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A Bush Bioethics Advisor Explains His Thinking. Such as It Is.

Discover magazine offers a Q&A with Leon Kass, who served as chairman of the bioethics council charged with advising US President George W. Bush on "such hot-button issues as stem cell research and cloning," the article says. While it may send shivers down your spine to read an interview with someone who "still employs the term bastard to describe the children of unwed parents," it's worth a few minutes to get inside his head.

Some gems: "There's a large cultural bias toward progress, a belief that innovation is good innovation. ...  I'm inclined to a more classically tragic view in the sense that all the good comes with some bad." And GTO's favorite:

In the biomedical area, the people who are bringing you all the novelties occupy the moral high ground. They are human­itarians. They are interested in curing disease, ending suffering, extending life. If anybody says, "Let's go slow here," it looks like the imposition of a narrow religious view on what is a pluralistic society, and the response is "Get your morals off my science."


The Scan

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Science Papers Examine Feedback Mechanism Affecting Xist, Continuous Health Monitoring for Precision Medicine

In Science this week: analysis of cis confinement of the X-inactive specific transcript, and more.