of treating or preventing serious disease. Not a prohibition. Would assume that Somatic gene therapies and PGD were not viable options.