Biotechnology in Our Lives: What Modern Genetics Can Tell You about Assisted Reproduction, Human Behavior, and Personalized Medicine, and Much More

Biotechnology in Our Lives: What Modern Genetics Can Tell You about Assisted Reproduction, Human Behavior, and Personalized Medicine, and Much More

by Jeremy Gruber, Sheldon Krimsky


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For a quarter of a century, the Council for Responsible Genetics has provided a unique historical lens into the modern history, science, ethics, and politics of genetic technologies. Since 1983 the Council has had leading scientists, activists, science writers, and public health advocates researching and reporting on a broad spectrum of issues, including genetically engineered foods, biological weapons, genetic privacy and discrimination, reproductive technologies, and human cloning.

Biotechnology in Our Lives examines how these issues affect us daily whether we realize it or not. Written for the nonscientist, it looks at the many applications of genetics on the world around us by posing questions such as:

  • What should we know about genetics and childbirth?
  • Can our genes keep us from qualifying for health insurance?
  • Can gene therapy cure cancer?
  • Is behavior genetically determined?
  • Why would the FBI want our genes?
  • Are foreign genes in our food?
  • And much more

Ultimately, this definitive book on the subject also encourages us to think about the social, environmental, and moral ramifications of where this technology is taking us.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781620875735
Publisher: Skyhorse
Publication date: 06/01/2013
Pages: 494
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.80(d)

About the Author

Sheldon Krimsky is the Carol Zicklin Visiting Professor of Philosophy at Brooklyn College, the Lenore Stern Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences at Tufts University, and adjunct professor in the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine at the School of Medicine at Tufts University. He lives in New York City and Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction Sheldon Krimsky Jeremy Gruber ix

Part I Genetic Privacy and Discrimination: Can Your Genes Keep You from Getting Insurance?

1 New Genetic Privacy Concerns Patricia A. Roche George J. Annas 5

2 Position Statement on Genetic Discrimination by the Human Genetics Committee of the Council for Responsible Genetics 10

3 When Science Fiction Became Fact Samuel W. Anderson 17

4 How the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act Came to Pass Jeremy Gruber 24

5 Politics and Perseverance, interview with Louise Slaughter 32

6 GINA's Beauty Is Only Skin Deep Mark A. Rothstein 36

7 Lessons Learned: How Berkeley Came to Abruptly Change Its Genetic Testing Program Jeremy Gruber 41

8 Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing and Privacy Concerns Jeremy Gruber 46

9 From the Cradle to the Lab Samuel W. Anderson 50

10 Time to Raise Some Hell Henry T. Greely 55

11 Suspect Creatures: Balancing Ethics and Utility in Research Biobanks a conversation with George Annas Robert Green Patricia Roche Susan Wolf 59

Part II Genetics and Medicine: Can Gene Therapy Cure Cancer and Other Diseases?

12 The DNA Era Richaid C. Lewontin 71

13 Autism and Genetics Chloe Silverman Martha Herbert 78

14 Looking Upstream: Cancer Genomics Project Obscures Causes of Cancer Jonathan King 87

15 Back to the Drawing Board? Carlos Sonnenschein Ana M. Soto 95

16 Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing: What's the Prognosis Jordan P. Lerner-Ellis J. David Ellis Robert Green 104

17 Time to Reconsider Marcy Darnovsky Stuart Newman 109

18 Where Are the Genes? Richard Lewontin 114

19 The Broken Clock: Accuracy and Utility of Direct-to-Consumer Tests interview with James Evans 119

20 Consumer Genomics and the Empowered Patient Paul Billings 125

21 Genetic Counselors: Don't Gel Tested without One interview with Elizabeth Kearney 128

22 What Genomic Research Will Give Us interview with Eric Green 132

23 Toxicology in the Genome Sheldon Krimsky 136

24 Personalized Genetic Medicine: Present Reality, Future Prospects Donna Dickenson 140

25 Déjà Vu All Over Again? Incidental Findings in Whole Genome Sequencing Marc Williams 145

Part III Assisted Reproduction: What Do You Need to Know About Genetics and Childbirth?

26 Child bearing in the Age of Biotechnology Ruth Hubbard 155

27 On Order Barbara Katz Rothman 159

28 What Human Genetic Modification Means for Women Judith Levine 165

29 Reproductive Trafficking Hedva Eyal 171

30 The Booming Baby Business interview with Debora Spar 176

31 Commercial Surrogacy and the Cost of Reproductive "Freedom" Marsha Darling 182

32 Eggs for Sale Judy Norsigian 187

33 IVF and Multiple Embryo Transfers: Everything in Moderation interview with Judy Stern 192

34 The Fast and the Furious Lori Haymon 199

35 The Southern Baptist Ethics of ARTs interview with Barrett Duke 207

36 Willful Ignorance Abby Lippman 212

37 Prenatal Diagnosis and Selective Abortion Adrienne Asch 215

Part IV Behavioral Genetics: Does Our DNA Determine How We Act?

38 Criminal Genes Evan Balaban Richard Lewontin 225

39 Deconstructing Violence Corey Morris Aimee Shen Khadija Pierce Jon Beckwith 233

40 The Folly of Geneticizing Criminal Behavior Troy Duster 245

41 Genetics without Ideology Kenneth Weiss 250

42 The Crumbling Pillars of Behavioral Generics Jay Joseph 256

43 Behavioral Genetics Research interview with Jonathan Beckwith 263

44 In Our DNA? Stuart Newman 270

45 Wising Up on the Heritability of Intelligence Ken Richardson 274

46 Race, Genes, and Intelligence Pilar Ossorio 281

47 Gene Association Studies Evan Charney 288

Part V Forensic DNA: Why Would the FBI Want Your Genes?

48 Statisticians Not Wanted: The Math behind Cold-Hit DNA Prosecutions Keith Devlin 299

49 Genetic Privacy: New Frontiers Sheldon Krimsky Tania Simoncelli 305

50 Differential Trust in DNA Forensics Troy Duster 316

51 The Potential for Error in Forensic DNA Testing William C. Thompson 327

52 Can DNA "Witness" Race? Duana Fullwiley 333

53 Forensic Genetics: A Global Human Rights Challenge Jeremy Gruber 338

54 Twenty Years of DNA Databanks in the U.S. Sheldon Krimsky 343

55 The UK DNA Database: The Founders Effect Helen Wallace 348

56 Presumed Innocent? The Confused State of U.S. DNA Collection Laws Michael T. Risher 352

57 Can a DNA Dragnet Undermine an Investigation? A Case Study in Canada Micheal Vonn 358

58 Forensic DNA, the Liberator interview with Peter Neufeld 361

59 Why DNA Is Not Enough Elizabeth Webster 365

60 The CSI Effect Robert A. Perry 369

Part VI Genetics and Popular Culture: How Does the Media Portray Biotechnology?

61 How Art and Literature Can Contribute to Genetic Policy Lon Andrews 377

62 Generations Ahead: Genetic Technologies Meet Social Justice interview with Sujatha Jesudason 381

63 Dinosaurs in Central Park Rob DeSalle 388

64 Myth, Mendel, and the Movies interview with Priscilla Wald 393

65 Liberation or Enslavement? Elaine Graham 399

66 Musical Genes interview with Greg Lukianoff 406

67 Back on "The Farm" Rob DeSalle 410

68 Deflated Expectations Emily Senay 414

69 Culturing Life: From the Laboratory to the Studio Suzanne Anker 417

70 Biology in Science Fiction Mark C. Glassy 422

Endnotes 427

Index 462

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