Saturday, May 25, 2013

Bioethics News This Week


The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity reports these news stories for the week:

Studies cast doubt on cancer drug as Alzheimer’s treatment
Four independent research groups report that they failed to fully replicate the striking results published in a journal last year supporting the hypothesis that Bexarotene, a cancer drug, has potential to treat  Alzheimer’s disease.  (Scientific American)

California puts tentative price on health policies under new law
California announced Thursday that 13 insurers had been chosen to sell policies through the insurance marketplace— or exchange. (New York Times)

Mom technically dead, gives birth. 
Three-month-old Elayna Nigrelli has redefined what it means to be a miracle baby. She was born while her mother was technically dead. The mom was later revived, and now both mother and child are fine. (CNN)

A medical first: Doctors save Ohio boy by ‘laser-printing’ an airway tube so he can breathe
Sounds like something out of speculative fiction, huh? Doctors have apparently used plastic particles and a 3-D laser printer to create an airway splint to save the life of a baby boy who used to stop breathing nearly every day. It’s the latest advance from the booming field of regenerative medicine, making body parts in the lab. (AP)

Stem-cell cloner acknowledges errors in groundbreaking paper
A blockbuster paper that reported the creation of human stem cell lines via cloning has come under fire. An anonymous online commenter found four problems in the paper, which was published online 15 May in the journal Cell. (Nature)



Stem-cell treatment restores sight to blind man
 An experimental stem-cell treatment has restored the sight of a man blinded by the degeneration of his retinal cells. The man, who is taking part in a trial examining the safety of using human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) to reverse two common causes of blindness, can now see well enough to be allowed to drive. (New Scientist)

Vermont becomes third US state to legalize assisted suicide
The Democratic Governor of Vermont signed into law a bill that lawmakers adopted last week. Vermont follows Oregon and Washington in legalizing assisted suicide. (AFP)

South America contraception up to 79%, middle Africa 19%
The poorest countries in the world lag behind developing countries in meeting the demand for modern contraception, U.S. researchers say. (UPI)

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