(Science) – Ever-evolving bacteria have left doctors desperate for new drugs, and a new report commissioned by the government of the United Kingdom lays out a plan for how to get them: Global governments should unite to offer multibillion dollar incentives for drug developers, and pharmaceutical companies should pool their billions in support of early-stage research. The analysis—the third in a series from a commission established by U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron and chaired by former Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill—is the most specific and prescriptive yet, laying out what it calls “a bold set of interventions” to get new drugs to market.
(Medical Xpress) – Toronto scientists and engineers have made a breakthrough in cell transplantation using a gel-like biomaterial that keeps cells alive and helps them integrate better into tissue. In two early lab trials, this has already shown to partially reverse blindness and help the brain recover from stroke. Led by University of Toronto professors Molly Shoichet and Derek van der Kooy, together with Professor Cindi Morshead, the team encased stem cells in a “hydrogel” that boosted their healing abilities when transplanted into both the eye and the brain.
(Newsweek) – A Navy nurse who refused to force-feed detainees on hunger strike at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, will not be discharged, his lawyer said Wednesday in a conference call. Instead, the Navy will reassign him to a new position at a health facility in New England. This nurse, who has never been named, spent 18 years on active duty before notifying his superiors last summer that he would no longer force-feed prisoners at Gitmo. The reason: He felt the procedure was unethical.
(Nanotechnology Now) – Researchers at Case Western Reserve University combined finely crafted nanoparticles with one of nature’s potent disrupters to prevent the spread of triple-negative breast cancer in mouse models. The highly aggressive cancer subtype is difficult to manage and, currently, the FDA has no approved targeted treatments. But striking results from a new study, published in the journal Cancer Research make the researchers optimistic they have a potential game-changer for triple negative cancer and more.
(JAMA) – In the United States, governing that interaction now comprises a labyrinthine network of myriad, complexly interrelated mechanisms. Those mechanisms can be seen to operate on 3 levels: (1) professional self-regulation through private sector organizations; (2) laws and governmental regulation; and (3) voluntary, personal commitment to self-regulate by adhering to professional standards. Underlying, and in a real sense legitimizing, all 3 of these mechanisms is medicine’s social contract with society.
(News Medical) – A study of 2,377 children with autism, their parents and siblings has revealed novel insights into the genetics of the condition. The findings were reported May 11 in Nature Genetics. By analyzing data from families with one child with autism and one or more children without the condition, the researchers collected new information on how different types of mutations affect autism risk. The genetic data was obtained from exome sequencing, which looks at only the protein-coding portions of the genome.
(Business Standard) – Israeli prosecutors today charged seven people with international organ trafficking and organizing illegal transplants, the justice ministry said. The Israeli suspects organized or performed transplants in Azerbaijan, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Kosovo, using paid local donors for Israeli recipients, it said. “The accused ran a real business in trafficking organs, on dozens of occasions over the course of years, exploiting the financial distress of he donors and the health crisis of the recipients for economic gain,” it said.
(BBC) – It would be unethical and a “sin of omission” to prevent the genetic engineering of embryos, a leading scientist has argued. Cloning pioneer Dr Tony Perry told the BBC that advances in genetics posed a “wonderful opportunity” for eliminating diseases such as cystic fibrosis. Last month, a group in China announced it was the first to successfully edit the genome of a human embryo.
Human Reproduction Update (vol. 21, no. 3, 2015) is available online by subscription only. Articles include:
- “Artificial gametes: A systematic review of biological progress towards clinical application” by Saskia Hendriks, et al.
- “Potential consequences of clinical application of artificial gametes: A systematic review of stakeholder views” by Saskia Hendriks, et al.
- “A clear and present danger: Inflammasomes DAMPing down disorders of pregnancy” by Raheela N. Khan and Daniel P. Hay
New England Journal of Medicine (vol. 372, no. 16, 2015) is available online by subscription only.
- “Social Distancing and the Unvaccinated” by Y.T. Yand and R.D. Silverman
- “Protection or harm? Suppressing substance-use data” by A.B. Frakt and N. Bagely
Bioethics (vol. 29, no. 4, 2015) is available online by subscription only.
- “Moral bioenhancement: Much ado about nothing?” by Immaculada de Melo-Martin and Arleen Salles
- “Conceptual and practical problems of moral enhancement” by Birgit Beck
- “The concept of human dignity in the ethics of genetic research” by David K. Chan
Nursing Ethics (vol. 22, no. 2, 2015) is available online by subscription only.
- “Ethics and research culture” by Ann Gallagher
- “Ethical challenges when caring for dying children” by Lovisa Furingsten, Reet Sjögren, and Maria Forsner
- “Questionable informed consent of vulnerable pregnant research participants in South India – What a staff reminder poster does not say” by Wendy A. Cook
Hastings Center Report (vol. 45, no. 2, 2015) is available online by subscription only.
- “Embodied storytellers: Disability studies and medical humanities” by Martha Stoddard Holmes
- “Why it’s not time for health care rationing” by Peter A. Ubel
- “Men and abortion decisions” by John Hardwig
Journal of Medical Ethics (vol. 41, no. 4, 2015) is available online by subscription only.
- “The right to know and genetic testing” by Mark Sheehan
- “Being good enough to prevent the worst” by Michael Hauskeller
- “Coercion and choice in parent-child live kidney donation” by Philippa Burnell, Sally-Anne Hulton, and Heather Draper
Philosophy Compass (vol. 10, no. 4, 2015) is available online by subscription only. Articles include:
- “The ethics of human enhancement” by Alberto Giubilini and Sagar Sanyal
- “The human right to health” by Nicole Hassoun
Journal of Genetic Counseling (vol. 24, no. 2, 2015) is available online by subscription only. Articles include:
- “How can psychological science inform research about genetic counseling for clinical genomic sequencing?” by Cynthia M. Khan, et al.
- “Exploring the genetic counselor’s role in facilitating meaning-making: Rare disease diagnoses” by Benjamin M. Helm
- “Informed consent form challenges for genetic research in a developing Arab country with high risk for genetic disease” by Satish Chandrasekhar Nair & Halah Ibrahim
European Journal of Public Health (vol. 25, no. 2, 2015) is available online by subscription only. Articles include:
- “The Ebola crisis: Perspectives from European public health” by Aura Timen, et al.
- “Ebola’s media outbreak: lessons for the future” by Jose Joaquin Mira, et al.
(Associated Press) – A Dutch appeals court has cleared a man of any criminal responsibility for helping his 99-year-old mother take her own life – a case that aimed to create precedents for assisting suicide in a country where euthanasia already is legal under certain circumstances.
(ABC News) – As U.S. relations with Cuba thaw, one unexpected byproduct could be the introduction of a Cuban-developed lung cancer vaccine in the U.S. Called Cimavax, an innovative vaccine that was developed to help treat lung cancer patients in Cuba, where lung cancer is one of the leading causes of death. The immunotherapy treatment could be coming to the U.S. thanks in part to the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York, which is working with Cuba’s Center for Molecular Immunology to bring the treatment to the U.S.
(Nanowerk) – In what marks a significant step forward for artificial intelligence, researchers at UC Santa Barbara have demonstrated the functionality of a simple artificial neural circuit (Nature, “Training and operation of an integrated neuromorphic network based on metal-oxide memristors”). For the first time, a circuit of about 100 artificial synapses was proved to perform a simple version of a typical human task: image classification.