Scientists uncover how Zika causes microcephaly; organoids-the future of medical research; public say in allowing modification of germline genetic code; donating medical data when you die 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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Why One Nurse Comes to the CBHD Conference
CBHD SUMMER CONFERENCE

There are many reasons to attend CBHD's summer conference. One nurse comes each year because it gives her access to some of the leading Christian thinkers in bioethics. Join us June 22-24 at this year's conference, Genetic & Reproductive Technologies, and discover your own reason! Register by April 1st to take advantage of early bird pricing.

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OTHER BIOETHICS EVENTS
BIOETHICS IN THE CHURCH TODAY
Trinity Graduate School
March 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
Organoids–the Future of Medical Research
(The Conversation) — Most of the research behind new medical advances is carried out using either animal tissues or cancer cells. Both tools have their problems: results from animals and humans do not always match up and cancer cells grown for years in laboratories often do not mimic the tissues they originally came from very well. Bridging the gap between whole animals and simple cells can be a challenge during the development of new treatments, but this is beginning to change since scientists have learned how to grow organoids …
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Should We Die?
(The Atlantic) — The billionaire technologists’ obsession with living forever can approach a sort of parody. Oracle’s Ellison once said, “Death makes me very angry”—suggesting this pillar of nature is just another consumer pain-point to be relieved with an app. But let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that it can be. Let’s say human lives will soon get radically longer—or even become unending. The billionaires will get their way, and death will become optional. If we really are on the doorstep of radical longevity, it’s worth considering how it will change human society. With no deadline, will we still be motivated to finish things? …
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The Public Should Have a Say in Allowing Modification of Our Germline Genetic Code
(Scientific American) — The report suggests limitations on genetic engineering to the heritable “germline” code of embryos, or even earlier upstream in the process, sperm and ovum, which convey information passed on to subsequent generations. However, the report appears to exclude the public from participation and concludes that “clinical trials using heritable germline genome editing should be permitted.” They should not—not without public discussion and a more conscious evaluation of how this impacts social standing, stigma and identity, ethics that scientists often tend to cite pro forma and then swiftly scuttle …
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Scientists Uncover How Zika Virus Causes Microcephaly
(Medical Xpress) — The researchers established a method of investigating how Zika alters the production, survival and maturation of brain stem cells using cells donated from three human fetal brains. They focused on the impact of the Asian lineage Zika virus that was involved in the first outbreak in North America in late 2015. “We discovered that the Asian lineage Zika virus halted the proliferation of brain stem cells and hindered their ability to develop into brain nerve cells,” said Ping Wu, senior author on the study and UTMB professor in the Department of Neuroscience & Cell Biology …
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Gene Editing, Clones and the Science of Making Babies
(The Economist) — Such methods separate sexual intercourse from reproduction. Most of them bring the possibility of choosing which embryo will live, and which will die. At first they can seem bewildering—disgusting, even. But one thing experience has shown is that, in this area, disgust is not a good guide to policy. AID was treated by at least one American court as a species of adultery and its progeny deemed illegitimate in the eyes of the law. IVF led to anguish among some theologians about whether “test-tube” babies would have souls …
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Law Ignored, Patients at Risk
(STAT News) — Stanford University, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and other prestigious medical research institutions have flagrantly violated a federal law requiring public reporting of study results, depriving patients and doctors of complete data to gauge the safety and benefits of treatments, a STAT investigation has found. The violations have left gaping holes in a federal database used by millions of patients, their relatives, and medical professionals, often to compare the effectiveness and side effects of treatments for deadly diseases such as advanced breast cancer …
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Why You Should Donate Your Medical Data When You Die
(Scientific American) — But organs aren’t the only thing that you can donate once you’re dead. What about donating your medical data? Data might not seem important in the way that organs are. People need organs just to stay alive, or to avoid being on dialysis for several hours a day. But medical data are also very valuable—even if they are not going to save someone’s life immediately. Why? Because medical research cannot take place without medical data, and the sad fact is that most people’s medical data are inaccessible for research once they are dead …
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China Bans Carfentanil, Possible ‘Game-Changer’ in US Opioid Epidemic
(STAT News) — So deadly it’s considered a terrorist threat, carfentanil has been legal in China — until now. Beijing is banning carfentanil and three similar drugs as of March 1, China’s Ministry of Public Security said Thursday, closing a major regulatory loophole in the fight to end America’s opioid epidemic. “It shows China’s attitude as a responsible big country,” Yu Haibin, the director of the Office of the National Narcotics Control Committee, told the Associated Press. “It will be a strong deterrent.” He added that China is actively considering other substances for sanction, including U-47700, an opioid marketed as an alternative to banned fentanyls. China said the March 1 ban will also apply to carfentanil’s less-potent cousins furanyl fentanyl, acryl fentanyl, and valeryl fentanyl …
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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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