HeLa genome: there’s more to this conversation

[Bumped back up because a lot more stuff you need to read broke open over the weekend. Go.]

I know some people are not addicted to twitter like I am, and you may not be aware of the very interesting discussion that goes on there. I wish more people would comment on the blogs they are often addressing, but they don’t. They chatter on the back-channel in this way.

That said, I think there are some important issues being thrashed out here. Follow these threads for more discussion. Click on the time stamps to see some of the follow-up conversations.


Note: my first post on the HeLa genome and the associated paper is here:  Protip: check the genome of your cell line. HeLa cells are “strikingly aberrant”

UPDATE: Rebecca Skloot has an article in the NYT about this:  The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, the Sequel

Update part deux: Jonathan Eisen is keeping a storify about the discussion: http://storify.com/phylogenomics/hela-genome-sequenced-w-o-consent

And more–this conversation has broken wide open, in a good way. These are important issues–real issues–to be wrestling with:

Michael Eisen’s response to Rebecca Skloot’s piece (and be sure to see the comments): The Immortal Consenting of Henrietta Lacks

David Kroll: The Henrietta Lacks Genome: Consent, Trust, and Common Decency

Razib Khan: Henrietta Lacks’ genome, and familial consent

Peter Lipson: The Frontiers Of Medical Privacy

Jonathan Eisen: HeLa genome sequenced w/o obtaining permission/consent from family – some comments and background

Legal nature:

Ivan Oransky at Retraction Watch: Geneticists take HeLa sequence off-line after Lacks family notes they hadn’t given consent

Joe Pickerell Henrietta Lacks’s genome sequence has been publicly available for years

Antonio Regalado The Dawn of Genome Trolling. A slightly different take on HeLa.

Ewan Callaway HeLa publication brews bioethical storm

Glenn Cohen Henrietta Lacks, Publishing Genomes, and Family Vetos

Curtis Brainard HeLa-cious coverage

Tabitha Powledge On science blogs: Immortality