Bioethics.com

Subscribe to Bioethics.com feed
Your global information source on bioethics news, issues, & events
Updated: 10 min 3 sec ago

WHO Sounds Alarm at Spread of Coronavirus in Africa

July 20, 2020

(Medical Xpress) – The World Health Organization voiced alarm Monday at the spread of COVID-19 in Africa, warning that South Africa’s surging numbers could be a “precursor” for outbreaks across the continent. “I am very concerned right now that we are beginning to see an acceleration of disease in Africa,” WHO’s emergencies chief Michael Ryan told a virtual press conference.

Covid-19 News: Oxford Vaccine Is Safe and Induces Immune Response

July 20, 2020

(New Scientist) – A coronavirus vaccine candidate being developed by the University of Oxford in partnership with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca is safe and activates an immune response in people, according to preliminary results from trials involving 1077 volunteers. People injected with the vaccine, called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, made antibodies and immune cells against the coronavirus. The trial results were published today in The Lancet.

New Treatment for Covid-19 Shows Promise, but Scientists Urge Caution

July 20, 2020

(New York Times) – A small study of hospitalized Covid-19 patients in Britain has identified a promising new treatment for the illness, a British biotechnology company said on Monday, with initial results showing that an inhaled form of a commonly available drug can reduce the odds of patients requiring intensive care.

COVID-19 Death Rates in ICUs Down

July 20, 2020

(Medscape) – Overall mortality of patients with COVID-19 in intensive care units (ICUs) across Europe, Asia, and North America has dropped from nearly 60% at the end of March to nearly 42% at the end of May, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis.

China Is Using Uighur Labor to Produce Face Masks

July 20, 2020

(New York Times) – As the coronavirus pandemic continues to drive demand for personal protective equipment, Chinese companies are rushing to manufacture the gear for domestic and global consumption. A New York Times visual investigation has found that some of those companies are using Uighur labor through a contentious government-sponsored program that experts say often puts people to work against their will.

Judge strikes down Indiana abortion complications report law

July 9, 2020

(ABC News) INDIANAPOLIS — A federal judge has struck down an Indiana law that aimed to require reports from medical providers to the state if they treat women for complications arising from abortions.

Supreme Court Upholds Trump Administration Regulation Letting Employers Opt Out of Birth Control Coverage

July 9, 2020

(New York Times) WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a Trump administration regulation that lets employers with religious or moral objections limit women’s access to birth control coverage under the Affordable Care Act and could result in as many as 126,000 women losing contraceptive coverage from their employers.

Coronavirus vaccine news update: Bharat Biotech, Zydus Cadila set for trials; SII expects nod in 6 months

July 9, 2020

(Business Today) Pharmaceutical companies across the world are engaged in a tight race to find coronavirus vaccine. As such Indian contenders are also speeding up the process. But if an Oxford University professor is to be believed, then there might not be much need for a vaccine. Professor Sunetra Gupta, believes that coronavirus might disappear on its own without the help of a vaccine. She also pointed out that coronavirus impacts mostly the high-risk cases. “What we’ve seen is that in normal, healthy people, who are not elderly or frail or don’t have comorbidities, this virus is not something to worry about no more than how we worry about flu,” she said. Meanwhile, closer home two companies have received approval to conduct trials for their coronavirus vaccine candidate.

Why we still haven’t cloned humans — it’s not just ethics

July 8, 2020

(Business Insider) We’ve been able to clone human embryos for about seven years. But as far as we know, no one’s actually cloned a whole person. Turns out, ethics aren’t the only thing holding scientists back. Cloning isn’t the sci-fi marvel we think it is. It can be dangerous, often ineffective, and, most of all, we just haven’t thought of a good enough reason to do it. So, here’s why you’ll probably never have to fight your evil clone.

Risk of Cerebral Palsy for IVF Babies Cut in Half in the Last Two Decades

July 8, 2020

(MedPage Today) Cerebral palsy among IVF children decreased by more than 50% in the last 20 years, researchers reported. The crude risk of cerebral palsy among children conceived via assisted reproductive technology (ART) dropped from 0.9% to 0.3% from 1990 to 2010, while the risk remained stable among children conceived naturally, reported Anne Lærke Spangmose, MD, of the Fertility Clinic Rigshospitalet at Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark.

Plasma therapy — 11 trials underway, many Covid ‘cure’ stories but some doubts linger

July 8, 2020

(The Print) New Delhi: Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain credits plasma therapy with his recovery from Covid-19, and reports of its success have been pouring in from around the country. Even as multiple trials remain underway to establish its efficacy against a disease that has battered the world, plasma banks have been set up to ease patients’ search for donors. 

New method to edit cell’s ‘powerhouse’ DNA could help study variety of genetic diseases

July 8, 2020

(Science) In a biological beating of swords into plowshares, researchers have converted a bacterial toxin into a genome editing tool that, for the first time, can make precise changes to DNA in mitochondria, the cell’s power plants. The tool, which worked in lab experiments with human cells, could open the door to new studies of—and one day therapies for—dozens of hard-to-treat diseases caused by mutations in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). These rare conditions, which include Leber hereditary optic neuropathy and lethal infantile cardiomyopathy, collectively affect about one in 4000 people. Until now, research on these illnesses has been stymied in part because there was no way of reproducing the mutations in strains of mice.

COVID-19 makes clear that bioethics must confront health disparities

July 8, 2020

(The Conversation) With some reluctance, I’ve come to the sad realization the COVID-19 pandemic has been a stress test for bioethics, a field of study that intersects medicine, law, the humanities and the social sciences. As both a physician and medical ethicist, I arrived at this conclusion after spending months at what was once the epicenter of the pandemic: New York City. I was overseeing a 24/7 bioethics consultation service.

Accuracy of COVID-19 Antibody Tests Depend on Timing, Analysis Finds

July 7, 2020

(UPI) – Antibody testing might help determine whether people have had COVID-19, but its effectiveness depends on when the test occurs, according to an analysis published Thursday by the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. In general, the tests were better at detecting COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, two or more weeks after the onset of symptoms, the reviewers found. 

Exclusive: US National Science Foundation Reveals First Details on Foreign-Influence Investigations

July 7, 2020

(Nature) – The US National Science Foundation (NSF) has for the first time released figures on actions taken against researchers who have been found to violate rules regarding the disclosure of foreign ties. Since 2018, the agency has reassigned suspended or terminated grants, forced institutions to return funds or barred researchers from applying for future funding in 16 to 20 cases where rules weren’t followed, according to Rebecca Keiser, the agency’s first chief of research security strategy and policy.

Agonizing Lag in Coronavirus Research Puts Pregnant Women and Babies at Risk

July 7, 2020

(ProPublica) – In late June, after three months of near silence on the topic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finally weighed in on a question of critical importance to millions of American women and families: How dangerous is the coronavirus for pregnant women and new mothers? The CDC had been asserting that pregnant women don’t seem to be at higher risk for severe complications from the virus. As recently as late May, a spokesperson told ProPublica, “Current evidence shows pregnant women have the same risk of severe illness from COVID-19 as adults who are not pregnant.” hen, the agency abruptly changed its tone. In its first examination of U.S. data on COVID-19 in pregnancy, the CDC found that expectant mothers with the virus had a 50% higher chance of being admitted to intensive care and a 70% higher chance of being intubated than nonpregnant women in their childbearing years.

Pages