Recent Developments


How CRISPR is Revolutionizing Biomedical Research

Control of CRISPR, biotech’s most promising breakthrough, is in dispute

U.K. researcher details proposal for CRISPR editing of human embryos

Sample cases

Its Time to Question Bioengineering (TED 19.50 min)

N.Y. Preschool Starts DNA Testing For Admission (4/1/12 NPR Audo 3 min 41 sec)

Oxford Professor Calls For Genetically Engineered 'Ethical Babies' As Moral Obligation (8/20/2012 Intl Business Times)

Rental Company Using DNA To Track Dog Droppings (2/13/12 NPR Audio 29 sec)

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA): What it is

1 minute video: DNA Stucture

1 minute video: DNA Replication

Molecular Visualizations of DNA (Video: 7:47 minutes)


Our Dwindling Food Variety (National Geographic) 

How Industrial Farming Destroyed the Tasty Tomato

Adoption of Genetically Engineered Crops (chart 2000-2010)

Monsanto shares slip on bug-resistant corn woes

Sustainable Table: Biodiversity (in food)


Texas Man Freed After DNA Clears Him Of 1988 Rape (8/24/12 Associated Press)

DNA Evidence May Clear Man of Murder

DNA Reveals Outlaws Remains

DNA evidence links U.S. man to 1988 murder of two Canadians in Texas trailer park (1/10/12)

N.Y. Passes DNA Requirement For Convicted Criminals (3/15/12 NPR Audio 3 min 41 sec)

Wash. Lawmakers Fight For DNA Sampling At Arrest (2/28/12 NPR 6 min 7 sec)

Court Rules For Death Row Inmate Seeking DNA Tests (3/7/2011 NPR Audio 4 min 34 sec)

DNA Testing for Your Pet: Not Just for Criminals!

Giant Galapagos tortoise species may not be extinct (1/6/12)

Paternity testing

Identification: Some things to consider
Cost of testing and recording
Cost of research and comparison
At what point DNA is recorded (level of crime for example)
What are appropriate uses?
Are there potential inappropriate uses?

Risk Identification

Study Shows Telomere Length in Early Life Can Predict Lifespan (1/10/12)

New machine said to decode someone’s DNA for $1,000 within a day (1/10/12)

Genetic testing for health, disease and ancestry (such as 23andme)


Skin Cells Made to Mimic Stem Cells

A Step Toward a Saliva Test for Cancer

Janssen Taps Forma to Develop Metabolism-Targeting Anticancer Drugs (1/10/12)

Regenerative medicine

Scientists Grow Parts For Kids With Urinary Damage (NPR 3/8/11 Video 2 min 38 sec)

First Hints That Stem Cells Can Help Patients Get Better (NPR Video 1/23/12 4 min 53 sec)

Bits of Mystery DNA, Far From ‘Junk,’ Play Crucial Role (NYT 9/6/12)


Cloning/Duplicating Discussions

When is it OK to create cells?
consider origination of cells (such as animals into humans)
consider use of cells
When is is not OK to create cells?
At what point is a line crossed?
Who should pay?
Who should have access to the services?
What safety assurances should there be?
(generally regarded as safe (GRAS))
What about DNA modification? (adding elements or attributes; removing elements or attributes)
What about stimulating growth or killing growth?
What about DNA modification in argiculture?

Some things to think about
In regard to genetics (DNA testing) there are a few things to consider:

  • * Labs charge different prices based on what they are testing for. If one were to get a complete genetics test it would run around $4000 however individual tests cost less.
  • * It should be noted that what costs $4000 today will cost $100 in a few years though. How might this change things?
  • That said, one conundrum is if they find something in a test that the consumer did not ask for they cannot give that result. So lets say they run a full test but the customer only asked for one specific test -- they can only give the results on one specific test.
  • * It is strongly advised that if you get genetic testing done you have it assessed by a genetic counselor. In most cases they will also want samples from your immediate relatives (mother and father). Much discussion can be had on not only what your test results are but how they tie in with family tendancies. This is true even if you use a service like as was mentioned in class.
  • * Another conundrum genetic counselors can end up in is if samples are received from both birth parents and the result show that one parent is not actually the birth parent. This has to be addressed but not in a direct manner.
  • * When it comes to testing humans for their 'ethnicity' or similar (based on our dog breed conversation) there are two factors to this: 1) the most important are ethical and social considerations, 2) there is not ample data as of yet although there is data for some specific groups in some specific regions. What might be some ethical and social considerations?

USU Genetic Science Center

Dolly scientist working on cloning Scottish wildcats

Dolly the Sheep

Few replicas as first cloned cat nears 10

Defining ancient history

2010: A Good Year For Neanderthals (And DNA) (12/28/2010 NPR Audio 4 min 11 sec)

The Human Edge Series (NPR)


Dr. Anne M. Arendt