dna test

In a typically Stanfordian move, the rival institution trails UC Berkeley’s “Bring Your Genes to Cal” program with its own smaller, more expensive and more in-depth take on student genetic self-testing. Yet, despite the relative prudence of their approach, Stanford is still incurring intense scorn from bioethicists — which makes us look like completely reckless geno-hawks by comparison.

Read on and we’ll bring you up to speed on both programs; plus, we’ll condense the developing ethical debate. read more »


dna testing

What if Cal uses our DNA samples to get going a eugenics-like alumni legacy program?  Or what if we all get a letter years down the road:  “Seeing how gene sequencing technology has improved since you submitted your ‘On the Same Page’ program sample back in 2010, we have taken the liberty to run a more in-depth analysis of your genetic make-up. You have two months to live, and you ain’t never goin’ to space.” It’s a slippery slope, man; either way, Jude Law is going to incinerate himself.

Okay,  okay, the real criticism that has surfaced against “On the Same Page” is somewhat more down to earth. Read on for the concerns raised and Cal’s comforting response. read more »


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OK, can we just call foul on this whole issue? Last year’s incoming L & S freshmen had to read “Omnivore’s Dilemna,” and this year’s incoming freshmen get to have their genes analyzed.

Yeah, that’s right. Think back to when you were a freshman, bleeding blue and gold and desperate for any sign that you were a college-bound adult. Last year we got a big honking book in the mail–this year they get a cool little cotton swab.

If the freshies want to participate, they send the swab back with a tiny bit of their own DNA. The sample will be analyzed for “three non-threatening genetic factors affecting our health: the ability read more »


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The healthcare debate (or clusterf*ck, if we’re going for accuracy) is still raging. We thought it was over, but Scott Brown’s election just reheated this problem like a microwave burrito. It’s even more confusing and contentious than ever. Luckily, UCB Ph.D. student (and Berkeley lecturer) Robin Flagg, MPH, spoke Tuesday night about healthcare, and now we’ve got the 411.

Flagg (who has taught Public Health 150D at Berkeley) described herself as “living healthcare policy.” Indeed, she’s been in the field for decades in various capacities, including field hospitals and health departments. So you know she’s got the cred. Here are some of the read more »