Features

Risk and utility in the governance of diagnostic testing: the case of genetic screening, 1960 to the present

This article is part of the series:

Routine collection of blood samples from neonates – often using so-called Guthrie cards (pictured) – began in the 1960s when a number of North American and European countries set up screening programmes for phenylketonuria, a rare single-gene disorder which leads to developmental delays and early death if untreated. Such programmes have since been introduced in many other countries around the …

Web Roundups

Web Round Up: Clinical Trials on Trial

This month saw breaking news web-wide on one aspect of medicine that has drawn critiques and support from both social scientists and biomedical experts: clinical trials. Drug trials overseen by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (see clinicaltrials.gov) and often executed by research universities and hospitals rarely if ever include major segments of the United States population. 

BooksFeatures

Book forum — Alondra Nelson’s The Social Life of DNA

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In The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation After the Genome, Alondra Nelson traces the multiple ways in which genetic testing and related technologies have become entangled in contemporary debates, projects, politics, and interventions surrounding race in the United States.  This wide-ranging and incisive book manages the difficult task of being a key addition to the scholarly …

Features

Think(er)ing with Epigenetics

Epigenetics is a much-debated field of research in the contemporary biomedical sciences. Focusing on the processes of chemical regulation surrounding (hence: epi-) genetic material, epigenetic studies use a different entry point than DNA structure to understand difference and variance in species. In studying the relationship between genes, bodies, and the environment, the science of epigenetics is considered to be radically …

Features

Teaching Disability Studies in the Era of Trump

This article is part of the series:

In spring semester of 2017 we (Pam Block and Michele Friedner) co-taught the graduate course “Conceptual Foundations of Disability Studies.” Though the readings were the same as in previous iterations of the course, the emphasis and tone of the class shifted, not just because of the co-teaching but because we were now teaching in a context in which the rights …

BooksFeatures

Sara Shostak’s “Exposed Science: Genes, the Environment, and the Politics of Population Health”

exposed-science-coverExposed Science: Genes, the Environment, and the Politics of Population Health

by Sara Shostak

University of California Press, 2013, 312 pages

 

“Genetics loads the gun, but the environment pulls the trigger.” This turn of phrase, from Sara Shostak’s book Exposed Science: Genes, the Environment, and the Politics of Population Health, suggests that human variability and heredity is the …