Author Archives: Chris MacDonald

About Chris MacDonald

I'm a philosopher who teaches at Ryerson University's Ted Rogers School of Management in Toronto, Canada. Most of my scholarly research is on business ethics and healthcare ethics.

Biotech, Innovation & Clinical Trials

Here’s a blog entry, over on the Research Ethics Blog, that ought to be of interest to people interested in biotech: A Tale of Two Cousins: Tragedy and the Clinical Trial Recently the New York Times published a story about … Continue reading

Posted in clinical trials, ethics, genes, health, pharmaceuticals | Leave a comment

Genes, Height, and Complexity

A new study published in Nature suggests that, while height definitely has a strong genetic component, the contribution of genes to height is far from simple. See the report here, via Scientific American: Complex Genetic Trait Research Reaches New Heights … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Pre-Pregnancy Genetic Testing

A California company called Counsyl Inc. is the latest contender in the effort to push genetic testing into the consumer mainstream. See this story, by Michael Totty for the WSJ: A Genetic Test for Prospective Parents Proponents of universal prepregnancy … Continue reading

Posted in embryos, ethics, genetic testing, IVF, risk | Leave a comment

No Decision About GM Salmon

Given the controversy over AquaBounty’s GM salmon, I can only assume this headline is sarcastic: By Kim Carollo, for ABC News, Surprise: FDA Panel Unable to Reach Conclusion on Genetically Modified Salmon After two days of hearings, several members of … Continue reading

Posted in ethics, GMO, regulation | 3 Comments

Allowing / Permitting / Forbidding GMO Labels

OK, so the FDA seems unlikely to require the probably-soon-to-be-approved GM salmon to be labelled. See this story by Lyndsey Layton, for the Washington Post: FDA rules won’t require labeling of genetically modified salmon …As the Food and Drug Administration … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

GM Rice and Intellectual Property

Are GM crops aimed at helping farmers, or corporate shareholders? Generalizing in that regard is probably a mistake. See, for instance, this story from The Sydney Morning Herald, Group produces GM rice A team of Australian scientists has genetically modified … Continue reading

Posted in genes, GMO, patents | 2 Comments

Oil-Eating Microbes

Most people probably don’t know that there are naturally-occurring microbes that make their living by eating naturally-occurring hydrocarbons (hydrocarbons are organic compounds that consist entirely of hydrogen and carbon, and that are found in crude oil). The existence of such … Continue reading

Posted in environment, genes, industrial biotechnology, risk | 4 Comments