Eye-Opening Picture of Fetal Immune System Emerges; Brain Cell Transplants Are Being Tested Once Again for Parkinson's; Gene-Editing Companies Hit Back at Paper That Criticizes CRISPR; Artificial Intelligence Can Now Predict Suicide with Remarkable Accuracy …
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THE BIOETHIC WEEKLY THE CENTER FOR BIOETHICS & HUMAN DIGNITY
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NEWS HIGHLIGHTS
Brain Cell Transplants Are Being Tested Once Again for Parkinson's
(NPR) — Researchers are working to revive a radical treatment for Parkinson's disease. The treatment involves transplanting healthy brain cells to replace cells killed off by the disease. It's an approach that was tried decades ago and then set aside after disappointing results. Now, groups in Europe, the U.S. and Asia are preparing to try again, using cells they believe are safer and more effective …
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US Mental-Health Agency's Push for Basic Research Has Slashed Support for Clinical Trials
(Nature) — Roy Perlis is done with clinical research. The psychiatrist at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has led about 20 clinical trials on depression and other mood disorders over the past two decades. But he has given up seeking grants from the US National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) — the world's biggest funder of mental-health research — since it began promoting a new way to investigate mental illness. The agency urges researchers to study the biological roots of disease, rather than specific disorders …
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Gene-Editing Companies Hit Back at Paper That Criticizes CRISPR
(MIT Technology Review) — Dozens of recent clinical trials contain suspicious statistical patterns that could indicate incorrect or falsified data, according to a review of thousands of papers published in leading medical journals. The study, which used statistical tools to identify anomalies hidden in the data, has prompted investigations into some of the trials identified as suspect and raises new concerns about the reliability of some papers published in medical journals …
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Artificial Intelligence Can Now Predict Suicide with Remarkable Accuracy
(Quartz) — Walsh and his colleagues have created machine-learning algorithms that predict, with unnerving accuracy, the likelihood that a patient will attempt suicide. In trials, results have been 80-90% accurate when predicting whether someone will attempt suicide within the next two years, and 92% accurate in predicting whether someone will attempt suicide within the next week …
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WHO Ranks Antibiotics in a Bid to Counter Drug Resistance
(Reuters) — The World Health Organization published a new classification of antibiotics on Tuesday that aims to fight drug resistance, with penicillin-type drugs recommended as the first line of defense and others only for use when absolutely necessary. The new "essential medicines list" includes 39 antibiotics for 21 common syndromes, categorized into three groups: "Access", "Watch" and "Reserve". …
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Eye-Opening Picture of Fetal Immune System Emerges
(Nature) — For Jerry Chan, an obstetrician and gynaecologist at the KK Women's and Children's Hospital in Singapore, understanding the fetal immune system was important for his goal of developing stem-cell treatments and gene therapies for genetic disorders in developing fetuses. Chan and his colleagues wanted to know whether there was a developmental stage at which such treatments could be given without the risk of the therapies themselves being attacked by the immune system …
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Daylight on Diabetes Drugs: Nevada Bill Would Track Insulin Maker's Profits
(Kaiser Health News) — Patients notched a rare win over the pharmaceutical industry Monday when the Nevada Legislature revived a bill requiring insulin makers to disclose the profits they make on the life-sustaining drug. In a handful of other states, bills addressing drug prices have stalled. Many of the 1.25 million Americans who live with Type 1 diabetes cheered the legislative effort in Nevada as an important first step in their fight against skyrocketing costs of a drug on which their lives depend. The cost of insulin medications has steadily risen over the past decade by nearly 300 percen …
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'Part of New Reality': Despite Confusion, Zika Warnings Are Here to Stay
(STAT News) — Zika has faded from the headlines like a mosquito's dying buzz. Puerto Rico declared its outbreak over this week. Brazil said its emergency was over in May. In the United States, summer approaches with little discussion of the virus outside public health circles. But the risk the insidious pathogen poses to a pregnancy hasn't gone away, and public health authorities are grappling with how to get the message out to pregnant women. Despite public confusion over whether Zika remains a public health threat, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to warn women who are pregnant to avoid traveling to wide swathes of Latin America and the Caribbean …
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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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