Predicting autism in babies only 12 months old; no redline against CRISPR'ing early embryos; new malaria vaccine in the works; biotech will let us give our brains a makeover and more…
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REPRODUCTIVE ETHICS BIBLIOGRAPHY
Jumpstart your knowledge of reproductive ethics for our 2017 summer conference on Genetic & Reproductive Technologies by reading articles and books on our recently updated Reproductive Ethics Bibliography. It features publications by some of this year's conference speakers including, Scott D. Rae, PhD and Paige Cunningham, JD, PhD (Cand).
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Call for Papers: The Church & Family Planning
CALL FOR PAPERS: THE GLOBAL CHURCH & FAMILY PLANNING

CBHD is collaborating with The Christian Journal for Global Health on a joint publication and you have an opportunity to participate.

We are looking for papers that analyze potential connections and/or areas of concern between Christian faith and family planning and which present research on family planning provisions by faith based organizations. The deadline for submission is March 31, 2017.

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OTHER BIOETHICS EVENTS
OVERCOMING RACIAL AND ECONOMIC BARRIERS TO HEALTH & DIGNITY
Trinity Graduate School
February 21, 2017
Deerfield, IL
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CONFERENCE ON MEDICINE & RELIGION
Re-Enchanting Medicine
JW Marriott Galleria
March 24 – 26, 2017
Houston, TX
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NEWS HIGHLIGHTS
A New Method Can Predict Autism in Babies as Young as 12 Months Old
(Quartz) — In most cases, autism can’t be diagnosed until children are two years old, but sometimes signs of the condition appear earlier. Usually, babies that have otherwise progressed normally will start showing subtle changes in behavior: difficulty focusing or speaking with others, or trouble pointing at objects. The trouble is, it’s hard to definitively say whether these patterns are reason for concern. Because doctors can’t confirm a diagnosis before a child is 24 months old, parents may be left feeling anxious without answers. However, new research (paywall) led by a team of scientists at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill suggests there may be a biomarker that would enable doctors to give parents a clear answer about their child’s condition (or lack thereof) and intervene with therapies early on if necessary …
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Secrets of Life in a Spoonful of Blood
(Nature) — Until now, much of the work has relied on amniotic or placental samples obtained during routine invasive tests such as amniocentesis. But scientists are eyeing the next step: studies that are non-invasive for the fetus and are done on a teaspoonful of blood drawn from a pregnant woman’s arm. In this way, researchers could monitor fetuses as they develop and, down the line, develop non-invasive tests for a broad range of conditions, in both fetus and mother. Physicians are already moving towards treating fetuses in the womb on the basis of such diagnoses. “It’s an exciting time,” says Mark Kilby, a fetal-medicine specialist at the University of Birmingham, UK …
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New Malaria Vaccine Effective in Clinical Trial
(Science Daily) — University of Tübingen researchers in collaboration with the biotech company Sanaria Inc. have demonstrated in a clinical trial that a new vaccine for malaria called Sanaria® PfSPZ-CVac has been up to 100 percent effective when assessed at 10 weeks after last dose of vaccine. For the trial, Pro-fessor Peter Kremsner and Dr. Benjamin Mordmüller of the Institute of Tropical Medicine and the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) used malaria parasites provided by Sanaria. The vac-cine incorporated fully viable — not weakened or otherwise inactivated — malaria pathogens together with the medication to combat them. Their research results have been published in the latest edition of Nature …
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Zika Persists in Semen, but Viral Shedding Stops in Most Cases in a Few Months
(STAT News) — A new study suggests at least half of men who have been infected with Zika will emit traces of the virus in their semen, but in most cases that viral shedding stops after about three months. The research, conducted in Puerto Rico, found that 56 percent of men who had been infected had traces of virus in their semen but about half of them stopped emitting those viral traces by about a month after they first became ill. And by three months after the onset of symptoms, only 5 percent still had virus in their semen …
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Medical Journal to Retract Paper after Concerns Organs Came from Executed Prisoners
(The Guardian) — A prestigious medical journal will retract a scientific paper from Chinese surgeons about liver transplantation after serious concerns were raised that the organs used in the study had come from executed prisoners of conscience. The study was published last year in Liver International. It examined the outcomes of 564 liver transplantations performed consecutively at Zhejiang University’s First Affiliated hospital between April 2010 and October 2014 …
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No Red Line against CRISPR’ing Early Embryos, Experts Rule
(STAT News) — For more than a year, 22 of the world’s leading geneticists, bioethicists, physicians, and legal scholars have been wrestling with thorny questions posed by the revolutionary advances in scientists’ ability to edit the human genome. On Tuesday the experts, convened by the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine, released their report. One of the most noteworthy conclusions: The supposed agreement that it’s unethical to tinker with the genomes of human eggs, sperm, and early embryos — so-called “germline” editing? Not so much …
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Biotech Will Let Us Give Our Brains a Makeover–But We Risk Becoming Less Human in the Process
(Quartz) — Anyone who speaks in this manner has crossed an invisible but critically important line. They are treating human beings as if they are commodities that can be assessed, measured and exchanged. In this view, humanity becomes a kind of “platform”—akin to a piece of software or an operating system, whose performance can be boosted, built upon and manipulated at will. Personality traits become “features”; hard-earned skills and talents become “assets”; deep-seated personal struggles and failings become “liabilities.” Confronting this tendency toward the commodification of persons, and counteracting it with effective cultural strategies for “re-humanization,” will pose one of the most important moral challenges of our time …
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The Doctor’s Dilemma: Is It Ever Good to Do Harm?
(The Guardian) — Medical knowledge changes swiftly, and technological changes make new and expensive investigations and treatments possible that were only theoretical a few years ago. Life has been extended in length, but not in quality, and the debates about end?of?life decisions show us how much the notion of a “good life” is bound up with the absence of disease, illness and suffering …
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Note: News stories and events do not necessarily represent the Center’s views. For additional commentary on many of the issues they raise, please see the CBHD web site at www.cbhd.org. Please visit www.bioethics.com for daily posts on bioethics news and issues.
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