May 16, 2010
Arthur Caplan is director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania Type genetic testing on an Internet search engine and then hang on. You will be in for quite a ride. There is an endless parade of companies touting genetic tests for everything, including determining whether your kid has the potential to be a star athlete, finding out whether your ancestors were kings or ne'er-do-wells, finding a date, optimizing your diet, or knowing what diet to use if your intake is not optimal.
March 4, 1997 |
With the cloning of Dolly the sheep focusing attention on genetic research, Jonathan Tolins' drama Twilight of the Golds is of special pertinence and interest, even if NorthStar Productions doesn't offer a version that does the play justice. Although the program gives "now" as the time frame for the play, the Twilight of the Golds is, at the current level of genetic research, a futuristic what-if proposition. The thought-provoking question Tolins poses is: If it were possible to predict with a high probability of accuracy that an embryo would produce a homosexual adult, would the prospective parents be justified in terminating the pregnancy based on that knowledge?
March 11, 2008 |
Two to four of every 100 people unknowingly carry a combination of genes that renders them unusually vulnerable to Alzheimer's disease as early as their 60s. If you want to find out whether you're one of them, the Philadelphia company Smart Genetics is about to offer a test you can order over the Web. For $399, customers receive a kit and send back a saliva sample. Within three weeks they learn whether they carry one or two copies of an Alzheimer's-associated genetic variant known as APOE4.
May 16, 2010 |
Type genetic testing on an Internet search engine and then hang on. You will be in for quite a ride. There is an endless parade of companies touting genetic tests for everything, including determining whether your kid has the potential to be a star athlete, finding out whether your ancestors were kings or ne'er-do-wells, finding a date, optimizing your diet, or knowing what diet to use if your intake is not optimal. Apparently, there is more self-discovery to be had by spitting your saliva into a cup and sending it off to be genetically analyzed than in a whole month of Dr. Drew.
December 11, 1995 |
Across the country, women and their physicians are inquiring about something that was hard to imagine only a year ago - a genetic test for susceptibility to breast and ovarian cancer. "I get calls every day from oncologists who say, 'My patients are asking me about this testing, and I'm not up on this,' " said Lynn Godmilow, a genetic counselor at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center. Experts estimate that so far 1,000 people have had the test - a blood analysis that checks for mutations in the susceptibility gene, BRCA1, isolated 15 months ago. BRCA1 mutations - passed on by a mother or father - are believed to cause about 5 percent of the 182,000 breast cancers and 11 percent of the 21,000 ovarian cancers diagnosed annually.
October 5, 1994 |
If parents want to know their child's skin color in order to avoid having a "white" baby, should doctors try to help them? In Japan the answer to this question is yes. Hiroshi Shimuzu, a dermatologist at Keio University in Tokyo, along with a group of other physicians at Nagoya City University Medical School, has developed a pregnancy test for albinism. Albinos lack one of the chemicals necessary for making the substance, melanin, that gives human skin its various colors. Advances in genetics let Shimuzu and his colleagues discover a test to see whether a fetus is an albino.
January 16, 2004 |
The second and third victims of the man authorities call the Germantown rapist testified through tears yesterday at the trial of the man accused of binding their arms, taping their mouths shut, and assaulting them. "Please don't kill me, because I'll do anything you want me to do - I have two daughters to live for," one begged her attacker, according to her testimony. She said she pointed to a nearby photograph of the young girls, who were away with their father that night. She testified that as she was raped, she was thinking, " 'Why is he doing this to me?
May 21, 2007 |
THE DECISION to have an abortion is usually the result of pregnancy unwanted by women in difficult circumstances: young, single, in school, in abusive relationships, victims of rape or incest. There are many reasons women feel they are not in a position to raise a child at a certain point in their lives and come to this difficult choice. As the science of genetic testing has advanced, another model has emerged in which abortion has become an option for planned and wanted pregnancies as well.
June 2, 1995 |
Last summer, when scientists announced they had found the gene for the most common form of dwarfism, Ruth Ricker began to worry. Ricker, who stands about three feet tall, heads the Little People of America, a Boston-based support group for very short people. "This is a different way of being, not a wrong way of being," says Ricker, 35. She says many people in her organization don't like the idea that there may soon be a prenatal test for dwarfism. "We are uncomfortable in realizing that in the near future, unaffected couples could screen for healthy dwarfs - people like me," she says.
February 25, 1989 |
Ernest and Regina Twigg, the Pennsylvania couple who say they brought the wrong child home the hospital 10 years ago, won't seek custody of a Florida girl they believe is their daughter, a lawyer said yesterday. But they still want genetic testing done to prove they are her real parents. The Twiggs of Langhorne, Bucks County, would settle for a chance to visit with the 10-year-old Sarasota girl, and an opportunity to incorporate her into an extended family to give them time with her as she grows up, said John Blakely, the Twiggs' Clearwater attorney.