Humanized mice

Researchers have injected brain cells from human fetuses into baby mice, giving them brains that are half human.  Those “humanized mice” are much more intelligent than regular mice.  Read the report, which is breezily free of moral judgment, and contemplate just how many things are wrong with this. [Read more...]

Three-parent children

The FDA is trying to decide whether or not to approve a procedure that give a child three biological parents.  “Defective” DNA in a mother’s egg would be replaced by “good” DNA from a second woman, then fertilized, giving the child three parents and eliminating certain inherited diseases.

A great technology to ease human suffering, or a grotesque violation of nature?  Or both?  What should the FDA decide? [Read more...]

In vitro meat

Researchers in London served the first hamburger patty that came not from an animal but from genetic engineering.  Those who sampled it which consisted of protein generated from cattle stem cells, said that it tasted “almost like meat.”  Yum, yum.

But many people are heralding the development as the beginning of a new era in food.  No more need we kill animals.  No more will livestock operations pollute the land.  We will be able to generate cheap food for all.   Read about it after the jump, whereupon we will consider the implications. [Read more...]

Heather has three biological parents

Great Britain has approved a in-vitro-fertilization technique that conceives babies using genetic material from three different parents.  (If I’m sorting it out correctly, it will take one father and two different mothers, with the destruction of one embryo being used for spare parts.) [Read more...]

Human genes can’t be patented

In a rare unanimous ruling, the Supreme Court ruled that human genes cannot be patented.  As we blogged about earlier, some companies have patented human genetic material, but the judges ruled that only inventions and not products of nature can be patented. [Read more...]

Corporations that own your DNA

Did you know that you don’t own your DNA?  Different companies hold the patent to about 41% of your genes.  That means whenever those DNA strands are tested by a doctor, the company collects a royalty.  Later this month, the Supreme Court will hear a case that will potentially rule on whether  human DNA can be patented. [Read more...]


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