Lectures

The new trial communities: challenges and opportunities in preconception cohorts

The Excavating the Biosocial series has so far focused on birth cohorts as ethnographic object (Gibbon and Pentecost 2020). In this post, I explore the expansion of interest in the early life period, particularly for Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) research, to include ‘the preconception period.’ Recently, interest in this period has produced new kinds of trial communities …

Lectures

Reproductive rights in the time of COVID-19

This article is part of the series:

As the global pandemic escalates, health services are rapidly changing, creating tension between reproductive rights and safeguarding against COVID-19 spread, revealing the question: what is essential and what is not?

As the world grapples with the growing threat of COVID-19, health systems are being put to the test, rushing to radically reconfigure themselves in time to absorb a large influx …

Web Roundups

Web Roundup: CRISPR Babies and Bioethics

In late November, He Jiankui, a scientist in China, announced that he had created the first “CRISPR babies,” meaning that he performed germ-line genome edits on human embryos, which were implanted through in vitro fertilization (IVF), and has now resulted the birth of twin girls. He used CRISPR-Cas9, a genome editing technology that can target DNA at precise

Features

Remaking Reproduction Conference: A Review

More than 150 scholars of reproduction descended upon an uncharacteristically sunny Cambridge in June 2018 to put reproduction at the center of social analysis at the Remaking Reproduction: The Global Politics of Reproductive Technologies conference. The Reproductive Sociology Research Group (ReproSoc), led by Professor Sarah Franklin at the University of Cambridge, organized the delivery of 90 papers, 4 plenary conversations …

Features

Splice of Life

A Birthday Present

Georgia, my middle daughter of three, is a combination of my DNA and identity release[1] donor #2817[2]. Unlike her sisters who both have the advantage of knowing their sperm donors in real time (both friends of mine), Georgia’s donor can only be revealed to her next year when she turns 18. There is a …

Features

Ultrasound as a diagnostic tool in Brazil: celebrating babies, blurring problems.

This article is part of the series:

This is a photograph of a publicity for a “street corner” obstetrical ultrasound in Brazil. It proclaims: “ultrasound examinations at low prices.” The advertised “low prices” can be indeed be very low: some clinics charge less than US $10 for an ultrasound examination. The aim such examination is to confirm the existence of a pregnancy, provide reassurance, but above all …