When I was a kid — which wasn’t that long ago, given that I just turned 30 in January — I recall hearing a popular phrase on the playground: “Mind your own business.” MYOB reared its head whenever somebody threatened to rat out a fellow student for anything from harmless roughhousing to juvenile delinquency. The phrase is sometimes attributed to… Read more →
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) — An independent commission led by a former U.S. surgeon general has concluded there “is no compelling medical reason” for the U.S. armed forces to prohibit transgender Americans from serving and that President Barack Obama could lift the decades-old ban without approval from Congress, according to a report being released Thursday. The report said Department of Defense… Read more →
A Jewish watchdog group in the Netherlands has reported a 23 percent rise in the number of anti-Semitic incidents in the country since 2012. The website JTA.org reports that the Centre for Information and Documentation on Israel (CIDI), recorded 147 anti-Semitic incidents in 2013, compared to 114 in 2012. The group report that verbal assaults on Jews rose from 14 to 21,… Read more →
Swedish medical team hoping for world first as women born without uterus or who lost it to cancer get embryo transfers. Four of nine women given pioneering womb transplants in Sweden have now also had embryos transferred, the pioneering Swedish doctor treating them has said. Dr Mats Brannstrom, professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at Gothenburg University, said his team had embarked on a programme… Read more →
Late Wednesday afternoon, Governor Jan Brewer vetoed the controversial Arizona bill that would have allowed small business owners to refuse service to certain customers under a claim of religious freedom. Brewer said, “Senate bill 1062 does not address a specific or present concern related to religious liberty in Arizona. I’ve not heard of one example in Arizona where business owner’s religious liberty… Read more →
France’s right-wing populist party Front National stands to make significant advances in upcoming local elections and in the European vote in May. One reason for its current success is 32-year-old chief strategist Florian Philippot. It is a cold, icy day in winter and Florian Philippot is strolling through the streets of Forbach, the town where he would like to be… Read more →
FDA to study “three-parent embryos”
On February 25 and 26 the US Food and Drug Administration will discuss the possibility of legalising three-parent embryos – or, in scientific lingo, “oocyte modification in assisted reproduction for the prevention of transmission of mitochondrial disease or treatment of infertility”.
This procedure, which involves removing the nucleus from one human egg whose cytoplasm contains defective mitochondria and placing it in an enucleated egg with healthy DNA for subsequent fertilisation, is also being debated in the UK.
The measure is strongly opposed by the Center for Genetics and Society, which is promoting an open letter to the FDA. It claims that mitochondrial transfer is unsafe, is effectively experimentation on unconsenting human subjects, and would only help a handful of women. Most importantly, it constitutes germline modification, a form of eugenics. This is a bright line which no country has ever stepped across.
We strongly believe that clinical trials … should not be permitted because of the profound safety, efficacy, policy and social problems they would pose. We question the ethics of bringing children into existence by experimental techniques that have had developmentally poor outcomes in studies using both animal and human oocytes. We are also concerned about the contravention of widespread prohibitions against human germline genetic modification that approval of clinical trials would represent, and about the possible precedent such approval could set for additional human germline modifications.
This is a copy of the full article provided by BioEdge
(Photo: Discovered on BioEdge)
With stem cell technology constantly advancing, the dream of artificial (or synthetic) gametes comes ever closer. Last September Maastricht University, in the Netherlands, hosted a conference on “Artificial Gametes: Science and Ethics” (no papers available at the moment). The creation of artificial gametes would represent the triumph of technology over the limitations of natural reproduction. Now that it seems feasible… Read more →
Usama bin Laden was a freedom fighter and the U.S. is a “neocolonial power,” according to a California state university teacher whose writings are required reading for his political science students. Emmit Evans, a political science lecturer at the public university Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, requires students in his “World Food Systems” class to read the textbook he… Read more →
Disney Channel featured its first same-sex couple Sunday night during an episode of “Good Luck Charlie.” First announced in June 2013, the episode featured lesbian mothers Susan and Cheryl, who drop off their daughter Taylor for a play date to the surprise of Charlie’s parents, played by Leigh-Allyn Baker and Eric Allan Kramer. “Taylor has two moms!” the father blurts… Read more →