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stem cell

The best gifts: Join the stem cell registry or donate blood

Tired of the excess commercialism around the holidays? This year, give a selfless gift instead: join the bone marrow stem cell registry or donate blood.

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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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The Death of Cancer

The Death of Cancer: Book Review

Cancer affects everyone. Maybe you have had a personal experience, or perhaps you know a family member, friend or colleague who has faced cancer head-on, or you’ve had a positive screening test or biopsy result that kept you up at night. In spite of media headlines lamenting that we don’t yet have a cure for […]

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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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Revisited: Should men have a PSA test?

In many ways it’s hard to believe it’s been three years since I wrote the post Should Healthy Men Have a PSA Test for GE’s Healthy Outlook blog. At the time, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force was on the brink of recommending against routine screening for men who have no symptoms of prostate cancer, regardless […]

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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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blood cancer

September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month

Many people think that breast cancer is the number one cancer killer, but actually, respiratory cancer tops the list; followed by digestive cancer, then blood cancers. Breast cancer is actually in fourth place; due in large part to significant medical advances over the last several decades. Right now, you might be surprised to learn that […]

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The Juggler's Children

The Juggler’s Children by Carolyn Abraham

How appropriate that Carolyn Abraham’s new book, The Juggler’s Children was launched this April, a month of famous genetic research anniversaries. Sixty years ago, in April 1953, James Watson and Francis Crick published their paper in Nature about their discovery of the double helix structure of deoxyribose nucleic acid, DNA. And ten years ago, in April 2003, the Human Genome Project sequenced […]

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