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Novavax’s Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise in Early-Stage Trial

July 21, 2015

(Reuters) – Novavax Inc said its experimental Ebola vaccine induced a substantial immune response to the deadly infection in an early-stage trial involving 230 healthy adults. The Ebola GP Vaccine was well tolerated and elicited very high Ebola antibody responses at all dose levels, the company said.

Second Planned Parenthood Video Surfaces Showing Alleged Selling of Fetal Tissue

July 21, 2015

(CNN) – An anti-abortion group says a second under cover video proves that Planned Parenthood is selling the body parts of aborted fetuses, a practice that is illegal and that the group denies doing. The Center for Medical Progress, an anti-abortion group, released both edited and unedited videos last week of a Planned Parenthood executive discussing money related to aborted fetus organs and tissues.

Women at Greater Risk from Dementia than Men

July 21, 2015

(The Telegraph) – Women may be at greater risk from dementia than men after a new study suggested that they decline mentally at a far faster rate. Women suffering from mild cognitive impairment, which is a forerunner to dementia, appear to go downhill at twice the rate as men, US scientists have found. Researchers also discovered that women are far more susceptible to developing dementia in the first place.

Bionic Eye Implant World’s First

July 21, 2015

(BBC) – Surgeons in Manchester have performed the first bionic eye implant in a patient with the most common cause of sight loss in the developed world. Ray Flynn, 80, has dry age-related macular degeneration which has led to the total loss of his central vision. He is using a retinal implant which converts video images from a miniature video camera worn on his glasses.

Liver Regrows after Stem Cell Transplant

July 21, 2015

(UPI) – Researchers restored function to livers in mice by using stem cell transplants to regenerate them, the first time such a procedure has been done in a living animal. If human liver stem cells behave the same way as mice cells did in the study, published in Cell Biology, the procedure could one day be used in place of liver transplants.

New Stem Cell Therapy Counters the Effects of Osteoporosis in Mice

July 21, 2015

(Medical Xpress) – One promising area for accomplishing this is in cell therapy. A collaborative study by Wanqiu Chen, David J. Baylink, Justin Brier-Jones, Amanda Neises, Jason B. Kiroyan, Charles H. Rundle, Kin-Hing William Lau, and Xiao-Bing Zhang of Loma Linda University and Jerry L. Pettis Memorial VA Medical Center has built on their prior work with genetically modified hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) to identify and optimize a growth factor that caused a 45% increase in bone strength in mouse models. Their work is reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

US Tailor-Medicine Project Aims for Ethnic Balance

July 21, 2015

(Nature) – The clock is ticking for experts charged with designing a US government programme to collect genetic, physiological and other health data from one million volunteers over the next two decades. The plan for the US$215-million Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI), announced in January, is due in the next few weeks — a daunting deadline, in part because the effort’s priorities include filling racial and socio-economic gaps left by other long-term studies.

“I’d Rather Be Dead': Euthanasia Inquiry to Examine Melbourne Woman’s Plea to Die

July 21, 2015

(ABC.net) – The cross-party committee will investigate whether state legislation adequately allows people to make informed choices about how they manage the end of their lives. Inquiry chair, Liberal MP Edward O’Donohoe, said the committee would examine everything from palliative care to voluntary euthanasia.

How Exactly Fetal Tissue Is Used for Medicine

July 21, 2015

(CNN) – Fetal tissue has been used since the 1930s for vaccine development, and more recently to help advance stem cell research and treatments for degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease. Researchers typically take tissue samples from a fetus that has been aborted (under conditions permitted by law) and grow cells from the tissue in Petri dishes. Many of the uses of fetal tissue — and much of the debate — are not new. “It’s just that the public is finding out about it,” said Insoo Hyun, associate professor of bioethics at Case Western Reserve University.

As Assisted Suicide Laws Spread, Cancer Survivors, Disabled Object

July 21, 2015

(News Observer) – Peg Sandeen, executive director of the Death with Dignity National Center, said that those in favor of death with dignity laws support the merits of palliative care. The center has not found evidence of a “slippery slope” argument, which claims that legalizing physician-assisted suicide will lead to more extreme types of end-of-life care, including euthanasia. Disability advocates, however, have questioned whether physician-assisted suicide is an issue that can, and should, be legislated at all.

Haiti’s Cervical Cancer Epidemic

July 20, 2015

(Newsweek) – By some counts, Haiti has the highest incidence of cervical cancer in the world. It kills nearly as many women there as all other cancers combined. Meanwhile, in North America it’s responsible for less than 3 percent of female cancer deaths. Worldwide, more than half a million women developed cervical cancer in 2012, and more than half of them died. Eighty-five percent of those cases occurred in the developing world.

Stem Cells Have More Reserves for DNA Replication

July 20, 2015

(Yale News) – In cell division, nothing is as important as the precise replication of billions of genetic letters that make up DNA. Since this genomic integrity is so fundamental to survival, scientists had assumed that replication mechanisms operate the same way in all cells, which depend in part on molecular reserves called dormant origins.   However, stem cells — which give rise to many different cell types — have more of these reserves at hand that help them deal with the ill effects of stress, reported Yale researchers on July 16 in the journal Stem Cell Reports.

Moms of Surrogate Babies Can Get Maternity Leave: HC

July 20, 2015

(Times of India) – In a landmark verdict the Delhi high court on Friday ruled that surrogate mothers who have children through surrogacy are entitled to maternity leave which includes pre- and post-natal period. Justice Rajiv Shakdher’s judgment came on the plea of a central government female employee who became mother of twins by way of surrogacy pregnancy but was denied 180-day maternity leave on the ground she wasn’t the biological mother.

Overwhelming Majority of U.S. Women Don’t Regret Abortion: Study

July 20, 2015

(Reuters) – More than 95 percent of women surveyed in a new U.S. study said they didn’t regret having an abortion and felt that the procedure was the right decision for them. Researchers at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine followed more than 600 women who underwent the procedure from 30 medical facilities over a three year period and regularly assessed how they felt about the choice they made.

Imaging Glucose Uptake Activity inside Single Cells

July 20, 2015

(Nanowerk) – Researchers at Columbia University have reported a new approach to visualize glucose uptake activity in single living cells by light microscopy with minimum disturbance. In a recent study published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition (“Vibrational Imaging of Glucose Uptake Activity in Live Cells and Tissues by Stimulated Raman Scattering”), Associate Professor of Chemistry Wei Min’s team developed a new glucose analogue that can mimic the natural glucose, and imaged its uptake as energy source by living cancer cells, neurons and tissues at the single cell level.

Woman in Frozen Embryo Case: ‘I Want My Embryos. I Want My Baby.’

July 20, 2015

(Los Angeles Times) – A woman fighting her former husband for custody of their frozen embryos called them “priceless” during testimony Thursday, declaring they were “my last chance to have my own baby.” Dr. Mimi Lee, 46, an anesthesiologist, and Stephen Findley, 45, an executive with an investment firm, divorced in April but remain in court fighting over custody of five frozen embryos they made in 2010 after Lee was diagnosed with breast cancer.

E.U. Body Urges Psyche Tests for Pilots after Germanwings Crash

July 20, 2015

(Fortune) – In the wake of the Germanwings disaster, all airline pilots should undergo psychological screening and allow details of medical visits to be shared in a proposed European database, according to new recommendations delivered to E.U. officials. A task force of experts led by Europe’s aviation safety regulator also called for the introduction of random drugs and alcohol testing of pilots and better oversight of the doctors responsible for their regular medical checks.

The International Baby Business

July 20, 2015

(The Weekly Standard) – As a lesbian feminist, I campaigned for years for gays and lesbians to be allowed to adopt children, not only because of our human right to have families but also because of the need to give secure, loving homes to vulnerable children. Now the rise of IVF surrogate parenthood is in danger of making the acceptance of gay adoption look like a hollow success. Baby farming has become a significant international business.

Congress Pushes NIH to Spur Breakthroughs Through Prizes

July 20, 2015

(Science) – As U.S. lawmakers search for ways to incentivize medical breakthroughs, some appear to have their eyes on the prize. A provision in a new biomedical innovation bill passed last week in the House of Representatives would create a new program to launch prize competitions at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Some federal agencies have been offering prizes for years, and the 2010 America COMPETES Act officially authorized them to do so.

The Double Mastectomy Rebellion

July 17, 2015

(The Wall Street Journal) – Researchers have tracked sharp increases in double mastectomies, even among women at low risk for cancer to develop in the other breast and for whom the radical procedure offers no additional survival benefits. Doctors call it a profound shift in the prevailing medical culture and some have begun to question whether the field should reconsider performing what amounts to an amputation with little evidence to support its efficacy.

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