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Monika Piotrowska
State University of New York, Albany
  1. Why is an Egg Donor a Genetic Parent, but Not a Mitochondrial Donor?Monika Piotrowska - 2019 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 28 (3):488-498.
    What’s the basis for considering an egg donor a genetic parent but not a mitochondrial donor? I will argue that a closer look at the biological facts will not give us an answer to this question because the process by which one becomes a genetic parent, i.e., the process of reproduction, is not a concept that can be settled by looking. It is, rather, a concept in need of philosophical attention. The details of my argument will rest on recent developments (...)
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  2. Meet the New Mammoth, Same as the Old? Resurrecting the Mammuthus Primigenius.Monika Piotrowska - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (1-2):5.
    Media reporters often announce that we are on the verge of bringing back the woolly mammoth, even while there is growing consensus among scientists that resurrecting the mammoth is unlikely. In fact, current “de-extinction” efforts are not designed to bring back a mammoth, but rather adaptations of the mammoth using close relatives. For example, Harvard scientists are working on creating an Asian elephant with the thick coat of a mammoth by merging mammoth and elephant DNA. But how should such creatures (...)
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  3. Is ‘Assisted Reproduction’ Reproduction?Monika Piotrowska - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (270):138-157.
    With an increasing number of ways to ‘assist’ reproduction, some bioethicists have started to wonder what it takes to become a genetic parent. It is widely agreed that sharing genes is not enough to substantiate the parent–offspring relation, but what is? Without a better understanding of the concept of reproduction, our thinking about parent–offspring relations and the ethical issues surrounding them risk being unprincipled. Here, I address that problem by offering a principled account of reproduction—the Overlap, Development and Persistence account—which (...)
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  4. The Theoretical Costs of DNA Barcoding.Monika Piotrowska - 2009 - Biological Theory 4 (3):235-239.
    I begin with a description of the benefits and limits of DNA barcoding as presented by its advocates not its critics. Next, I argue that due to the mutually dependent relationship between defining and delimiting species, all systems of classification are grounded in theory, even if only implicitly. I then proceed to evaluate DNA barcoding in that context. In particular, I focus on the barcoders’ use of a sharp boundary by which to delimit species, arguing that this boundary brings along (...)
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    Avoiding the Potentiality Trap: Thinking About the Moral Status of Synthetic Embryos.Monika Piotrowska - forthcoming - Monash Bioethics Review.
    Research ethics committees must sometimes deliberate about objects that do not fit nicely into any existing category. This is currently the case with the “gastruloid,” which is a self-assembling blob of cells that resembles a human embryo. The resemblance makes it tempting to group it with other members of that kind, and thus to ask whether gastruloids really are embryos. But fitting an ambiguous object into an existing category with well-worn pathways in research ethics, like the embryo, is only a (...)
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    Rethinking the Oversight Conditions of Human–Animal Chimera Research.Monika Piotrowska - forthcoming - Bioethics.
    New discoveries are improving the odds of human cells surviving in host animals, prompting regulatory and funding agencies to issue calls for additional layers of ethical oversight for certain types of human–animal chimeras. Of interest are research proposals involving chimeric animals with humanized brains. But what is motivating the demand for additional oversight? I locate two, not obviously compatible, motivations, each of which provides the justificatory basis for paying special attention to different sets of human–animal chimeras. Surprisingly, the sets of (...)
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