Category Archives: bioethics

The Immortal Consenting of Henrietta Lacks

Rebecca Skloot has an essay in today’s New York Times discussing the recent publication of the genome sequence of a widely used human cell line. Skloot, as most of you already know, wrote a book about the history this cell line  - known as HeLa for Henrietta Lacks, the woman from whom they were obtained. In [...]

Also posted in publishing, race, science | 46 Responses

Stop the presses! H5N1 Frankenflu is going to kill us all!

I have watched the escalating hysteria about recent NIH-funded experiments to humanize H5N1 influenze (aka bird flu) with a mixture of amusement, horror and confusion. The amusement is born of the predictable hysteria that always infuses media coverage of research on lethal virus. The horror comes from the largely unchallenged move to censor publication of the [...]

Also posted in evolution, politics, publishing, science, science and politics | 9 Responses

Why I hate bioethicists

Yuval Levin, former Executive Director of the President’s Council on Bioethics, has an op-ed in Tuesday’s Washington Post arguing that Obama’s new stem cell policy is dangerous. Levin does not argue that stem cell research is bad. Rather he is upset that Obama did not dictate which uses of stem cells are appropriate, but rather asked [...]

Also posted in science and politics | 6 Responses