Customizing Conception: A Survey of Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis and the Resulting Social, Ethical, and Legal Dilemmas

By: Jason Christopher Roberts One in six American couples experience difficulties conceiving a child. With fertility rates at an all time low, the business of treating infertility is booming. However, due to the United States prohibition on government funding for embryonic research, the $4 billion industry of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) has been incompletely monitored and largely removed from oversight. Additionally, due to the fervent abortion debate, in vitro fertilization (IVF) was introduced in the United States without a research phase and procedures have been forced to evolve in the private sector. Thus, the checks and balances on medical innovation that are generally imposed by the federal government for consumer protection are lacking. Decisions about when to go from the laboratory to the clinic are often left solely to the discretion of private physicians. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is just one of many such treatments offered by these clinics. This iBrief examines how, why, and to whom the reproductive procedure of PGD is offered. In addition, it evaluates the prospective effects to society that arise when PGD is used for sex selection and for nontherapeutic or enhancement purposes. Finally, it explores whether and how to regulate PGD in the United

Appropriate Aims: Setting Boundaries for Reprogenetic Technology

By: Dana Ziker Not too long ago, ten fingers and ten toes defined a successful birth. Not too far from now, ten fingers and ten toes will be just the beginning. Parents always hope for a healthy baby, and medical advances continue to help secure the fulfillment of this hope. But reprogenetics, a new combination of technology and science that allows us to choose the genes, and thus the traits, of the children we create, is raising new questions about what it means to have a healthy baby. Download Full Article (PDF) Cite: 2002 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 0011

Egregious Error or Admirable Advance: The Memorandum of Understanding That Enables Federally Funded Basic Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research

By: Amy Ligler Nothing contained herein shall be considered to be the grant of a commercial license or right under the Wisconsin Patent Rights or to Wisconsin Materials. Furthermore, nothing contained herein shall be construed to be a waiver of WiCell’s patent rights under the Wisconsin Patent Rights or WiCell’s property rights in Wisconsin Materials. Download Full Article (PDF) Cite: 2001 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 0037

The Clone Wars: The Growing Debate Over Federal Cloning Legislation

By: John Garvish As readers of science fiction are well aware, the term “clone” refers to asexually produced offspring, that is, offspring produced by a process of cell-division which does not begin with the union of two sex cells. A clone is the genetic twin of the cell donor. Propagation of plants by this method is, of course, commonplace, but mammalian reproduction in this fashion would indeed be a revolutionary accomplishment, with profound and disturbing implications. Download Full Article (PDF) Cite: 2001 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 0022

Where the Wild Wind Blows: Genetically Altered Seed and Neighboring Farmers

By: Jill Sudduth In March 2001, agro-business giant Monsanto won a victory in Canadian Federal Court over Saskatchewan farmer Percy Schmeiser. This case sets international precedent for appropriated seed cases and illustrates the primary concerns American courts must face as they consider Monsanto’s prosecution of 22 cases against American farmers. Download Full Article (PDF) Cite: 2001 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 0015

The Fate of Gene Patents Under the New Utility Guidelines

By: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) recently finalized its patent utility guidelines. Promulgated by the PTO, the new guidelines will be used by patent examiners in determining whether a claimed invention should be awarded patent protection ;and will be used by patent applicants and attorneys who file patent applications. The guidelines focus primarily on the utility standards for gene and gene fragment patents, an issue that was featured in the PTO’s 1999 Revised Interim Utility Guidelines and has been the subject of considerable public debate. Download Full Article (PDF) Cite: 2001 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 0008