More Than “What”: Why Science and Technology Studies Would Benefit Policy Students

Cross-posted with the Kennedy School Review on April 11, 2016. The Harvard Kennedy School encourages us to ask what we can do. At a time when a U.S. government shutdown is an ongoing and legitimate concern, the importance of getting things done should not be underestimated. But as graduate students taking time away from the confines … More More Than “What”: Why Science and Technology Studies Would Benefit Policy Students

My Genes, Myself?

Cross-posted with Biopolitical Times on March 8th, 2016.  We have become accustomed to ascribing individualistic agency to our genes. We speak of gene x doing thing y. However, our biology is not a collection of independent actors, but a highly interdependent ecosystem. And every now and then a story comes along that reminds us just how … More My Genes, Myself?

Should We Genetically Modify Our Children?

Cross-posted with the Kennedy School Review on December 7, 2015.  Now that we have the power to permanently alter humanity, should we? This was the question at the heart of the International Summit on Human Gene Editing in Washington, D.C., last week, an event co-hosted by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and of Medicine, the Chinese … More Should We Genetically Modify Our Children?

F.D.A. Attention to Inaccurate Lab Tests Defers Hopes of “Precision Medicine”

Cross-posted with Biopolitical Times on December 9th, 2015. Generally the stock of research hospitals, laboratory developed tests (LDTs) were traditionally considered relatively benign and straightforward, tending not to require premarket review in the U.S. by the F.D.A. However, with the advent of genetic testing and private biotech company research, LDTs are now being used to diagnose … More F.D.A. Attention to Inaccurate Lab Tests Defers Hopes of “Precision Medicine”

Innovation and equity in an age of gene editing

Cross-posted with The Guardian on May 19, 2015. The first day of BEINGS2015, “A Gathering of Global Thought Leaders to Reach Consensus on the Direction of Biotechnology for the 21st Century”, in Atlanta, coincided with the announcement by the National Academy of Science and National Academy of Medicine of an initiative to look into “promising new … More Innovation and equity in an age of gene editing

The Blurred Lines of Genetic Data: Practicality, Pleasure and Policing

Cross-posted with Biopolitical Times on May 7th, 2015. A new rumor is spreading that Apple may be leveraging its ubiquity to encourage iPhone owners to participate in DNA testing, perhaps to bulk up the medical data-collecting capabilities of its ResearchKit. According to Antonio Regalado at MIT Technology Review, Apple will work with academic partners to collect and … More The Blurred Lines of Genetic Data: Practicality, Pleasure and Policing

Racial Health Disparities: It’s Inequality, Not Genes

Cross-posted with Biopolitical Times on April 23rd, 2015. Heart disease is the single biggest contributor to the racial mortality gap in the US, which, in case you didn’t know, is still really bad. Many hoped that advances in genetics would help explain and ultimately close that gap. So Jay Kaufman, Professor in Epidemiology & Biostatistics at … More Racial Health Disparities: It’s Inequality, Not Genes