Btn Rss Bioethics News.

09/19/2017

Pregnant women should not be categorised as a ‘vulnerable population’ in biomedical research studies: ending a vicious cycle of ‘vulnerability’

Journal Of Medical Ethics

A new study published in Journal of Medical Ethics by van der Zande et al1 further highlights why classifying pregnant women as a ‘vulnerable population’ in the context of research is deeply problematic. Because the designation of ‘vulnerable’ is otherwise applied to populations whose decision-making capacity about research participation is somehow compromised—such as children and adults of limited cognitive ability—many of us have been arguing for some time that using this designation for pregnant women is inappropriate and disrespectful.

09/18/2017

Are countries being honest about their carbon emissions? Satellites could tell

Science

It’s all fine and good to sign a climate treaty, but how do you know whether a country is keeping its word? Track it from space. Researchers have shown that observations by Earth-orbiting instruments can be used to estimate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from individual power plants. NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2, which was launched in July 2014, was designed to monitor the movement of COin and out of ecosystems worldwide.

09/15/2017

PETA versus the postdoc: Animal rights group targets young researcher for first time

Science

PETA and other animal rights groups have hounded researchers for decades in hopes of shutting down animal experiments in the United States and elsewhere. But Lattin is an unusual target. She’s a self-professed animal lover with a background in bird rescue; her studies are far less invasive than the research PETA has traditionally gone after; and she’s only a postdoc, much younger and less established than any scientist the group has singled out before.

09/14/2017

Senate panel seeks middle ground on human fetal tissue research and abortion

Science

The Senate Appropriations Committee, in a bill that boosts NIH funding by $2 billion, to $36.1 billion, ordered the biomedical research agency to launch a pilot study to determine whether banking tissue from stillbirths and spontaneous abortions, or miscarriages, could serve all of the needs of biomedical researchers.

09/13/2017

South Korean researchers lobby government to lift human-embryo restrictions

Nature

More than a decade after a fraud scandal in stem-cell science rocked South Korea, scientists in the field are ramping up pressure on the government to relax the country’s strict regulations on human-embryo research — which many researchers label a ban.

09/12/2017

What Are Physicians’ Responsibilities to Patients Whose Health Conditions Can Influence Their Legal Proceedings?

AMA Journal of Ethics

Correctional populations are disproportionately affected by conditions that affect cognition, such as psychiatric illness and head trauma. Honoring bioethical principles in the care of such patients can be particularly difficult in the correctional setting. However, the approach should not change markedly because a patient is incarcerated.

09/11/2017

She rejected chemotherapy and chose to die of cancer — so she could give birth to her child

Washington Post

They had two options. They could try to prolong Carrie’s life through chemotherapy, but that meant ending her pregnancy. Or they could keep the baby, but Carrie would not live long enough to see the child.

09/08/2017

Trump finally nominates new leader for NASA

Nature

James Bridenstine, a Republican member of the US Congress from Oklahoma, has been tapped to be the next head of NASA. Bridenstine is a strong supporter of lunar exploration and commercial space flight.

09/07/2017

Massive Ebola data site planned to combat outbreaks

Nature

More than 11,000 people died when Ebola tore through West Africa between 2014 and 2016, and yet clinicians still lack data that would enable them to reliably identify the disease when a person first walks into a clinic. To fill that gap and others before the next outbreak hits, researchers are developing a platform to organize and share Ebola data that have so far been scattered beyond reach.

09/06/2017

United States to give Ethiopia $91 million in drought aid for food and medicine

Washington Post

According to USAID spokesman Clayton McCleskey, Green told Desalegn he was concerned that conditions were deteriorating for people affected by the drought and encouraged the government to “show greater leadership and invest more resources to combat a worsening humanitarian crisis.”

09/05/2017

F.D.A. Approves First Gene-Altering Leukemia Treatment, Costing $475,000

The New York Times

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved the first-ever treatment that genetically alters a patient’s own cells to fight cancer, a milestone that is expected to transform treatment in the coming years.

09/04/2017

Young immigrant scientists anxiously await Trump’s DACA decision

Science

Biomedical researcher Yuriana Aguilar, a postdoctoral fellow at Rush University in Chicago, Illinois, is feverishly working to compete in the cut-throat race for a tenure-track faculty position. To catch the eye of prospective employers, she’s been trying to do the best science she can. But Aguilar might soon have to prove she has another qualification: a legal right to work in the United States. That’s because the 27-year-old is one of an untold number of scientists and engineers who are undocumented immigrants, and have been able to get jobs and degrees thanks to a federal initiative that President Donald Trump has threatened to end.

09/01/2017

Tanzania Gears Up To Become A Nation Of Medical Drones

NPR

In early 2018, the nation will start using Zipline drones for on-demand delivery of blood, vaccines, medications and other supplies such as sutures and IV tubes.

08/31/2017

Nepal outlaws menstruation huts, but what will take their place?

CNN

On August 9, Nepal’s Parliament passed a bill that would criminalize the banishment of women during menstruation. Once the bill goes into effect, set for August 2018, anyone who forces a woman into a menstrual hut will be sentenced to three months in prison or fined US $30.

08/30/2017

Basic studies of how our brains work are now clinical trials, NIH says

Science

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, has confirmed that the agency’s definition of clinical trials now includes imaging studies of normal brain function that do not test new treatments. The change will impose new requirements that many researchers say don’t make sense and could stifle cognitive neuroscience.

08/29/2017

Hunting a Killer: Sex, Drugs and the Return of Syphilis

The New York Times

OKLAHOMA CITY — For months, health officials in this socially conservative state capital have been staggered by a fast-spreading outbreak of a disease that, for nearly two decades, was considered all but extinguished.

Syphilis, the deadly sexually transmitted infection that can lead to blindness, paralysis and dementia, is returning here and around the country, another consequence of the heroin and methamphetamine epidemics, as users trade sex for drugs.

08/28/2017

Fewer antibiotic prescriptions are being filled, a new analysis finds

Washington Post

The use of antibiotics among Americans with commercial health insurance has decreased during the past several years, according to a new analysis that nevertheless shows lingering variations for different ages and in different parts of the country.

08/25/2017

Teen drug overdose death rate climbed 19% in one year

CNN

The rate of teen drug overdose deaths in the United States climbed 19% from 2014 to 2015, from 3.1 deaths per 100,000 teens to 3.7 per 100,000, according to data released this week. The new numbers involve teens ages 15 to 19 and were released by the National Center for Health Statistics.

08/24/2017

Zebrafish implanted with a cancer patient’s tumor could guide cancer treatment

Science

To create mouse avatars, researchers implant some of a patient’s cancer cells into rodents lacking a normal immune system and measure whether various drugs destroy the tumors that sprout in the animals. But the mice are expensive to create and typically require between 2 and 6 months to deliver a verdict.

08/23/2017

Elderly couple got ‘deepest wish’ — to die together — in rare euthanasia case

Washington Post

Nic and Trees Elderhorst knew exactly how they wanted to die. They were both 91 years old and in declining health. Nic Elderhorst suffered a stroke in 2012 and more recently, his wife, Trees Elderhorst, was diagnosed with dementia, according to the Dutch newspaper, De Gelderlander. Neither wanted to live without the other, or leave this world alone. So the two, who lived in Didam, a town in the eastern part of the Netherlands, and had been together 65 years, shared a last word, and a kiss, then died last month hand-in-hand — in a double euthanasia allowed under Dutch law, according to De Gelderlander.

08/22/2017

China’s embrace of embryo selection raises thorny questions

Nature

Early experiments are beginning to show how genome-editing technologies such as CRISPR might one day fix disease-causing mutations before embryos are implanted. But refining the techniques and getting regulatory approval will take years. PGD has already helped thousands of couples. And whereas the expansion of PGD around the world has generally been slow, in China, it is starting to explode.

08/21/2017

Zika has all but disappeared in the Americas. Why?

Science

One. That is the total number of locally transmitted Zika cases confirmed in the continental United States this year, as of mid-August. That single case, recorded on 26 July in Hidalgo County in Texas, which borders Mexico, contrasts with hundreds of cases of local transmission last year.

08/18/2017

Trump’s ‘Emergency’ Declaration For Opioids Could Be A Double-Edged Sword

Huffington Post

President Donald Trump said Thursday that he plans to declare the opioid crisis a national emergency. Clearly, the massive increase in drug deaths warrant a serious government response. But what does a national emergency actually mean?

08/17/2017

Artificial intelligence identifies plant species for science

Nature

Computer algorithms trained on the images of thousands of preserved plants have learned to automatically identify species that have been pressed, dried and mounted on herbarium sheets, researchers report.

08/16/2017

Commit to talks on patient data and public health

Nature

Of course it was going to happen — and now it has. Last week, an international team reported the use of CRISPR–Cas9 gene-editing techniques to correct a heart-wrenching mutation in human embryos. These attempts worked several times more efficiently than previous ones had, and avoided introducing new genetic errors. Although the embryos were never destined to be used for pregnancies (and have now been destroyed), the work — carried out mainly in the United States — makes it easy to foresee practical applications to genetically alter human embryos.

08/15/2017

Horse Clones Start Heading to the Races

Bloomberg News

So far, the big winner in the great clone race has been Alan Meeker, chief executive officer of Crestview Genetics. Since 2010 the 52-year-old Texas oil heir has created close to 100 horse clones valued at $500,000 to $800,000 each, depending on how long the company’s raised them.

08/14/2017

Americans are becoming more open to human genome editing, survey finds, but concerns remain

Science

CRISPR, the powerful genome-editing tool, does a molecular tango to cut and modify DNA that is highly nuanced. The same subtlety applies to the public’s views on how best to use genome editing in humans, a new survey of adults in the United States shows.

08/11/2017

CRISPR fixes disease gene in viable human embryos

Nature

An international team of researchers has used CRISPR–Cas9 gene editing — a technique that allows scientists to make precise changes to genomes with relative ease — to correct a disease-causing mutation in dozens of viable human embryos. The study represents a significant improvement in efficiency and accuracy over previous efforts.

08/10/2017

First genetically engineered salmon sold in Canada

Nature

Genetically engineered salmon has reached the dinner table. AquaBounty Technologies, the Maynard, Massachusetts, company that developed the fish, announced on 4 August that it has sold 10,000 pounds (4,535 kilograms) of its hotly debated product to customers in Canada.

08/09/2017

Memory-enhancing drug reverses effects of traumatic brain injury in mice

Science

Whether caused by a car accident that slams your head into the dashboard or repeated blows to your cranium from high-contact sports, traumatic brain injury can be permanent. There are no drugs to reverse the cognitive decline and memory loss, and any surgical interventions must be carried out within hours to be effective, according to the current medical wisdom. But a compound previously used to enhance memory in mice may offer hope: Rodents who took it up to a month after a concussion had memory capabilities similar to those that had never been injured.