Genetic predisposition as a legal defence

Xavier Symons | 12 March 2014 |
tags: genetics, genetics and law
What is the relationship between genetic predisposition and upbringing?

Gene silencing technique offers hope for cure for Down syndrome

Michael Cook | 02 November 2013 |
tags: Down syndrome, genetics
Is it possible to “cure” Down syndrome? Jeanne Lawrence, of the University Massachusetts Medical School, believes that it could happen some day.

Are we fated to fight?

Xavier Symons | 05 October 2013 |
tags: genetics
With the increasing impact of evolutionary biology, deterministic explanations for human behavior are gaining more traction among scientists and in the media. One claim is that we are hardwired for violent conflict.

Family of Henrietta Lacks reaches agreement with researchers

Michael Cook | 11 August 2013 |
tags: genetics, informed consent
The National Institutes of Health has reached an agreement with the family of the late Henrietta Lacks

UK to allow research into three-parent embryos

Michael Cook | 29 June 2013 |
tags: genetics, mitochondrial replacement, three-parent embryos
The UK government has decided that it will allow the creation of three-parent embryos to prevent the births of children with mitochondrial diseases.

Genetics at the Supreme Court 1: patenting genes

Xavier Symons | 15 June 2013 |
tags: genetic tests, genetics, US Supreme Court
In a unanimous 9-0 decision, the US Supreme Court has ruled that human genes cannot be patented.

Genetics at the Supreme Court 2: the “genetic panopticon”

Xavier Symons | 15 June 2013 |
tags: genetic privacy, genetics, US Supreme Court
Earlier this month the US Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that DNA swabbing of people who have been arrested is constitutional.

Medicine students peer into their own genetic future

Xavier Symons | 15 June 2013 |
tags: genetics, medical education
Stanford University has introduced an ambitious new genetics subject into its medical curriculum, in which students study their own genetic data.

Evil is all in the brain. Or is it?

Michael Cook | 07 February 2013 |
tags: brain scans, determinism, evil, genetics
After 3000 years of speculation, a German neurologist has finally located the source of evil. Well, at least Das Bild says he has. Gerhard Roth showed the tabloid images of the offending portion of the brain. It is an 'evil patch' in the brain's central lobe which shows up as a dark mass on X-rays, he says.

Save newborn blood samples, say bioethicists

Michael Cook | 11 November 2012 |
tags: genetics, privacy
Blood samples left over from newborn screening tests are a genetic treasure trove which should be available to researchers.

Gene of the week: internet addiction

Michael Cook | 14 September 2012 |
tags: gene of the week, genetics
Everybody is talking about internet addiction – many people spend hours online and immediately start feeling bad if they are unable to do so. Medically, this phenomenon has not been as clearly described as nicotine or alcohol dependency. But a German study in the Journal of Addiction Medicine suggests that there are molecular-genetic connections in internet addiction, too.

Politics is in your genes

Michael Cook | 01 September 2012 |
tags: gene of the week, genetics, politics and bioethics
Studies asserting that political preferences are genetically determined are dog-whistles for the media and consequently great publicity for journals. So on cue, at the beginning of the Republican National Convention in Tampa this week, Trends in Genetics issued a press release about a highly positive review of research into genetics and political behaviour.

Hungarian “racial purity” genome test slammed

Jared Yee | 23 June 2012 |
tags: genetic testing, genetics, racism
The Hungarian Medical Research Council (ETT), which advises the government on health policy, has asked public prosecutors to investigate a genetic-testing company that confirmed that a member of parliament was of pure Hungarian stock and did not have Jewish or Roma heritage.

Study hits back at “genopolitics”

Michael Cook | 09 March 2012 |
tags: gene of the week, genetics
A couple of years ago political scientists from the University of California at San Diego made a media splash with their theory (published in Science!) that political preferences are, in part, genetically determined. Whether you vote Democrat or Republican is literally in your DNA. “Genopolitics”, as this theory was dubbed, was supported last year with a report that your politics is related to the structure of your brain. But in the latest issue of the American Political Science Review academics from Duke and Harvard rubbish the notion that two genes could be responsible for the way you vote.

Have we really exorcised eugenics from genetics?

Michael Cook | 28 May 2011 |
tags: eugenics, genetics
he linkage between genetics and eugenics is an oft-told story, but it bears repeating again and again. This is an idea hammered home in latest issue of Annals of Human Genetics.

Can an imaginary gene keep you behind bars?

Michael Cook | 04 February 2011 |
tags: genetic determinism, genetics
Perhaps, in New York

John Cleese on the God gene

Michael Cook | 23 December 2010 |
tags: genetics, YouTube
Scientific reductionism made, as you would expect, absurd

WikiLeaks: are Chinese spies stealing Iceland’s genetic database?

Jared Yee | 18 December 2010 |
tags: genetics, Wikileaks
WikiLeaks docs point at spies

Test for baby’s DNA in the womb

Michael Cook | 11 December 2010 |
tags: genetics, prenatal testing
Maternal blood reveals foetal DNA

In search of a gene for naïveté

Michael Cook | 10 December 2010 |
tags: gene of the week, genetics
Scientists claim to have discovered a gene for infidelity
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