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Bioethics news.

Stanford Clears Professor of Helping With Gene-Edited Babies Experiment
Stanford University has cleared Stephen Quake, a bioengineering professor, of any wrongdoing in his interactions with a Chinese researcher who roiled the scientific world by creating the first gene-edited babies.
Parents of 3 NYC children face $1,000 penalty for violating measles order
New York City health officials issued summonses to parents of three children Thursday for failing to have their children vaccinated against measles, a violation of the city’s emergency ordermandating immunizations to control a surging outbreak.
Chinese scientists have put human brain genes in monkeys—and yes, they may be smarter
Scientists in southern China report that they’ve tried to narrow the evolutionary gap, creating several transgenic macaque monkeys with extra copies of a human gene suspected of playing a role in shaping human intelligence.
Dr. de Blasio’s timely prescription: He and his health officials are right to demand vaccinations in the throes of a measles outbreak
Measles has been much in the news lately, and rightly so. New York is one of the epicenters of a growing epidemic that poses a serious threat. There have been 285 confirmed cases since the outbreak began last fall; 21 of those led to hospitalizations, including five admissions to intensive care units.
As Ebola Cases Rise in Congo, the W.H.O. Declines to Issue Emergency Declaration
Despite a worsening Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the World Health Organization on Friday again decided not to declare the outbreak a global health emergency. While expressing “deep concern” about the number of increasing cases in parts of Congo, and the potential risk of the disease spreading to neighboring countries, 
Adopt a moratorium on heritable genome editing
We call for a global moratorium on all clinical uses of human germline editing — that is, changing heritable DNA (in sperm, eggs or embryos) to make genetically modified children. By ‘global moratorium’, we do not mean a permanent ban. Rather, we call for the establishment of an international framework in which nations, while retaining the right to make their...
Gene-Edited Babies: What a Chinese Scientist Told an American Mentor
When and where should scientists report controversial research ideas that colleagues share with them in confidence? Have scientists acted inappropriately if they provide conventional research advice to someone conducting an unorthodox experiment?
A new lawsuit involving Stanford and Sequoia Capital highlights fights to come over cell-free DNA testing
Publicly traded transplant diagnostics company called CareDx, along with Stanford University, sued another publicly traded genetic testing company, Natera, for patent infringement. Much appears to be at stake, and it all centers on cell-free DNA testing, a type of technology that has already been at the crux of numerous lawsuits and looks poised to play center stage again in...
A.I. Is Changing Insurance
See the latest NYTimes piece about the way that artificial intelligence is changing the health insurance industry
CRISPR yields new potential “bubble boy” gene therapy
About 1 in 50,000 baby boys are born with no immune cells — they have no way to molecularly protect themselves. The disease, called X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency, or SCID-X1, is more commonly known as the “bubble boy” disease because if babies born with SCID-X1 are not secluded in a hygienic “bubble,” they could contract an infection and die. Now,...
Years after an experimental stem cell therapy blinded patients, the FDA is still trying to stop it
The Food and Drug Administration promised yesterday to heighten oversight of providers of experimental stem cell treatments, as a Post report detailed the agency’s slow response to a leading stem cell company whose treatments blinded some patients.
The Kids Who Are Cleared to Leave Psychiatric Hospitals—But Can’t
Every year, the state of Illinois struggles to find a place for hundreds of children with serious mental-health issues—holding them in psychiatric hospitals for sometimes weeks or months even after they’re cleared for discharge.
THE $3 MILLION RESEARCH BREAKDOWN: The University of Illinois at Chicago’s Troubling Study
The University of Illinois at Chicago’s acclaimed child psychiatrist Mani Pavuluri put vulnerable children at serious risk in one of her clinical trials by testing the powerful drug lithium on children younger than 13 — violating research rules, failing to properly alert parents of the study’s risks and falsifying data to cover up the misconduct.
Top Official at Memorial Sloan Kettering Resigns After Failing to Disclose Industry Ties
Dr. José Baselga, the hospital’s chief medical officer, stepped down days after a report by ProPublica and the New York Times that he failed to disclose millions of dollars in payments from the health care and drug industry in research articles.
France Is First to Ban Breast Implants Linked to Rare Cancer
France has banned several types of textured breast implants that have been linked to a rare form of cancer. The ban, which covers macro-textured and polyurethane implants, took effect on Friday. It was announced this week by France’s National Agency for Safety of Medicines and Health Products, or...
Introducing the World’s First Gene-Edited Lizard
Scientists have been altering the genes of mice, pigs, goats, chickens and butterflies for quite some time. But even as Crispr, a transformative gene-editing tool, made seemingly impossible genetic alterations possible, reptiles had remained untouched.
In a Poor Kenyan Community, Cheap Antibiotics Fuel Deadly Drug-Resistant Infections
Overuse of the medicines is not just a problem in rich countries. Throughout the developing world antibiotics are dispensed with no prescription required.
Warnings of a Dark Side to A.I. in Health Care
Last year, the Food and Drug Administration approved a device that can capture an image of your retina and automatically detect signs of diabetic blindness. This new breed of artificial intelligence technology is rapidly spreading across the medical field, as scientists develop systems that can identify signs of illness and disease in a wide...
Soccer-Playing Engineer Calls Foul On Pricey Knee Brace
Last October, Esteban Serrano wrenched his knee badly during his weekly soccer game with friends. Serrano, a software engineer, grew up playing soccer in Quito, Ecuador, and he has kept up the sport since moving to the United States two decades ago. He hobbled off the field and iced his knee. But the pain was so severe that he made an...
Medicare’s Uncapped Drug Costs Take A Big Bite From Already Tight Budgets
Unlike commercial plans that cap members’ out-of-pocket drug spending annually, Medicare has no limit for prescription medications in Part D, its drug benefit. With the cost of specialty drugs increasing, some Medicare beneficiaries could owe thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket drug costs every year for a single drug.
Vaccination Push Underway To Contain Mumps Outbreak In Philadelphia
A mumps outbreak that began at Philadelphia’s Temple University in February has snowballed, with the city’s health department now reporting 106 cases associated with the flare-up. University officials say the vast majority of students involved had been immunized previously with the MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps and rubella. So why are so many still appearing on campus with the...
North Carolina’s 20-week abortion ban is unconstitutional, a federal judge rules
A decades-old North Carolina law that banned women from having abortions after their 20th week of pregnancy is unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled on Monday. The 1973 law made some allowances for medical concerns, but a 2015 amendment that narrowed those exemptions prompted abortion rights groups to file a lawsuit in 2016.
Unvaccinated children banned from public spaces amid measles outbreak in New York suburb
A county in New York has banned unvaccinated children from all public spaces as the state battles its largest measles outbreak in decades. Officials in Rockland County declared a state of emergency Tuesday, announcing that the ban would begin at midnight and remain in place for 30 days, or until unvaccinated minors receive the measles, mumps and rubella...
Centene to Buy WellCare for $15.3 Billion, Creating Health Care Giant
Centene, a major insurer that has significantly expanded under the Affordable Care Act, is making a bold bet as the Trump administration renews its attacks on the federal health law. The company announced on Wednesday that it had agreed to buy WellCare, a smaller publicly held insurer based in Florida, for about $15.3 billion.
Judge Blocks Medicaid Work Requirements in Arkansas and Kentucky
WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Wednesday threw out Medicaid work requirements in two states, a blow to Republican efforts to profoundly reshape a program that has provided free health insurance to the poorest Americans for more than 50 years.
New York Sues Sackler Family Members and Drug Distributors
As investigators closed in on Purdue Pharma, the maker of the opioid painkiller OxyContin, more than a decade ago, members of the family that owns the company began shifting hundreds of millions of dollars from the business to themselves through offshore entities, the state of New York alleged in a lawsuit on Thursday.
Many companies are offering employees perks if they share their heath data from their Fitbit or smart watch. Most people don’t stop to think about the ethics involved. Is it a good idea to share this kind of data with your boss?...
W.H.O. Panel Demands a Registry for Human Gene Editing
An influential committee of the World Health Organization said on Tuesday that it would be “irresponsible” to try to create babies from gene-edited human embryos. The panel called for an international registry to track all research into editing the human genome.
A Twin Inside a Twin: In Colombia, an Extraordinary Birth
What appeared to be a cyst in a healthy fetus turned out to be an unformed twin “absorbed” early in pregnancy, connected by a second umbilical cord and still growing.