70 Matching Annotations
  1. May 2019
    1. “You could say, ‘I don’t want any commercial companies to have access to my data.’ The problem is that they are partnering all over the place. So maybe Children’s Hospital from Town Y accesses your data, and that’s OK with you, but their partner is Pfizer.”

      This a structural problem about the intimate relation between companies and public institutions

    2. There’s definitely an upside to making your genome available to researchers, say Briscoe and Gray: If your DNA isn’t included, it can’t be part of what the researchers discover. But there’s a dark side, as well.

      This is the balance between participate in research to gain more knowledge about your own medical conditions, and the potential for that knowledge to become the profit of someone else

  2. Apr 2019
    1. useful work for human beings.

      It is important to note the association between use value not only embedded in objective aspects (like the common sense definition of usefulness might be), but also the symbolic aspect (e.g. storing blood for the potential future use of some unknown biomarker at that point)


    1. the minor peak and fat tails of isonymic distancecurves will become faint

      Why not show it?

    2. In this article, we adjust the parameterγto get eight communitiesfor all network community detection

      Why only 8 communities, why not letting the number of communities as the question to be answered?

    3. In contrast to the clustering result derived from k-means cluster-ing (see Figure S4 in Supporting Information), the eight communityallocations derived from MMST network (see Figure 5) are not onlyclear and intuitive but also sensible and reasonable

      But how to validate the clustering based on "sensible and reasonable" arguments only? Isn't there another way to assess whether the clustering is reasonable?


    1. Of particular importance here is Yann Moulier Boutang’s work (1998) on the historyof slave labour and its relationship to what Marx (1867) termed primitive accumulation, apre-capitalist mode of often violent primary resource acquisition (land, mineral wealth,forests, etc.) which both gives capital its resource base and dispossesses traditionalguardians, thus creating a free labour force.

      fundamental component on how clinical labour mimics forms of primitive accumulation and dispossession


    1. This ranges from the strategic marketing of individual choice and regimes of appraisal through which individual choice is promoted and expanded to aspects of government historically subject to more overt forms of government regulation.

      for example with the emergence of lifestyle as a loci of health promotion

    2. In this sense, governmentality and biopolitics can be read as a culmination of Foucault's thought, and an exposure of the complexity and resilience of sovereign power and its close relationship with biopower, sometimes termed by Foucault as political theory's failure to “cut off the king's head,” or displacing the role of sovereignty in dominant ontologies of the political.

      Different from other interpretations, in this reading, Foucault's work show a continuum of preoccupation of similar topics

    3. Governmentality and biopolitics speak both of the construction and articulation of “population,” and to the management of said population.

      it is fundamental how a concept of 'population' pave the way to governmentality and biopolitics

  3. Mar 2019
    1. To identifySDE we used the NOISeqBIO method [31, 32] to com-pare gene expression in the common tissues betweenmen and women.

      Method used to estimate differential expression


    1. First, it is often stated that sex-biased expression underlies phenotypic sexual dimorphism, and it remains unclear what proportion of sex-biased genes are relevant at the phenotypic level. Second, many assume that sex-biased genes represent resolved sexual conflict over optimal expression, as it is this resolution that permits transcriptional, and therefore pheno-typic, sexual dimorphism. Finally, we often search for the footprint of sexual selection in the sequence and expression characteristics of sex-biased genes, assuming that we can find it there.

      Main problems and assumptions

    2. And yet, sexual dimorphism is in many ways a form of polyphenism, or even just an extreme form of phenotypic plasticity, and the study of sexual dimorphism has implications for a broad array of intra-specific variation.

      Due to the sharing of the same genome

    3. This means that we often must assume that genes expressed differently between phenotypes are related to, and perhaps even responsible for, these complex phenotypic differences.

      First assumption


  4. Feb 2019
    1. “Relational autonomy” is the label that has beengiven to an alternative conception of what it means to be a free,self-governing agent who is also socially constituted and whopossibly defines her basic valuecommitments in terms of inter-personal relations and mutual dependencies.

      Main definition of relational autonomy


    1. For many, the ordinary is a disaster.

      This is a fundamental thesis. In other words, how the "state of exception" becomes commonplace

  5. Jan 2019
    1. ends up negating the persistent role played by violence in the neoliberal regimes of the biopolitical and the bioeconomic (Bazzicalupo 2006a; Mbembe 2003), and that celebrates the sovereignty of a given model of the individual (specifically the liberal individual), simulta-neously refusing to consider the continuing reproduction—as the material condition of this sovereignty itself—of other “forms of life,” other models of subjectivity, in which the distinction between consent and coercion is far from invisible (see Papadopolous and Stephenson 2006; esp. 10).

      Main critique to the idea of governmentality as a soft or pastoral mode of power, but rather forms of governmentality are violently installed in our neoliberal times


    1. PB instructs them to choose, out of these possiblefuture children, the one who is likely to be the mostadvantaged. And this means that, on our account ofdisability, parentsdohave reasons not to have a futurechild who is likely to be disabled if they have the optionof choosing another who is expected to have less or nodisability

      But this conclusion doesn't follow from the premises, which is due to a lack of a clear theory of well-being. What if our theory places a greater importance for well-being in family ties; therefore, having a deaf child, within a deaf family might actually entail a greater connection among family members, which will lead to a better life than a child with no deafness raised in the same family

    2. This is a question for the theory of well-being.

      However, a theory of well-being is clearly needed. What if a theory of well-being poses that genetic endowments have no bearing on future well-being?

    3. PB instructs women toseriously consider IVF if natural reproduction is likely tolead to a child with a condition that is expected to reducewell-being significantly, even if that condition is not adisease.

      But isn't the PB also instructing in all cases the selection of embryos whenever the parents have the necessary means? Because between the decision of having a child of uncertain genetic quality, and one with a certain genetic quality, PB will always select the second choice

    4. They include the welfare of the parents, of existing chil-dren, and of others, possible harm to others, and othermoral constraints.

      Other reasons that might trump the PB. But among these reasons, we should also add Sandel's argument; what will happen to the parents in this process? will they change sufficiently to change their parenting behavior as well, making them less good parents?

    5. These are the familiarand morally admirable attitudes of many prospectiveparents. And they are entirely compatible with later cher-ishing and loving one’s children – once these have comeinto existence.

      However, (and this is probably also true in Sandel's argument as well) there is no theory of parenting; what does it mean to be a parent? what attitudes and motivations are behind a virtuous parent?

    6. If couples (or single reproducers) have decided tohave a child, and selection is possible, then they havea significant moral reason to select the child, of thepossible children they could have, whose life can beexpected, in light of the relevant available informa-tion, to go best or at least not worse than any of theothers.

      Definition of the Procreative Beneficence (PB) Principle


    1. it contrasts a neutralist with a normative account of gender-specifi c disease

      Main purpose of chapter

    2. even if the correlation between causal factors (X1) and disease (Y) appears genuine, it may not indicate a causal relation if X1 and Y have a common cause (X) or if X1 is a concomitant factor to X in causing Y. I

      correlation is not causation

    3. It is an objective, value-neutral biological entity open to scientifi c investigation using an empirical or positivist methodology

      Definition of disease

    4. Because there are limits to both a naturalist and nominalist understanding of gender-specifi c disease, the chapter argues in favor of what I call a methodological naturalist account of gender-specifi c disease

      Her position on the nature of gender-specific disease

    5. This chapter explores how gender-specifi c disease provides a descriptive account of human biological dysfunction that diff ers between the genders.

      Purpose of chapter

    6. The project argues that gender-specifi c disease and related bioethical discourses are philosophically integrative. Gender-specifi c disease is integrative because the descriptive roles of gender, dis-ease, and their relation are inextricably tied to their prescriptive roles

      One of the main concepts of the work, the integrative aspect of GSM: disease are discovered but at the same time they are created as well

    7. As de Beauvoir famously said, “[o]ne is not born, but rather becomes, a woman. No biological, psychological, or economic fate determines the fi gure that the human female presents in societ

      A way out of the sex-gender divide

    8. Butler cautioned that the feminist distinction between sex and gender retains a binarism of stable categorical complementarity

      Problem of the gender-sex divide

    9. According to feminist philosopher Iris Marion Young (2005), the sex-gender distinction gained notoriety in the mid-twentieth century with the rise of second-wave feminism

      Historical emergence of the sex-gender divide

    10. In contrast, “gender” is typically used by clinicians to refer “to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women” (World Health Organi-zation 2010).

      Definition of gender

    11. Typically in medicine, “sex” is a term used by clinicians to refer to the biological and physiological features that defi ne what it means to be “female” and “male”

      Definition of sex

    12. In 1997, the physician, cardiologist, and researcher Mari-anne J. Legato founded the Partnership for Women’s Health (2007) at Columbia University in New York City, New York.

      What follows are the main institutional developments of gender-specific medicine

    13. One might note that the defi nitions above share the view that gen-der-specifi c medicine attends to how “normal” biological “function” or biology “diff ers” between the “genders” in the “same” disease, thus high-lighting key claims in our understanding of gender-specifi c disease.

      Principal claims of GSM

    14. It attends to the meaning of “normal” and “function” and asks whether a biomedical understanding of such notions can adequately account for what is being addressed and treated in gen-der-specifi c disease. It considers the challenge of determining “diff erence” between women and men, and females and males, and asks whether these diff erences based on biomedical criteria are suffi cient to account for what is being investigated. It explores how “gender” and “disease” are under-stood in gender-specifi c medicine and how gender is understood as a causal “variable” in disease expression and treatment.

      Main points addressed in the book

    15. Is gender-specifi c disease discovered or created? Is it simply a function of disclosing the diff erence that chromosomes make in disease expression or is it a trendy classifi cation created in order to address past failures to study diseases that aff ect women in unique ways and to advocate for alternative ways? Is gender-specifi c disease value-neutral or value-ladened? Is it simply a “fact” disclosed by clinical scientists or is it an “evaluation” of biomedical dysfunction by clinicians and patients? Is gender-specifi c disease local or global in its reach? Is it a clinical category that makes sense only in particular contexts or one that transcends local knowledge communities that can be used in the service of global medicine? Whereas these questions paint a simplistic picture of the options, we are left with important questions: What is gender-specifi c disease? How do we know it? What role, if any, do values play in the clinical category?

      Main ethical challenges


    1. We performed parallel ChIP-seq experi-ments on craniofacial tissues obtained from 17 individualhuman embryos spanning a critical window for the formationof the human orofacial apparatus (Figure 1A)


    2. To identify regulatory sequences important for human cranio-facial development, we utilized ChIP-seq of six post-transla-tional histone modifications across multiple stages and multiplebiological replicates of early human craniofacial development.

      What was done


    1. The only way I can get access to that data is if I give my bone to David or Johannes and wait until they process it — and bury me in the list of contributors to their paper.”

      powerful picture of scientific politics

    2. The idea, he writes in his book, “was to make ancient DNA industrial — to build an American-style genomics factory” that would liberate such fields as archaeology, history and anthropology from hitherto insoluble debates.

      A lot of different imaginaries coming out in here

    3. Vanuatu is a volcanic archipelago of more than 80 islands littered in an extended slingshot shape across an 800-mile arc of the South Pacific.
    1. “everywhere researchers look for differences between men and women, they find them

      It is also the problem of a self-fulfilling prophecy, given the current bias in research output for significant (in the statistical way) findings


    1. The giftedness of nature, he points out, ‘also includes smallpox and malaria, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, decline and decay

      Kass relates gift with those from nature. Are there not other gifts from life, who are not 'natural'?

    2. As it is commonly framed, the question is whether a particular kind of enhancement, e.g., memory enhancement or the extension of human life span, will really benefit those who are subjected to it. Would they really be better off than we are now?

      The general framing for enhancement discussions

    3. human enhancement (particularly, but not exclusively, genetic enhancement) should be avoided because it is dangerous, and it is dangerous because, or insofar as, it represents hyperagency, that is the aspiration to remake nature in such a way that it serves our purposes and satisfies our desires (even more than it already does), or, in short, the drive to mastery.

      Main argument against enhancement


    1. Those confident of good health and long life would opt out of the pool, causing other people's premiums to skyrocket.

      Which is what happens in some places. Different types of insurance for people with different means

    2. This would transform three key features of our moral landscape: humility, responsibility, and solidarity.

      But it also doesn't recognize the social character of our abilities (teachers, classmates, etc)

    3. But we also admire players like Joe DiMaggio, who display natural gifts with grace and effortlessness.

      But we also we admire the group efforts, the capability to achieve greatness through a collective endeavor

    4. Some who worry about the ethics of cognitive enhancement point to the danger of creating two classes of human beings: those with access to enhancement technologies, and those who must make do with their natural capacities.

      But what is the ethical problem if those enhancements were affordable to everyone?

    5. Some say cloning is wrong because it violates the right to autonomy: by choosing a child's genetic makeup in advance, parents deny the child's right to an open future.

      But this presupposes the idea that everything that we need to know about someone, as a human being, is their genetic makeup. It also assumes that identity is related to genetics.

    1. Brent arguesthat ‘the underlying logic used to make inferencesfrom genomic data [is] in a primitive state charac-teristic of an observational stage of science’

      This point to the idea of GWAS as a hypothesis-free approach. The only hypothesis is the relation phenotype-genotype


    1. ethical ramifications of widely accessible tools for altering genomes.

      Is this the philosophical problem underlying CRISPR? Isn't anything else beyond the widespread availability of the technology that is troublesome? It also reiterates the dual use problem: good and bad people can have access to the technology and we need to make sure only good people have access to it

      For the dual use, see Bennett et al 2009

    2. This is a very interesting piece regarding the development of CRISPR-Cas9. Although there is a lot of worrying about the ethical issues, those issues are never clear enough. The only one that is explicitly stated is the one regarding the modification of the human germ-line. But, even with that, in what specific sense is that problematic? Why isn't more explicit engagement with the ethical issues? Why is the 'ethical issue' alway so abstract, unable to be grasped by anyone?

      The other ethical issue that is somewhat stated is the education of the general public about science.

    3. Innovative Genomics Initiative.

      Isn't ethically problematic the relationships between IGI and the biotech industry?

    4. I told myself that bioethicists were better positioned to take the lead on such issues.

      Isn't this attitude the "typical scientist" one? Developing technology and science that other should assess in terms of their ethical issues?



    1. Second, the proprietary knowledge theyproduce is exempt from political controls.

      and democratic control

    1. Some worry that this is the first step toward using gene editing to create people with extreme intelligence, beauty or athletic ability. But that, for now, is not possible. Such traits are thought to be affected by possibly hundreds of genes acting in concert, and affected in turn by the environment. The biggest ethical concerns for now are with rogue scientists enticing couples who do not realize the risks to babies that might result from the experiments. And when those children grow up, the altered genes will be passed on to their children, and to their children’s children, for generations to come

      Is that how we should portray He Jiankui? Like a "rogue scientists enticing couples who do not realize the risks to babies that might result from the experiments"? But what if the current values (in the sense of a virtue ethics for example) that we uphold for the life sciences, are the ones that brought He to take these actions? Values that do not correspond to what we should think regarding science's values, but rather to the values that are usually uphold in corporations.

      See Shorett et al 2003

    1. This is a very important piece in the discussion of the ethical issues of CRISPR-Cas9. Instead on focusing only on the aspect of editing of human germ-line, the authors focus on more pressing aspects such as the use on foods, gene drives to decimate vector species, and biofuels, pharmaceuticals.

      Some of the outstanding issues are:

      • More transparent and accountable regulatory processes
      • Risks on ecological balance and unforeseeable effects on decimating vector species
      • Need to assign liability for ecological damage
      • Measures to halt the effects of edited animals if they prove harmful
    2. Such methodscould effectively destroy an entire speciesand could have significant environmentalconsequences.

      This is fundamental, and is a place in which we need a new vocabulary, that of unforeseeable consequences: who are responsible? what actions should be taken in more predictable scenarios?

    3. CRISPR/Cas, in contrast,recognizes its target sequence via guide RNAmolecules that can be cheaply and easilysynthesized.

      Really useful sentence, because what is makes CRISPR-Cas9 special is not the possibility to modify DNA sequences, but how cheaply and easy they are



  6. Dec 2018
    1. Or it may be itself a form of solidarity at the heart of the practice of care, because it is based on recognition of the human value of rescuing a person from fear and despair to give them a better chance of flourishing in the future.

      Possible connection between solidarity and care


    1. Using a solidarity‐based perspective, we have argued that strategies to address this challenge need to start with a reconsideration of the value of work and labour.

      How is solidarity actually informing this approach? It is possible to reach a similar conclusion without using the concept or the approach of solidarity, but only one that incorporates a critical analysis of "value" and work

    2. She would receive remuneration for this work as a recognition of its value for society

      It is not very explicit what the authors are pointing here. In a way is not only to rethink the relation between income and work, but rather to actually pay people that do valuable work to society

    3. overcome the preju‐dices that lead us to attribute more value to jobs that fare better at the labour market than to the (often unpaid or underpaid) work nec‐essary for the basic functioning of our societies.

      How this possible? How are prejudices eliminated? Can they be only eliminated through a thought experiment? I think that a more radical approach is needed, like the decoupling of income and work, or a new relation between income and valuable work


  7. May 2018
    1. Gender, in these accounts, emerges as a technique of social control in the service of capitalist accumulation.

      This might be similar to Wallerstein's account of sexism, as a social structure that serves the logic of capitalism, for example by generating labor that is not considered as such (domestic labor)

    1. The trouble with many of these responses, however, is that they take the increase in technical capacities, per se, to basically be the heart of the matter9. Ergo: technical solutions are proffered as adequate to technical problems. This technical approach is framed as 'dual use': there are good uses and bad uses, good users and bad users.

      This is the division between pure and applied science, that gives immunity to the natural sciences from ethical inquiry, by assuring that the ethical inquiry should be done in the application of scientific knowledge

    1. My argument is straightforward: Despite all the apparatus of private property, markets, commodity fetishism, and more, taking the gift out of the commodity is never easy. It is work that has to be repeated over and over.

      How would this translate to other domains in which gift-giving is more explicit?