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The Gene book jacket

The Gene: An Intimate History Book Review

The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee is a fascinating read about the journey scientists have traveled to unlock the mysteries of the gene, the master code that defines all forms of life. As with his Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, Mukherjee interweaves dramatic stories about scientific discoveries and patient journeys […]

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The ethics of human embryo gene editing

Right now, scientists can edit the genes of human embryos. Using an exciting technology called CRISPR (clustered randomly interspersed short palindromic repeats), they can make precise cuts in targeted sections of DNA and paste in new code. But should they? Editing the genes of human embryos could prevent debilitating disease, but those changes will alter the germline […]

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hack the genome

Ethics of advances in genetics: Part 2

Rapid advances in the field of genetics are raising all sorts of ethical questions and a host of story ideas for health reporters. This is Part 2 of my earlier post summarizing a panel discussion which took place at Health Journalism 2015 on April 24, 2015 in Santa Clara, California. Expert panelists discussed the controversies […]

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genome sequencing

Ethics of advances in genetics: Part 1

Rapid advances in the field of genetics are raising a host of questions and story ideas for health reporters to cover. On April 24, 2015 at the Health Journalism 2015 conference in Santa Clara, California, four panelists spoke about where the field of genetics stands today and discussed the controversies and questions that need to be […]

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blood cancer

The ethics of using stem cells for enhancement

On October 9, 2014, the Centre for the Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM) held a Café Scientifique called Bigger, Better, Faster, Stronger — Are Stem Cells the Answer? at the Hard Rock Café in Toronto, sponsored by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Three experts discussed the ethics and likelihood of using stem cells to enhance human performance. Stem […]

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