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Reflections from Bottle of Lies

Katherine Eban’s book Bottle of Lies focuses on major issues in generic drug manufacturing, using the Ranbaxy scandal as an example of unethical practices in the field. The book is written as a journal of Ranbaxy’s malpractices based on whistleblower testimony and subsequent US- Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigation,...

Genomics data banking could revolutionise healthcare, but comes with unmitigated risks

You read a brochure that promises to tell you what diseases you are likely to get in the next decade. Obviously you want to lead a longer, healthier life. So you send a cheek swab to the clinic and await test results. Thankfully, your reports are largely all-clear except a...

DNA Technology Bill: Why the Standing Committee Has Its Work Cut Out

[Co-authored with Murali Neelakantan] With a decade-long history of deliberations, the DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill 2018 is no stranger to the halls of Parliament. It is currently being scrutinised by the Parliamentary Committee on Science and Technology, after it was reintroduced in the Lok Sabha earlier this...

Cap on age limit for IVF could be allowed, but only with checks and balances

Septuagenarians in India using in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) technologies have met with mixed responses. While IVF is becoming the most common infertility treatment, many countries, including the US, UK and Australia, have recommended age limits for accessing the technology. India, however, currently has no laws restricting IVF access for women of...

Takshashila Policy Advisory — Comments on the National Guidelines for Gene Therapy Product Development and Clinical Trials

Download the Advisory in PDF This policy advisory contains recommendations and comments in response to the draft National Guidelines for Gene Therapy Product Development and Clinical Trials released by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in consultation with the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Central Drug Standards Control Organisation...

GMO: let’s take a balanced view

At least 12 farmers have been booked in Maharashtra for planting banned genetically modified (GM) cotton and brinjal seeds. Undeterred by this, farmers have been protesting the blockade of new technologies that could aid farming. This movement has elicited mixed responses from farmer groups — some support the idea; others...

The gene of prejudice in gender determination

From impeding track stars like Caster Semenya and Dutee Chand to laws restricting bathroom access and a proposal in the US for genetic determination of sex, the issue of gender identity remains mired in controversy. Can there be a sensible and humane resolution to this debate? Or does this debate...

Biological Weapons: The Impact of New Technologies

In June 2018, German police arrested a Tunisian man in Cologne for trying to build a biological weapon using the deadly toxin, ricin.1   In October 2018, researchers flagged a US agricultural program funded by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) as a potential mask for a bioweapons project.2 At the same...

Time India Lay’s eyes on Pepsi potato case

A multinational giant using all its might to crush four small farmers for an alleged patent infringement: this is how PepsiCo’s decision to sue a group of Gujarat farmers for Rs 1 crore each played out in the media early this month. The US-based snack and beverage maker was accused...

Advanced gene editing may mutate into WMDs

Last June, German police arrested a man planning a terror attack by releasing large quantities of the biological toxin ricin, said to be 6,000 times more poisonous than cyanide. The raids on a block of flats in Cologne blew the lid off our worst fears: non-state actors laying their hands...
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