Young Human Blood Makes Old Mice Smarter; A Baby or Your Money Back: All about Fertility Clinic Package Deals; Secret Hospital Inspections May Become Public at Last; Number of Official Cases of Euthanasia Rise 10% in the Netherlands …
April 21, 2017 Donate to CBHD
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Spring Dignitas 2017
The Spring issue of Dignitas, CBHD's quarterly publication, was just released featuring articles on decision-making with the maturing child or adolescent and a commentary on organ donation and just allocation.

Access to Dignitas and other benefits are available exclusively to current CBHD members. Choose from Print, Electronic, or Student subscriptions to match your needs and budget. Become a CBHD member today.

Calum MacKellar AOF Presentation
"Being Human and Human Non-human Beings" was presented at CBHD's 2017 Academy of Fellows Consultation in February by Calum MacKellar, PhD. He is the Director of Research at the Scottish Council on Bioethics and will be a plenary speaker at our upcoming summer conference, Genetic & Reproductive Technologies, June 22-24, 2017.
CBHD is pleased to welcome Sharon Gustafson to the team of full-time staff. As Event & Executive Services Manager, Sharon will assume responsibility of the summer conference. We also wish departing Event & Education Manager Jennifer McVey a fond farewell as she transitions to a new position out of state.
Young Human Blood Makes Old Mice Smarter
(Nature) — A protein found in young human blood plasma can improve brain function in old mice. The finding, published on 19 April in Nature, is the first time a human protein has been shown to have this effect. It’s also the latest evidence that infusions of ‘young blood’ can reverse symptoms of ageing, including memory loss, decrease in muscle function and metabolism, and loss of bone structure. For decades, researchers have studied the effects of young blood on ageing in mice through a technique called parabiosis, in which an old mouse is sewn together with a younger one so that they share a circulatory system …
Secret Hospital Inspections May Become Public at Last
(Pro Publica) — The public could soon get a look at confidential reports about errors, mishaps and mix-ups in the nation’s hospitals that put patients’ health and safety at risk, under a groundbreaking proposal from federal health officials. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services wants to require that private health care accreditors publicly detail problems they find during inspections of hospitals and other medical facilities, as well as the steps being taken to fix them. Nearly nine in 10 hospitals are directly overseen by those accreditors, not the government …
A Baby or Your Money Back: All about Fertility Clinic Package Deals
(New York Times) — Welcome to the fertility casino, which frequently presents the rarest of scenarios: A commercial entity offers a potentially money-losing proposition to customers in exchange for a generous supply of in vitro fertilization procedures. People pay tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege, and when they come out with a newborn in their arms they’re often thrilled to be on the losing end financially. So who wins? The house. Doctors (and third-party companies that help manage these programs and may take on any financial risk) keep careful track of their data. So they set prices at profitable points given the odds …
‘We Didn’t Expect This’: A Historic Yellow Fever Outbreak Spreads in Brazil
(STAT News) —The virus that de Moraes caught is part of a broader outbreak that has taken authorities here by surprise. Although Brazil experiences what is known as a “sylvatic” cycle of yellow fever — in which the virus is spread between mosquitoes and monkeys in the jungle — the current outbreak has fanned far beyond the Amazon jungle and out to the coast. It has confounded specialists, doctors, and health officials, and raised fears of an epidemic in Brazil’s urban areas that could be devastating if not quickly contained. It is the worst outbreak of yellow fever in this country in recent memory …
Miniature Liver on a Chip Could Boost US Food Safety
(Nature) — The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has started testing whether livers-on-a-chip — miniature models of human organs engineered to mimic biological functions — can reliably model human reactions to food and food-borne illnesses. The experiments will help the agency to determine whether companies can substitute chip data for animal data when applying for the approval of a new compound, such as a food additive, that could prove toxic …
A New CRISPR Breakthrough Could Lead to Simpler, Cheaper Disease Diagnosis
(The Washington Post) — On Thursday, Feng Zhang, one of the pioneers of CRISPR, and 18 colleagues published a paper in the journal Science showing how they had turned this system into an inexpensive, reliable diagnostic tool for detecting nucleic acids — molecules present in an organism’s genetic code — from disease-causing pathogens. The new tool could be widely applied to detect not only viral and bacterial diseases but also potentially for finding cancer-causing mutations …
Number of Official Cases of Euthanasia Rise 10% in the Netherlands
(Dutch News) — The number of official cases of euthanasia in the Netherlands rose 10% last year to 6091 and euthanasia now accounts for 4% of total deaths, the regional monitoring boards said on Wednesday. In 10 cases, the rules for euthanasia were not followed correctly, most of which involved a failure to properly consult a second doctor, the RTE annual report said. In one case, a doctor was reprimanded for ‘crossing the line’ with a patient suffering from severe dementia …
Yemen’s Worsening Humanitarian Crisis
(The Economist) — After two years of war, a quarter of Yemen’s 28m people are on the brink of starvation. Attention is now turning to Hodeida (pictured), the country’s biggest port, through which the majority of food passes, especially to the rebel-held north where the bulk of the population lives. A military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and backed by Western nations, which sides with the president, Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, is finalising plans to invade and take the port …
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 Please visit for daily posts on bioethics news and issues.
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