Boston University Researchers Will Study Hernandez’s Brain; Prenatal Screening for Downs Syndrome Seen as ‘Routine Procedure’; How Faith Communities View Different Fertility Treatments; Diamond Dishes Could Boost IVF Success Rates …
April 28, 2017 Donate to CBHD
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Call for Papers: The Church & Family Planning
The deadline to submit a paper for CBHD's joint publication with The Christian Journal for Global Health is fast-approaching. Papers that analyze potential connections and/or areas of concern between Christian faith and family planning are due April 30, 2017.
Plenary Speaker Dr. Gayle E. Woloschak
Plenary speaker for the upcoming summer conference, Dr. Gayle E. Woloschak, is Professor of Radiation Oncology, Radiology, and Cell and Molecular Biology at Northwestern University. She is a member of the US delegation to the United Nations Scientific Committee and is adjunct faculty at two seminaries. Learn more about Dr. Woloschak and how to register for the conference here:
Cheap Blood Drug Could Prevent Thousands of Maternal Deaths in Developing World
(Reuters) — A cheap and widely available drug could save the lives of one in three of the 100,000 new mothers who bleed to death after childbirth every year, mostly in poorer countries, according to the first study of its use in postpartum haemorrhage. In a trial of 20,000 women, researchers found that the drug, called tranexamic acid or TXA, cut the number of deaths due to post-partum bleeding by 31 percent if given within three hours. The treatment costs about $2.50 in most countries, they said …
The Problems of Family Planning in Nigeria
(The Economist) — Even outside those areas, contraception is controversial. Boko Haram’s ideology didn’t spring from nowhere. Many Nigerian Muslims believe that pills and condoms are part of a Western plot to stop Muslims from multiplying. And in poor, rural areas, centuries of experience have taught people that having lots of children makes economic sense. They can be put to work in the fields, they will provide for their parents in old age and, given high rates of infant mortality, if you don’t have several you may end up with none …
The Survivors: How An Experimental Treatment Saved Patients and Changed Medicine
(STAT News) — This is a story of survivors — of patients who were expected to die more than two decades ago but didn’t. It was the summer of 1998, and Dr. Brian J. Druker was a few months into Phase 1, first-in-human trials of a promising compound that would later be known as Gleevec. Druker, a researcher at Oregon Health and Science University, knew from lab studies that the drug could disable a gene that controls certain leukemia cells, while leaving healthy cells intact. But he didn’t have answers to a lot of other questions, including what dose would be beneficial …
Prenatal Screening for Downs Syndrome Seen as ‘Routine Procedure’
(Medical Xpress) — Optional prenatal screening for Down’s syndrome has become a ‘normal’ part of pregnancy, with consequences for women and their partners, according to new research by Cardiff University. In a study of healthcare professionals involved in Down’s syndrome screening in the UK, Dr Gareth Thomas of the University’s School of Social Sciences shows how screening for the condition has become an expected pit-stop on the pregnancy journey. Through the language used by both professionals and expectant parents during consultations, to the exclusive framing of ultrasound scans as a means to ‘meet the baby’, and subtle but clear messages that produce a negative portrayal of disability, the opt-in procedure has become routine …
Babies Floating in Fluid-Filled Bags
(The Atlantic — But within a decade or so, babies born between 23 and 25 weeks might not be thrust into the harsh outside world at all. Instead, they may be immediately plunged into a special bag filled with lab-made amniotic fluid, designed to help them gestate for another month inside an artificial womb. That is, if a new technology that has been successfully tested on lambs is found to work on humans …
How Faith Communities View Different Fertility Treatments
(USA Today) — Increasing fertility options for couples who can’t naturally conceive trigger questions about ethics. About a third of American adults say in vitro fertilization is morally acceptable, according to a Pew Research study. The conditions around IVF, mainly if donor sperm or eggs are used, can ignite debates, especially in faith circles. Many faith leaders cite beliefs about the purpose of sex, when life begins and the union of marriage, saying fertility options go against or blur the lines of morality …
Diamond Dishes Could Boost IVF Success Rates
(Science) — For women looking to become pregnant through in vitro fertilization (IVF), a diamond petri dish could be a girl’s best friend. That’s one conclusion from a new study, which finds that human sperm cells live longer and move more efficiently on diamond surfaces compared with traditional polystyrene petri dishes. The researchers also discovered that shining a red light on the sperm cells improved their performance. Combining these techniques might significantly increase the chances of IVF success …
Boston University Researchers Will Study Hernandez’s Brain
(Associated Press) — Boston University researchers will study Aaron Hernandez’s brain to determine if the former NFL star suffered from the same degenerative brain disease as Hall of Famer Junior Seau and former Bears defensive back Dave Duerson, who also took their own lives. Hernandez hanged himself in prison early Wednesday, days after winning an acquittal in a 2012 double homicide case. He was already serving a life term in a 2013 killing …
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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