Bioethics “Reading List” — Summer 2016

June 30, 2016 • Posted in Blog

D. Joy Riley, M.D., M.A.
Executive Director

History, U.S., recent

Letter from Representative Marsha Blackburn, chair of the Committee of Energy and Commerce’s Select Investigative Panel investigating fetal tissue procurement in the United States, to New Mexico’s Attorney General, Hector H. Balderas, Jr., included the notebook of a laboratory technician, who recorded the following:

See pages 9-10/291 of the document, as well as “attachment 28.”

Instead of history, however, the request for “whole, fixed brains” (human, fetal) for summer campers to dissect should be classified under HORROR.


A.I. (Artificial Intelligence)
“Intelligent robot that ‘remembers and learns’ could be scrapped after escaping a lab for a second time,” by Keyan Milanian, tells the story of Promobot IR77 on the loose — again.

CRISP-R (Gene editing)
“CRISPR will change lives, but not only through genetic engineering,” by Jacob Corn, hopefully describes some possible ways this “democratized gene editing” may affect us in the future.

“Why are we telling scientists to destroy human life?” by Brendan P. Foht, considers the “mandated destruction of genetically modified human embryos”: problematic, indeed.

Genome Research
Reading the human genome, as in the Human Genome Project, was a major goal, reached earlier in this century. The new goal for many scientists, George Church included, is to write a human genome. Should we worry when the abstract in toto says, “We need technology and an ethical framework for genome-scale engineering”? See the New York Times article by Andrew Pollack here.

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