New Issue of GeneWatch Magazine-New Age of Human Genetic Engineering?

by jeeg 24. November 2014 22:36



New Issue of GeneWatch Magazine: 


New Age of Human Genetic Engineering?

The Safety and Ethics of Attempts to Prevent Mitochondrial Disease



It may seem like the stuff of science fiction, but human germ-line genetic engineering has now entered the realm of possibility. Authorities in the U.S. and U.K. are weighing a fertility procedure that involves combining the genetic material of three people into a fertilized egg to allegedly make a baby free of certain defects which are found in the mitochondrial cells of the prospective mother. For some, the term brings to mind hopes of fantastic therapies; for others, it raises serious concerns for safety, eugenics and misuse.   Often, the reality of genetic engineering is eclipsed by the media storm and wild expectations. The new issue of GeneWatch magazine, now available online, explores what the science actually allows us to do today, and what it may lead to in the future.


The issue brings together a diverse group of experts to explore these and other issues at the intersection of science, ethics and society. Dr. Paula Amato of Oregon Health & Science University and Nita A. Farahany Director of Duke Science & Society and a member of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues discuss the promise of clinical trials to develop these new technologies.  Stuart Newman, Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy at New York Medical College and Sheldon Krimsky, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Council for Responsible Genetics and a Professor at Tufts University, raise serious safety concerns with moving forward with these procedures.  Bioethicists Marcy Darnovsky, Jessica Cussins and David King discuss the critical ethical issues at stake and the lack of government transparency.  And Sharon Shaw Reeder, an advocate with mitochondrial disease and a member of the FDA’s first Mitochondrial Patient Advisory Committee, discusses what’s really at stake for the mitochondrial disease community.


These, and a dedication to founding CRG board member and champion of science in the public interest Liebe F. Cavalieri, are in this exciting new issue.


Try GeneWatch for free online now at


About GeneWatch

It is hard to keep up with the rush of information and opinion set off by the rapid growth in genetic research and technology. Without our fully realizing it, genetic technology is entering almost every area of our lives; from the genetically modified foods we eat, to the biodiversity of our eco-system, from human health and reproductive technologies to the operation of the criminal justice system. The public needs information from a trusted source.

For 30 years GeneWatch, CRG’s award-winning magazine, has filled this critical role. GeneWatch covers a broad spectrum of domestic and international issues: genetically engineered foods, biological weapons, genetic privacy and discrimination, reproductive technologies, and human cloning. GeneWatch features articles by international experts in the field, interviews of critical figures, profiles of every-day individuals impacted by developments in biotechnology, and reviews of books and movies.

GeneWatch is available by subscription for delivery or for free online. Please visit the CRG website for more information at

Since 1983, the Council for Responsible Genetics has represented the public interest and fostered public debate about the social, ethical and environmental implications of genetic technologies.  CRG is a leader in the movement to steer biotechnology toward the advancement of public health, environmental protection, equal justice, and respect for human rights.




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