Bioethics.com

Subscribe to Bioethics.com feed
Your global information source on bioethics news, issues, & events
Updated: 2 hours 19 min ago

First U.S. Vaccine Donations Will Go to ‘Wide Range’ of Nations in Need

June 3, 2021

(New York Times) – The White House, besieged with requests from other nations to share its supply of coronavirus vaccine, announced Thursday that it would distribute an initial 25 million doses this month across a “wide range of countries” in Latin America and the Caribbean, South and Southeast Asia, and Africa, as well as the Palestinian territories, war-ravaged Gaza and the West Bank. (Read Full Article)

The post First U.S. Vaccine Donations Will Go to ‘Wide Range’ of Nations in Need first appeared on Bioethics.com.

‘The Perfect Storm’: Lax Social Distancing Fuelled a Coronavirus Variant’s Brazilian Surge

June 3, 2021

(Nature) – The coronavirus variant behind Brazil’s ferocious second wave of COVID-19 emerged, in part, because of relaxed social distancing, according to an analysis of viral sequences from the outbreak’s epicentre. In late 2020, researchers first spotted the P.1 variant — also called Gamma — in people who returned to Japan from Manaus, the capital of Brazil’s Amazonas state. Since P.1 emerged, scientists have found evidence that it is more transmissible than some other variants, and evades antibodies more easily. Infections caused by the variant overwhelmed Manaus, which had already experienced one of the world’s highest documented rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection in its first wave. (Read Full Article)

The post ‘The Perfect Storm’: Lax Social Distancing Fuelled a Coronavirus Variant’s Brazilian Surge first appeared on Bioethics.com.

A Military Drone With a Mind of Its Own Was Used in Combat, U.N. Says

June 3, 2021

(NPR) – Military-grade autonomous drones can fly themselves to a specific location, pick their own targets and kill without the assistance of a remote human operator. Such weapons are known to be in development, but until recently there were no reported cases of autonomous drones killing fighters on the battlefield. Now, a United Nations report about a March 2020 skirmish in the military conflict in Libya says such a drone, known as a lethal autonomous weapons system — or LAWS — has made its wartime debut. But the report does not say explicitly that the LAWS killed anyone. (Read Full Article)

The post A Military Drone With a Mind of Its Own Was Used in Combat, U.N. Says first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Developed Countries Lock Up Covid-19 Vaccines Through 2023

June 3, 2021

(Wall Street Journal) – The European Union, Canada and other developed countries have signed deals to get hundreds of millions of doses of Covid-19 vaccines and boosters over the next two years, furthering a divide between rich and poor countries.  Under the recent deals, Pfizer Inc. PFE 0.46% and BioNTech BNTX -1.86% SE agreed to supply the European Union up to 1.8 billion doses of their vaccine through 2023, while agreeing to supply Canada up to 125 million doses. Australia, Switzerland and Israel, meanwhile, are set to get Moderna Inc.’s MRNA 1.89% shot through next year, and Switzerland has options for doses in 2023. (Read Full Article)

The post Developed Countries Lock Up Covid-19 Vaccines Through 2023 first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Newer Methods May Boost Gene Therapy’s Use for More Diseases

June 3, 2021

(Associated Press) – Gene therapies often aim to supply a gene people lack. The trick is getting the new one where it needs to be without triggering other problems. Some therapies, such as ones for inherited forms of blindness, inject the treatment into the eye. A common method for others is to remove some of a patient’s blood cells, alter them in the lab to carry the desired gene, and return them through an IV. What has scientists excited is better vectors — disabled viruses that ferry the gene into cells — that seem safer and more effective. (Read Full Article)

The post Newer Methods May Boost Gene Therapy’s Use for More Diseases first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Alarm in Africa: Virus Surges, Vaccines Grind to ‘Near Halt’

June 3, 2021

(Associated Press) – COVID-19 vaccine shipments have ground to “a near halt” in Africa while virus cases have spiked 20% over the last two weeks, the World Health Organization said Thursday, a bleak scenario for the continent on both those critical fronts. South Africa alone saw a more than 60% rise in new cases last week as the country with the highest coronavirus caseload in Africa continued to face delays in its effort to roll out the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. (Read Full Article)

The post Alarm in Africa: Virus Surges, Vaccines Grind to ‘Near Halt’ first appeared on Bioethics.com.

In Venezuela, Covid-19 Data Is a State Secret, but Citizens See Many Deaths

June 3, 2021

(Wall Street Journal) – On most days, Venezuela’s authoritarian government reports a daily Covid death toll of about 17 victims, a strikingly low number given that South America as a continent currently records the highest mortality rate of the pandemic. But Venezuelan funeral service operators say they regularly cremate at least six times more bodies a day than the official toll—a telling indicator because health authorities want those who have died of respiratory disease to be cremated rather than buried. (Read Full Article)

The post In Venezuela, Covid-19 Data Is a State Secret, but Citizens See Many Deaths first appeared on Bioethics.com.

COVID-19 Cases Hit Lowest Point in U.S. Since Pandemic Began

June 3, 2021

(Axios) – The official case counts haven’t been this low since Americans went into lockdown in March last year — when the pandemic was still new, no one knew how long this would go on, and inadequate testing meant that cases were undercounted. (See Full Article)

The post COVID-19 Cases Hit Lowest Point in U.S. Since Pandemic Began first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Texas Hospital Workers Sue Over Vaccine Mandates

June 2, 2021

(Medscape) – A group of 117 people who work at the Houston Methodist Health System has filed a lawsuit against the medical center, objecting to its policy of requiring employees and contractors to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or risk losing their jobs. Plaintiffs include Jennifer Bridges, RN, a medical-surgical nurse at the hospital who has become the public face and the voice of healthcare workers who object to mandatory vaccination, as well as Bob Nevens, the hospital’s director of corporate risk. (Read Full Article)

The post Texas Hospital Workers Sue Over Vaccine Mandates first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Federal Gov’t Says Employers Can Offer Vaccine Incentives

June 2, 2021

(Politico) – Employers can offer incentives to their employees to get the coronavirus vaccine without running afoul of federal anti-discrimination law, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said on Friday. In an update of its Covid-19 guidance, the agency said employers may offer incentives to employees who provide documentation of receiving the Covid-19 vaccine outside of work, because requesting proof of vaccination “is not a disability-related inquiry” or an “unlawful request” under federal anti-discrimination laws. (Read Full Article)

The post Federal Gov’t Says Employers Can Offer Vaccine Incentives first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Immunocompromised People Turn to Covid-19 Vaccine Booster Shots

June 2, 2021

(Wall Street Journal) – Now, Ms. Merritt and millions of other people with compromised immune systems and their doctors are scrambling to figure out what to do in an evolving science project playing out in real time. Some are taking a third shot to try to jar their immune systems into generating the antibodies that protect them from the virus. Others are considering modifying their immunosuppressants in consultation with their doctors in hopes another shot will be effective. And a few are jumping through bureaucratic hoops to get access to monoclonal antibodies, which could provide protection until more people in the general population are vaccinated. (Read Full Article)

The post Immunocompromised People Turn to Covid-19 Vaccine Booster Shots first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Despite Vaccines, Nursing Homes Struggle with Outbreaks

June 1, 2021

(Associated Press) – COVID-19 vaccines have allowed nursing homes in the U.S. to make dramatic progress since the dark days of the pandemic, but senior care facilities are still experiencing scattered outbreaks that are largely blamed on unvaccinated staff members. The outbreaks and ensuing shutdowns have jolted family members who were just starting to enjoy in-person visits with loved ones for the first time in a year.  (Read full Article)

The post Despite Vaccines, Nursing Homes Struggle with Outbreaks first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Coronavirus Variants Get Greek Names–But Will Scientists Use Them?

June 1, 2021

(Nature) – When researchers in South Africa spotted a highly mutated strain of coronavirus driving the country’s second wave in late 2020, they called it variant 501Y.V2. Naming schemes developed by other scientists have called it B.1.351, 20H/501Y.V2 and GH/501Y.V2. But many media outlets — and some scientists — describe the same virus as ‘the South African variant’.  To quell such confusion and avoid geographical stigmas, everyone should now just call it ‘Beta’, according to a naming scheme announced on 31 May by the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva and described in a forthcoming article in Nature Microbiology. (Read Full Article)

The post Coronavirus Variants Get Greek Names–But Will Scientists Use Them? first appeared on Bioethics.com.

The World Health Organization Authorizes the Sinovac Vaccine for Emergency Use.

June 1, 2021

(New York Times) – The World Health Organization has cleared a coronavirus vaccine made by the Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac for emergency use, the agency announced on Tuesday. The decision, which comes about a month after the agency authorized another Chinese vaccine, made by Sinopharm, for emergency use, means that Sinovac’s vaccine can potentially be included in Covax, a worldwide initiative to supply coronavirus vaccines to low-income countries. (Read Full Article)

The post The World Health Organization Authorizes the Sinovac Vaccine for Emergency Use. first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Covid: Zero Daily Deaths Announced in UK for First Time

June 1, 2021

(BBC) – The UK has announced zero daily Covid deaths within 28 days of a positive test for the first time since March 2020. The latest figures also reported another 3,165 new cases, compared with 3,383 on Monday and 2,493 one week ago. It comes amid concern over a recent small rise in cases linked to the variant first identified in India. (Read Full Article)

The post Covid: Zero Daily Deaths Announced in UK for First Time first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Covid-19 Prevention Measures Are Keeping Childhood Diseases Like Chickenpox at Bay

June 1, 2021

(Wall Street Journal) – The disinfecting and hand-washing that became common during the Covid-19 pandemic have also served as powerful tools against a host of childhood ailments such as chickenpox, stomach viruses and strep throat, recent data suggest. Doctors say that as countries with widespread Covid-19 vaccination, including the U.S., get back to normal, people would be well-advised to keep up some of the practices they have adopted—even if pandemic weariness makes them less than eager to take that advice. (Read Full Article)

The post Covid-19 Prevention Measures Are Keeping Childhood Diseases Like Chickenpox at Bay first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Brazil’s Experiment to Vaccinate Town with Chinese Corona Vac Reduced Covid-19 Deaths by 95%

June 1, 2021

(Wall Street Journal) – Brazil’s experiment to vaccinate an entire town with the Chinese CoronaVac shot reduced Covid-19 deaths by 95%, providing more evidence of the efficacy of the vaccine being rolled out across much of the developing world. All adults in Serrana, a town of 45,000 people in southeastern Brazil, were offered CoronaVac between February and April as part of the “Project S” experiment, the first mass trial of its kind against Covid-19. (Read Full Article)

The post Brazil’s Experiment to Vaccinate Town with Chinese Corona Vac Reduced Covid-19 Deaths by 95% first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Dumbed Down AI Rhetoric Harms Everyone

June 1, 2021

(Wired) – When the European Union Commission released its regulatory proposal on artificial intelligence last month, much of the US policy community celebrated. Their praise was at least partly grounded in truth: The world’s most powerful democratic states haven’t sufficiently regulated AI and other emerging tech, and the document marked something of a step forward. Mostly, though, the proposal and responses to it underscore democracies’ confusing rhetoric on AI. (Read Full Article)

The post Dumbed Down AI Rhetoric Harms Everyone first appeared on Bioethics.com.

China Easing Birth Limits Further to Cope with Aging Society

June 1, 2021

(Associated Press) – China’s ruling Communist Party said Monday it will ease birth limits to allow all couples to have three children instead of two in hopes of slowing the rapid aging of its population, which is adding to strains on the economy and society. The ruling party has enforced birth limits since 1980 to restrain population growth but worries the number of working-age people is falling too fast while the share over age 65 is rising. That threatens to disrupt its ambitions to transform China into a prosperous consumer society and global technology leader.  (Read Full Article)

The post China Easing Birth Limits Further to Cope with Aging Society first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Haiti: Child Malnutrition Surges Amid Pandemic and Crime, Unicef Says

May 31, 2021

(BBC) – Severe acute childhood malnutrition is expected to more than double this year in Haiti amid the pandemic, rising crime and low resources, Unicef says. More than 86,000 children under the age of five could be affected, compared to 41,000 last year, the UN agency said. Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas, and more than 60% of its population live in poverty. The country has suffered from decades of political and economic crises as well as several natural disasters. (Read Full Article)

The post Haiti: Child Malnutrition Surges Amid Pandemic and Crime, Unicef Says first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Pages