On Ending Blindness

I spent much of last winter working on a story about what it might take to end global blindness. I’m tickled to see the result now on and inside the cover of September’s National Geographic. The four-section story is about determination in the face of tough odds. Here’s a snip from the first section, about gene therapy fashioned by a group led by […]

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Brooke Borel’s strange story about Kevin Folta interviewing himself, among other (mis)adventures

  The Kevin Folta/GMO/Monsanto/Right-to-Know/conflict-of-interest variety show and bazaar — a saga about a food scientist who took $25,000 from Monsanto without disclosing he did so but seems to have thought that was probably more or less okay — just got more bizarre, as Brooke Borel describes in a strange and deftly told story in Buzzfeed. This is conflict-of-interest as tragicomedy. I […]

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Will the FDA Regulate Just Genetic Risk Data, or All Risk Data?

The latest in the 23andme versus FDA saga, in which the FDA halted 23andme from offering health-risk analyses of the genotyping service the company sells, comes in a commentary published yesterday in Nature. The commentary’s authors, Robert Green of Harvard Medical School and Nita Farahany of Duke Law School, address a key question raised by the FDA’s […]

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23andMe Ceases Providing Health-Risk Info; Ancestry Only Now

The company announced today that in reaction to the FDA’s order to marketing health-related information based on its genetic testing, it will cease providing that information to anyone who signed on after the FDA sent its letter on November 22, 2013. MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–23andMe Inc., the leading personal genetics company, today announced that it […]

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Is The National Cancer Institute Telling Me to Remove My Breasts?

One of the key issues in the dust-up over the FDA’s insistence on regulating 23andMe’s service  is the question of how 23andMe’s health-risk results differ from other forms of health-risk information. Today, geneticist Joe Pickrell offers a sharp post that unpacks this a bit. He asks Should the FDA regulate the interpretation of traditional epidemiology? It’s a damned good question. Many online […]

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