Evolution is lazy and a spendthrift. Sure, it drives change, but it will cling to anything that is just barely good enough. As a result, every creature alive today has bits and pieces that don’t work so well. For example, humans are prone to choking and sinus infections because our resperatory pathways are fairly terrible for […]
Carolyn Abraham pens an exhaustive and balanced article on embryo selection. If you are honest with yourself about trying to understand the situation new parents will be facing in the coming decades, you’ll read this article.
My latest Science Not Fiction post addresses the “My body, my choice” mantra in relationship to transhumanism. Somatic rights and the freedom of bodily determination are at stake:
Because you have the right to do something, you are also responsible for the results of that decision. For example, if you choose to do drugs, […]
Prosthetics and artificial organs become so high quality that they surpass the performance, durability, comfort, and safety of natural human biology. As a result, humans are genetically engineered to be born without arms and legs to reduce the need for elective amputation surgery.
Definition of an Unthinkable here.
Image via Playmedesign
I couldn’t resist aping Science Progress‘ headline. Actually, the article is about a new diagnostic test for genetic problems in early fetuses. This new test, called NIPD, is less risky for the fetus and the woman.
The fetal gene tests now offered are far from a walk in the park. For amniocentesis, a long […]
When a headline in Nature is “Telomerase reverses aging process” you know there has been some serious headway:
Mice engineered to lack the enzyme, called telomerase, become prematurely decrepit. But they bounced back to health when the enzyme was replaced. The finding, published online today inNature1, hints that some disorders characterized by early […]
A small legal case might determine if every father gets a genetic test for parenthood at birth.
Nina Montepagani always felt the entry under “father” was not literally true. “I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere,” she said recently. There had been clues: oddly similar names, family stories and a piece of paper with […]
Carl Zimmer’s recent piece in the New York Times on evolvability is eye-opening. The study involved hundreds of generations of E. Coli evolving, with certain generations being frozen for later comparison:
The eventual winners still consistently beat out the eventual losers, the researchers found. On average, they ended up growing 2.1 percent faster than […]
If anyone can take the Human Genome Project and the progress science has made over the last three decades and turn it into something the medical field can actually use to benefit real people, it’s Eric Schadt. Esquire writer Tom Junod tantalizes:
Okay, so focusing on one gene at a time doesn’t work, […]
Bioethics is controversial.
No one endorses the ideas or concepts explored here, not even me.
You will develop a strong opinion about something you find here. I want to hear it. Philosophy is a conversation.
popbioethics [at] gmail [dot] com
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