Btn Rss Bioethics News.


Childbirth is killing black women in the US, and here’s why


Each year in the United States, about 700 to 1,200 women die from pregnancy or childbirth complications, and black women like Saba are about three to four times more likely to die of pregnancy or delivery complications than white women.


African scientists get their own open-access publishing platform


Venture will launch next year and seeks to strengthen continent’s science by helping academics share work more quickly.


This scientist wants your help tracking mosquitoes—and all you need is a cellphone


Mosquitoes can be deadly, transmitting malaria, dengue, and Zika. But tracking them is tough. Now, researchers—led by bioengineer Manu Prakash of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California—have developed a new, cheap way to monitor these insects with mobile phones and a Shazam-like app that tells them apart based on their “songs.”


A dying vet needed CPR. Hidden video shows his nurse laughing instead.

Washington Post

James Dempsey died in that room Feb. 27, 2014, in front of the secret camera. What his family saw on the video made them sue the facility.


Training men and boys to honor women in the age of #MeToo


As millions of women continue to share their stories of sexual abuse and harassment in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, men from all walks of life have responded.


Ethics of Collaborative Health Systems Design

AMA Journal of Ethics

Co-creation refers to interactive practices that help critical stakeholders—patients, clinicians, and administrators, for example—work together to discern mutual values, develop strategies to address shared challenges, promote common goals, and motivate desired outcomes.


First Digital Pill Approved to Worries About Biomedical ‘Big Brother’

The New York Times

For the first time, the Food and Drug Administration has approved a digital pill — a medication embedded with a sensor that can tell doctors whether, and when, patients take their medicine.


Resurrected malaria strategy saves thousands of lives in Africa


In a sea of high-tech malaria fixes — everything from drug-delivery by drone to gene-edited mosquitoes — an old-fashioned approach is saving thousands of children in West Africa, according to studies presented this week at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) meeting in Baltimore, Maryland.


Lab-grown ‘minibrains’ are revealing what makes humans special


Ever since Alex Pollen was a boy talking with his neuroscientist father, he wanted to know how evolution made the human brain so special. Our brains are bigger, relative to body size, than other animals’, but it’s not just size that matters. “Elephants and whales have bigger brains,” notes Pollen, now a neuroscientist himself at the University of California, San Francisco. Comparing anatomy or even genomes of humans and other animals reveals little about the genetic and developmental changes that sent our brains down such a different path.


Scientists save a kid by growing a whole new skin for him


In October, the Italians sent the new skin back to Germany, and the boy’s doctors carefully laid them into areas they’d scoured of any dead or infected flesh, first to his arms and legs. When another batch arrived in November they did his chest and back. In January they touched up any spots they’d missed. Seven and a half months after he was admitted, the boy walked out the hospital doors, wound-free—the recipient of the largest-ever infusion of transgenic stem cells.


Former GSK boss to lead new UK accelerated drug access scheme


Former GlaxoSmithKline boss Andrew Witty is to lead a new British scheme to accelerate access to ground-breaking medicines for conditions such as cancer, dementia and diabetes from April 2018.


Infusions of young blood tested in patients with dementia


The first controlled, but controversial and small, clinical trial of giving young blood to people with dementia has reported that the procedure appears safe. It has also hinted that it may even produce modest improvements in the daily lives of people who have Alzheimer’s disease.


When Will the ‘Harvey Effect’ Reach Academia?

The Atlantic

The open secret in academia is how many women face sexual harassment on a regular basis. A 2015 survey conducted by the Association of American Universities at 27 elite private and public research universities found that roughly one in 10 female graduate students states that she has been sexually harassed by a faculty member at her university.


White House opioid commission calls for wide-ranging changes to anti-drug policies

Washington Post

President Trump’s commission on the opioid crisis called Wednesday for a nationwide system of drug courts and easier access to alternatives to opioids for people in pain, part of a wide-ranging menu of improvements it said are needed to curb the opioid epidemic.


How Should Organizations Promote Equitable Distribution of Benefits from Technological Innovation in Health Care?

AMA Journal of Ethics

Technological innovations typically benefit those who have good access to and an understanding of the underlying technologies. As such, technology-centered health care innovations are likely to preferentially benefit users of privileged socioeconomic backgrounds. Which policies and strategies should health care organizations adopt to promote equitable distribution of the benefits from technological innovations?


She signed up to be a surrogate mother — and unwittingly gave away her own child

Washington Post

A DNA test would soon reveal the truth: One of the “twins” was actually Allen and Jasper’s biological son. Despite using condoms, they had apparently conceived the child after becoming pregnant with the Lius’ baby, in what is believed to be an extremely rare case of superfetation. The condition — in which an already pregnant woman conceives another child — is so rare that alleged cases are usually treated with skepticism. In a widely publicized 2009 case of a pregnant Arkansas woman becoming pregnant “again,” Karen Boyle, a reproductive medicine specialist, told ABC News that there were only about 10 reported cases of superfetation in medical literature.


‘Base editors’ open new way to fix mutations


CRISPR has vastly simplified the ability to edit DNA, but there’s one thing this new technology is not particularly good at: fixing what are known as point mutations, the cause of many human genetic diseases. Now, two new papers, one in Science and the other in Nature, describe a tool called base editing that borrows heavily from CRISPR and excels at correcting the point mutations.


2,100 cities exceed recommended pollution levels, fueling climate change


Climate change is already affecting the health of populations around the world, but things are set to get worse if adequate changes aren’t made, according to an international consortium of climate experts. Fueling the impact is the fact that more than 2,100 cities globally exceed recommended levels of atmospheric particulate matter.


Echoes of Ebola as plague hits Madagascar


Hundreds of epidemiologists and technical experts are pouring into Madagascar, one of the poorest countries in the world, to help fight an unprecedented plague epidemic. By 20 October, 1297 people had been infected and 102 had died, and cases are doubling weekly.


A healthier Halloween for kids, without cutting out candy? Yes, really.

Washington Post

There is plenty of debate about whether parents should limit their kids’ access to Halloween activities and candy, in the name of fending off a lifetime of sugar cravings, or let them eat their fill. With childhood obesity on the rise and many parents eager to limit added sugars in their children’s diet, which approach is best for helping kids learn healthy eating habits?


Special Report: U.S. company makes a fortune selling bodies donated to science


McDonald’s and Kroc got rich selling hamburgers. Science Care and Rogers have made millions from human body parts. From 2012 through 2014, Rogers and his co-owner, wife Josie, parlayed the donated dead into at least $12.5 million in earnings, according to Internal Revenue Service audits and court documents reviewed by Reuters.


In Brazil, researchers struggle to fend off deepening budget cuts


With time and money running out, Brazilian scientists are turning up the pressure on the federal government to avoid a total collapse of the national science and technology funding system before the end of the year.


One in nine American men has oral HPV, study finds


About one in nine American men is infected with the oral form of human papillomavirus (HPV), according to a new study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.


These gene-edited pigs are hearty and lean—but how will they taste?


“Lean” may not be the term you associate with a good bacon strip or pork chop. But these leaner, cold-hardier piglets, created through CRISPR gene editing, could be a hit with the pork industry.


‘Let us do our job’: Anger erupts over EPA’s apparent muzzling of scientists

Washington Post

The Trump administration’s decision to prevent government scientists from presenting climate change-related research at a conference in Rhode Island on Monday gave the event a suddenly high profile, with protesters outside, media inside and angry lawmakers and academics criticizing the move.


Rand Paul takes a poke at U.S. peer-review panels


New legislation introduced this week by Senator Rand Paul (R–KY) would fundamentally alter how grant proposals are reviewed at every federal agency by adding public members with no expertise in the research being vetted.


A 2-year-old’s kidney transplant was put on hold — after his donor father’s probation violation

Washington Post

A father in Georgia who had prepared to donate a kidney to his 2-year-old son said last week that he is being forced to wait after a recent stint in county jail.


The future of DNA sequencing


What will the next 40 years bring? Prognosticators are typically wrong about which technologies — or, more importantly, which applications — will be the most disruptive. We would probably fare no better in predicting the future of DNA sequencing. So instead, we offer a framework for thinking about it. Our central message is that trends in DNA sequencing will be driven by killer applications, not by killer technologies.


Polluted environments kill 1.7 million children each year, WHO says


Each year, environmental pollutants cost an estimated 1.7 million lives among children under 5, according to World Health Organization reports released Monday.


Trump’s UNESCO exit draws critics, but will have little immediate impact


To the dismay of many researchers, the U.S. government announced last week that it would formally withdraw from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) based in Paris.