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23andMe: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

December 20, 2023 • Posted in Blog
Joyce A. Shelton, Ph.D. Professor of Biology Emerita Trinity International University

23andMe is a leading provider of personalized genetic testing (screen shot of product above). For $229 and a test tube of spit, anyone can have their DNA analyzed and receive direct reports on their ancestry, genetic traits, health risks and pre-dispositions, carrier risks and more. Consumers are also invited to share their genetic information with relatives and healthcare professionals and they can choose to have their “de-identified” data shared with pharmaceutical and medical research companies for the development of new drugs and treatments. About 80% of consumers agree to share their personal more

GATTACA: 25 Years On

June 30, 2022 • Posted in Blog

Joyce A. Shelton, Ph.D. Professor of Biology Emerita Trinity International University

(Editor’s Note: The Tennessee Center for Bioethics & Culture screened GATTACA at the end of June at the international bioethics conference held by the Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity at Trinity International University. Dr. Shelton presented opening remarks, which, lightly edited, are presented here.)

The movie, GATTACA, is entertaining to watch as is, but is also rife with symbolism and subtle—and some not so subtle—philosophical messages. 25 years on: it has proved to be prescient in a number of ways.

GATTACA depicts a dystopian world in which there is a new type of social more

23andMe and Drug Development

January 31, 2020 • Posted in Blog

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

More than a decade ago—in a different time and a different place—a neighbor offered me a box of stuff he had bought as part of a lot at some estate sale. He needed to get rid of no small amount of “stuff,” so he gave me that box of tarnished silverware and odds and ends. I took it home and spent a couple of days cleaning it. We were already planning a yard sale, and so I placed the now-cleaned items I did not need from the neighbor’s box in the sale. Imagine his surprise more

A Book for (Y)our Time – A Review

March 28, 2019 • Posted in Blog

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

Reading Siddhartha Mukherjee’s The Gene: An Intimate History (NY, NY: Scribner, 2016; paperback, 2017) is to take a 150+ year print journey with an English-speaking physician and scientist, who is also a renaissance man. Mukherjee, an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University, won the Pulitzer Prize in 2011 for his non-fiction work, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer. I have not read that earlier work, but have spent time delving into The Gene.

The Gene: An Intimate History begins with the author’s 2012 trip to Calcutta with his father to visit a more

It Has Arrived: Gene Editing Recommendations Published

February 28, 2017 • Posted in Blog

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

The committee appointed to advise our government regarding the editing of genes, including editing the genes of the human embryo, has published a draft report (see the title page screen shot above). We at The Tennessee Center for Bioethics & Culture are studying the document’s 261 pages, and have a few caveats to share with our readers. Germline gene editing was given cautious approval by the committee:

Heritable germline genome editing trials must be approached with caution, but caution does not mean they must be prohibited. (p. 102)


If the technical challenges are more

Justices, 9-0, Bar Patenting Human Genes — NYT

June 14, 2013 • Posted in Atlas

By Adam Liptak — read the story here

Published 13 June 2013

Myriad Genetics CEO Claims He Owns Your Genes — Forbes

April 17, 2013 • Posted in Atlas

Steven Salzberg, Contributor

Published 13 April 2013

Article here.

Perils of Newborn Screening — Scientific American

July 3, 2012 • Posted in Atlas

Doctors may be testing infants for too many diseases.

By Ariel Bleicher

2 July 2012

Parents Likely to Request Gene Tests for Kids — medpage TODAY

April 18, 2011 • Posted in Atlas

Approval for pre-pregnancy genetic screening — The Scotsman

April 7, 2011 • Posted in Atlas

By Lyndsay Moss