Friday, October 19, 2012

Bioethics News

From the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity

Featured Resource

This week we present a talk given by CBHD's Executive Director, Paige C. Cunningham, JD, at The Family Research Council onMarkets and Consumers: The Commodification of Women and Girls. The talk was a part of FRC's lecture series and the Witherspoon Lecture for 2012.

CBHD Academy of Fellows Consultation

Should we be able to create synthetic sperm and eggs for reproductive purposes? Will children born from such procedures be at elevated risk for biological and/or sociological problems?
Explore cutting-edge ethical and theological questions surrounding the development of novel procedures in the artificial creation of human gametes.

Saturday, November 3rd, 2012
10am to 5:30pm
Trinity International University
Kantzer Hall - KANT 141

Admission is free but registration is required

News Highlights

Uruguay senate approves first-trimester abortions
Uruguay’s Senate approved a bill on Wednesday that allows women to have abortions during the first trimester of pregnancy for any reason, opening the way for one of the most sweeping abortion rights laws in Latin America. (New York Times)

Over my dead body
Helping the terminally ill to die, once taboo, is gaining acceptance. (The Economist)

Synthetic biology raises playing God fears
Is it safe to let humans play God and create new organisms - animals and plants - that have never existed in Mother Nature? The ongoing UN Convention on Biodiversity here [Hyderabad] is going to address this question on Friday evening, when it decides if countries need to put their heads together to study the new field of synthetic biology. (Times of India)

California enacts landmark legislation giving same sex parents via surrogacy equal parenting rights
California has taken the unprecedented step of changing the legal definition of “intended parent” to be “an individual, married or unmarried,” making it legislatively illegal to discriminate against same sex parents both before and after their children are born from surrogacy arrangements. (Sacramento Bee)

Blood or bone marrow better for stem cell transplants?
Study found no survival differences, but blood cells may be associated with more chronic side effects.
(U.S. News and World Report)

Stem cells from cadavers? Pluripotent stem cells can be derived from dead bodies, research shows
Death will come for us all one day, but life will not fade from our bodies all at once. After our lungs stop breathing, our hearts stop beating, our minds stop racing, our bodies cool, and long after our vital signs cease, little pockets of cells can live for days, even weeks. Now scientists have harvested such cells from the scalps and brain linings of human corpses and reprogrammed them into stem cells. (Huffington Post)

Shinya Yamanaka interview: 2012 Nobel Prize winner on stem-cells, ethics and the future of medicine
In a conversation with Technology Academy Finland (TAF) at the time of his winning the Millennium Technology Prize earlier this year, and published today exclusively by the Huffington Post, Shinya Yamanaka said a future in which medical drugs are made to order is closer than ever. (Huffington Post)

Should we ration end-of-life care?
A panel debated the pros and cons of both sides in the latest edition of Intelligence Squared U.S. They faced off two against two in an Oxford-style debate on the motion “Ration End-of-Life Care.” (NPR)

Claims of first human stem cell trial unravels
It has been a crazy week for stem cell research. After the high of a Nobel prize for Japan’s Shinya Yamanaka, the pioneer of cellular reprogramming, events took an alarming and surreal turn when a little-known compatriot – Hisashi Moriguchi – claimed to have already run a clinical trial in which similarly reprogrammed cells were injected into people. (New Scientist)

Tracking a killer: Cell phones aid a pioneering malaria study in Kenya
A pioneering study into malaria transmission in Kenya, using data gleaned from the cell phones of nearly 15 million people, has given scientists new clues into how the deadly disease spreads. (CNN)

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