One Doctor’s War against Global Organ Trafficking; Doctor’s Records in U.S. Doping Investigation Don’t Match Patients’ Copies; Ebola Vaccine Approved for Use in Ongoing Outbreak; CRISPR Gene Editing Can Cause Hundred of Unintended Mutations …
June 2, 2017 Donate to CBHD
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CBHD's 2016 year was marked by cultivating Christian bioethics in the academy, church, and culture. Our Annual Report is now available, providing a snapshot of the Center's work in the year 2016. Read about our GBEI scholars, initiatives to equip the church, our expanding online reach, and how people like you invested in our mission.
Texas on Track to Become First State to Explicitly Back Stem Cell Therapies
(STAT News) — Lawmakers in Austin have approved a bill authorizing unapproved stem cell therapies, putting Texas on track to become the first state to explicitly recognize the experimental treatments. The measure now heads to Governor Greg Abbott, who has signaled his support for it. For years, clinics across the country have been offering experimental stem cell therapies for patients with chronic conditions or terminal illnesses, but no state has given them legal validation. Instead, clinics have largely operated under the radar of regulatory authorities, touting treatments for a range of injuries and diseases …
Ebola Vaccine Approved for Use in Ongoing Outbreak
(Nature) — Regulatory and ethics review boards in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have approved the use of an experimental Ebola vaccine to combat an ongoing outbreak of the virus, officials announced on 29 May. If they decide to deploy the vaccine, called rVSV ZEBOV, workers will offer it to those at highest risk of contracting the disease. Uncertainties over the outbreak’s magnitude mean Congolese authorities and the World Health Organization (WHO) must determine whether the small number of confirmed cases justifies the cost and logistical complexity that comes with deploying the vaccine…
‘This Is Not the End’: Using Immunotherapy and a Genetic Glitch to Give Cancer Patients Hope
(The Washington Post) — What followed is an illuminating tale of how one woman’s intersection with experimental research helped open a new frontier in cancer treatment — with approval of a drug that, for the first time, capitalizes on a genetic feature in a tumor rather than on the disease’s location in the body. The breakthrough, made official last week by the Food and Drug Administration, immediately could benefit some patients with certain kinds of advanced cancer that aren’t responding to chemotherapy. Each should be tested for that genetic signature, scientists stress…
CRISPR Gene Editing Can Cause Hundred of Unintended Mutations
(PhysOrg) — As CRISPR-Cas9 starts to move into clinical trials, a new study published in Nature Methods has found that the gene-editing technology can introduce hundreds of unintended mutations into the genome. “We feel it’s critical that the scientific community consider the potential hazards of all off-target mutations caused by CRISPR, including single nucleotide mutations and mutations in non-coding regions of the genome,” says co-author Stephen Tsang, MD, PhD, the Laszlo T. Bito Associate Professor of Ophthalmology…
When the Patient Is a Gold Mine: The Trouble with Rare-Disease Drugs
(Bloomberg) — Having to rely for profits on a small number of customers who are each potentially worth millions of dollars causes side effects of its own. For years, the sales culture at Alexion was so pressure-packed that aggressive phone calls to doctors were among its milder transgressions. Ethical lines were routinely crossed, troubling many of its workers, according to interviews with more than 20 current and former employees and more than 2,000 pages of internal documents…
Resurrected: A Controversial Trial to Bring the Dead Back to Life Plans a Restart
(STAT News) — For any given medical problem, it seems, there’s a research team trying to use stem cells to find a solution. In clinical trials to treat everything from diabetes to macular degeneration to ALS, researchers are injecting the cells in efforts to cure patients. But in one study expected to launch later this year, scientists hope to use stem cells in a new, highly controversial way — to reverse death …
One Doctor’s War against Global Organ Trafficking
(PBS Newshour) — A controversy was brewing. Delmonico, a leading voice on ethical organ transplantation, had planned a February 2017 summit in Rome for representatives of more than 40 countries to discuss the ethics of transplanting organs and to sign a pledge to uphold high standards. But there was a hitch: A key invitee to the forum was Dr. Jiefu Huang, who has led reform of China’s organ donation practices. Critics, including some in the Vatican, wanted at the summit no representatives of China, which for years sold and transplanted organs from executed prisoners…
Doctor’s Records in U.S. Doping Investigation Don’t Match Patients’ Copies
(ProPublica) — The notes document an experiment on Magness in which he was given a large infusion of the supplement L-carnitine to see if it would enhance his running performance. L-carnitine is a legal substance that helps the body convert fat to energy. According to the USADA report, the experiment violated World Anti-Doping Code infusion limits that apply both to athletes and support personnel. Magness said when he saw the copy of the notes in the report, he noticed significant differences from his own copy. The infusion notes are still there, but so are checkmarks indicating that Magness received a medical examination beyond the L-carnitine experiment…
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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