Author Archive

Medical Records Privacy Issues

Seeking medical record privacy? Try renting a movie instead In debates over health privacy proposals, it was often said that video rental records had better privacy protection than medical records. Unfortunately, now that the final privacy rules have been issued under HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, it is still true that video rental records have better protections from marketing ... Full story

The Making of the Pharmacogenomic Prescription

The Making of the Pharmacogenomic Prescription
The appearance in 1998 of a new medicine for an intractable and especially savage form of breast cancer was a medical milestone for two reasons. For one, the drug, called Herceptin, shrank tumors and prolonged lives. What received much less attention, however, was the unique way in which ... Full story

Genomics: Perceptions of the Public and the Press

It is no secret that the discoveries of the science of biotechnology are, in the words of Eric Lander at a GeneMedia forum ,Director of the Whitehead Institute/MIT Center for Genome Research, "transforming events." They challenge the notion of race, so deeply imbedded in our culture. They will change the nature of the fight against disease. They ... Full story

Cyprus: How One Nation’s Culture Influences Its Genes

Cyprus: How One Nation's Culture Influences Its Genes
Although there is a growing literature on ethics and genetics, surprisingly little of it deals directly with how ordinary people have fit this new knowledge and ethics into their lives. How culture influences the use of genetic services is only rarely taken into account. An anthropologist might ask: How much do ... Full story

Cancer Causing Genes

In the limelight: The genes of cancer The "war against cancer" is, in actuality, a battle against a large group of sometimes very different conditions caused by differing agents. Generally, cancer results from an altered balance between cell proliferation - growth and division - and cell death. A number of factors, including certain genes, viruses, chemicals or exposure to radiation, have been ... Full story

Human Genetic Complexity

With the work of Guthrie and others allowing the inexpensive, reliable assessment of small dried blood spots for biochemicals linked to genetic disorders, mass screening of newborns became technically feasible. Since specific treatments or preventives for some of these conditions were also available, outcomes like catastrophic illness or chronic mental retardation could be avoided. In the 1960s, the US Congress, under ... Full story

Determining Risk for Cystic Fibrosis

Determining Risk for Cystic Fibrosis
Pregnant women face a growing number of options to detect, prevent or avoid disease in their expected children. These options include testing a fetus during pregnancy (prenatal testing) and checking for disease in the child shortly after birth (newborn testing). A third choice - carrier testing - is a way in which couples planning a pregnancy can assess their own risk ... Full story
Copyright © 2017 Gene Letter.