National Forum

Covers a wide range of topics including those of education, business, international affairs, and multicultural issues in an effort to provide documentation for professional research and development.

Articles from Vol. 73, No. 2, Spring

Half a Tithe for Ethics
A typical first reaction to the Human Genome Project is astonishment, even wonder, at the magnitude of the scientific achievement and technological potential that it represents. For many, however, wonderment quickly shades into concern, even fear, about...
Health Care and Genetics: Multiplying Paradigms
In his 1985 book MegaTraumas, Richard D. Lamm, former governor of Colorado, imagines the following scenario: It is the year 2000 and the new president of the United States is about to write her State of the Union message for delivery before Congress....
Justice and the Limitations of Genetic Knowledge
In the next decade, the Human Genome Project will come of age, as about 100,000 different human genes and their supporting infrastructure yield to molecular inquiry. Previous commentators on the ethical issues raised by the project have often centered...
Medical Consequences of the Human Genome Project
The Human Genome Project has the potential for rapid discovery of the estimated 4,000 disease genes thought to reside within the human genome and for improved techniques with which to investigate them. The first stage in unraveling the mechanism of an...
Presymptomatic Testing for Huntington's Disease: Harbinger of the New Genetics
There is an allure to trying new technologies. We flex our laboratory muscles and prepare to test our latest diversions. And there is something particularly aesthetic about genetic diagnosis, with those clean, impersonal bars stretching across the lanes...
Scientific Goals of the Human Genome Project
The Human Genome Project is a remarkable example of an idea whose time has come. The project was first proposed in public by the Nobel prize-winning virologist Renato Dulbecco in an editorial in the journal Science in 1986, but other scientists at the...
Sequencing the Human Genome: A Faded Goal
There can be no doubt that the biomedical research community appreciates molecular genetics as an exceptionally exciting field, and also appreciates the outstanding quality of the scientific leadership of the Human Genome Project. But at the same time...
Setting Standards for the Use of DNA-Typing Results in the Courtroom: The State of the Art
DNA typing, sometimes called DNA fingerprinting or profiling, has been the focus of heated exchanges in courtrooms, the popular press, and scientific journals. It is a powerful law-enforcement weapon, especially in cases of rape, because it has the potential...
Social and Ethical Issues in the Human Genome Project
In the late 1980s, the United States government inaugurated the Human Genome Project, an unprecedented effort in biology that will transform our capacities to predict what we may become and may enable us to improve or to prevent our genetic fates, medically...
Unnatural Selection
"SOMEHOW I WAS HOPING GENETIC ENGINEERING WOLD TAKE A DIFFERENT TURN." In 1990 a married couple in Walnut, California, Abe and Mary Ayala, set off a national controversy by conceiving a child. It was not the fact that Mrs. Ayala became pregnant by Mr....
U.S. Mental Health Policy: A Study in Elitism
The United States was founded upon the concepts of equality, liberty, and justice. Yet at the same time, these ideals were not held to apply to the Native American population, to women, to African-Americans, or to white males without property. Two hundred...
Who's Afraid of the Human Genome?
"Something's gone terribly wrong. We cloned some duplicate Einsteins, and all they want to do is tap dance." In Edward Albee's 1962 play, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, George (a historian) describes the agenda of modern biology to alter chromosomes:...