Success in the 3-D Bioprinting of Cartilage; New Policy to Ban Pregnancies with Genetically Modified Embryos; Organ Trafficking ‘Booming’ in Lebanon as Desperate Syrians Sell Kidneys, Eyes: BBC; A Better Way to Care for the Dying …
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Intersections: A Forum for Christian Life in our MedTech age
INTERSECTIONS: A FORUM FOR THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IN OUR MEDTECH AGE

Intersections was launched with the purpose of drawing attention to issues and conversations that are happening in our congregations as well as in society at large. In the latest forum post, Joni Eareckson Tada explores why we need God in our suffering. Keep up to date with Intersections by signing up for the newsletter, rss feed, or following @EDBioethics on Twitter.

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Academy of Fellows 2017: Daniel Treier, PhD
ACADEMY OF FELLOWS PRESENTATION
Video footage from this year’s 6th annual Academy of Fellows Consultation is now available. This video features Daniel Treier, PhD, on "The Limits of Being Human: An Evangelical Account of Our Finitude." Other lectures from Dennis Hollinger, PhD, Brent Waters, PhD, and Calum MacKellar, PhD, among others, are also available.  
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NEWS HIGHLIGHTS
Party Drug’s Power to Fight Depression Puzzles Scientists
(Nature) — The anaesthetic ketamine — a hallucinogenic club drug also known as Special K — has tantalized researchers who are seeking new ways to treat depression. The drug can lift a person’s mood in hours, even when depression is severe. But several ‘ketamine-like’ medications have failed to alleviate depression in clinical trials over the past decade. Now, some researchers think they know why. Emerging evidence suggests that scientists have misunderstood how ketamine fights depression. So they might have attempted to mimic the wrong biological mechanism when designing drugs to improve mood while avoiding the disorienting ketamine high …
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With Drug Reps Kept at Bay, Doctors Prescribe More Judiciously
(Pro Publica) — When teaching hospitals put pharmaceutical sales representatives on a shorter leash, their doctors tended to order fewer promoted brand-name drugs and used more generic versions instead, a study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows. The results were significant compared to doctors who did not work at hospitals that limited sales reps from freely walking their halls or providing meals or gifts, according to research by Ian Larkin, an assistant professor of strategy at the University of California, Los Angeles Anderson School of Management, and colleagues …
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China Is Racing Ahead of the US in the Quest to Cure Cancer with CRISPR
(Gizmodo) — On Friday, a team of Chinese scientists used the cutting-edge gene-editing technique CRISPR-Cas9 on humans for the second time in history, injecting a cancer patient with modified human genes in hopes of vanquishing the disease. In the US, the first planned trials to use CRISPR in people still have not gotten under way. But in China, things appear to be moving relatively quickly …
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Success in the 3-D Bioprinting of Cartilage
(Science Daily) — A team of researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy has managed to generate cartilage tissue by printing stem cells using a 3D-bioprinter. The fact that the stem cells survived being printed in this manner is a success in itself. In addition, the research team was able to influence the cells to multiply and differentiate to form chondrocytes (cartilage cells) in the printed structure …
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New Policy to Ban Pregnancies with Genetically Modified Embryos
(The Japan News) — The government plans to drastically revise its basic policy on conducting research on human embryos, in an effort to implement state-led regulations on such research, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned. Aiming to meet the challenges posed by new technologies such as genome editing (see below) — a technology that efficiently alters genes — the government is considering limiting human embryo modification through genome editing to basic research, and prohibiting both the implantation of embryos with altered genes in a uterus and the live births of such embryos …
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Cancer-Causing DNA Is Found in Some Stem Cells Being Used in Patients
(STAT News) — Some human stem cells growing in labs that researchers have used in experiments to treat serious diseases contain serious cancer-causing mutations, scientists reported on Wednesday. The discovery raised alarms that patients could be treated for one disease, such as macular degeneration, only to develop another, cancer. Harvard scientists obtained samples of most of the human embryonic stem cell lines registered with the National Institutes of Health for use in both basic research and in developing therapies for patients with diseases including diabetes, Parkinson’s, and macular degeneration …
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Organ Trafficking ‘Booming’ in Lebanon as Desperate Syrians Sell Kidneys, Eyes: BBC
(Reuters) — Trade in illegal organs is a booming business in Lebanon as desperate Syrian refugees resort to selling body parts to support themselves and their families, according to an investigation by the BBC. A trafficker who brokers deals from a coffee shop in Beirut, identified as Abu Jaafar, said while he knew his “booming” business was illegal, he saw it as helping people in need. He spoke to the BBC journalist Alex Forsyth from his base in a dilapidated building covered by a plastic tarpaulin in a southern Beirut suburb …
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A Better Way to Care for the Dying
(The Economist) — Many deaths are preceded by a surge of treatment, often pointless. A survey of doctors in Japan found that 90% expected that patients with tubes inserted into their windpipes would never recover. Yet a fifth of patients who die in the country’s hospitals have been intubated. An eighth of Americans with terminal cancer receive chemotherapy in their final fortnight, despite it offering no benefit at such a late stage. Nearly a third of elderly Americans undergo surgery during their final year; 8% do so in their last week …
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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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