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Researchers Seek Sage Advice of Elders on Aging Issues

April 29, 2019

(Kaiser Health News) – Smith belongs to the Bureau of Sages, a group of vulnerable seniors who advise researchers about what matters to older adults, how to involve them in research about aging and how to communicate with them effectively while doing so. It’s a groundbreaking program: Traditionally, ill, disabled and cognitively challenged older adults have been excluded from research and assumed to be too compromised to offer useful insights.

Measles, Emergency Powers, and the Allure of the ‘Old’ Public Health

April 29, 2019

(The Atlantic) – In asserting the constitutionality of vaccination mandates and coercive public health orders, public health lawyers generally look back to the Supreme Court’s 1905 case of Jacobson v. Massachusetts. In that case, the Supreme Court upheld a law mandating smallpox vaccination stating, “Upon the principle of self-defense, of paramount necessity, a community has the right to protect itself against an epidemic of disease which threatens the safety of its members.” The Jacobson case is still the starting point for any discussion of the constitutionality of public health emergency powers, and courts in the modern era have continued to cite it in upholding state vaccine mandates.

Cloning’s Long Legacy–And Why It’ll Never Be Used on Humans

April 29, 2019

(Discover Magazine) – Those involved with the science around cloning agree. Prominent scientists involved in cloning say they’ve never had any intention of replicating a person — and are as wary of the idea as everyone else. Their research serves other purposes, they say. For decades, investigations into cloning have been divided into two areas: reproductive cloning, mainly to improve livestock breeding; and therapeutic cloning aimed at growing cells, not whole humans, that could be used to treat diseases. Today, just a handful of labs worldwide work in cloning, and other advances make cloning even less likely to be used in the future, researchers say. “People love these thrilling, world-changing innovations, but there are always … biological obstacles that are not so simple to overcome,” says Dietrich Egli, an assistant professor of developmental cell biology at Columbia University.

How IVF Has Redefined the Modern Family

April 29, 2019

(ABC News) – IVF, originally created to fight infertility, has expanded to allow people to think beyond the traditional family and carve a new path to parenthood. “I chose this field for the science and for the medicine and for the drama and for the excitement and for the amazing things that we can do for people,” says Dr. Richard Grazi, founder of Genesis Fertility & Reproductive Medicine in Brooklyn, New York.

Researcher Raises Ethical Concerns Over Chinese Experiment to Make Monkeys More Human

April 29, 2019

(News Corp Australian Network) – A computer scientist who is credited as a researcher on a Chinese medical experiment that saw monkey brains implanted with human genes to make them more human, has slammed the project as ethically unacceptable. Dr Martyn Styner, an associate professor at the University of North Carolina, has distanced himself from the experiment after the group of Chinese scientists who led it became the target of a medical ethics debate. Dr Styner argues the knowledge gained from messing with monkey brains in this way was not enough to go through with it.

AI Could Predict Death. But What If the Algorithm Is Biased?

April 29, 2019

(Wired) – The FDA is also looking at how AI will be used in health care and posted a call earlier this month for a regulatory framework for AI in medical care. As the conversation around artificial intelligence and medicine progresses, it is clear we must have specific oversight around the role of AI in determining and predicting death.

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