Bioethics

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First American human clone created

First American human clone created

Wesley Smith questions the claim that cloning technology will not be used for reproduction. For the first time, American scientists successfully cloned humans. Four embryo clones were permitted to develop into blastocysts before being harvested for their stem cells. The findings of the scientists led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov, a reproductive biology specialist at the Oregon Health and ... (Continue reading)

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Nobel prize for ‘ethical’ alternative to embryonic stem cells

The man who discovered induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) has received the 2012 Nobel Prize for medicine. Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, a researcher from Kyoto University, developed a new process in 2006 that used four genes to reprogram skin cells in mice to behave like embryonic stem cells, which are pluripotent and thus capable of developing into any cell of the human body. In November 2007, Yamanaka and his team were able to create human iPSCs. Yamanaka and the co-recipient, John B. ... (Continue reading)

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Ottawa files argument in euthanasia appeal

Ottawa files argument in euthanasia appeal

Justice Lynn Smith The federal government has come out strongly against assisted suicide in an appeal against a British Columbia judgment declaring the ban to be unconstitutional. On Oct. 26, it filed its legal argument with the B.C. Court of Appeal, claiming that assisted suicide is prohibited in order to protect the most vulnerable members of society who might otherwise be coerced into ending their lives. The purpose of the Criminal Code, ... (Continue reading)

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Problems with “embryo-like” stem cells

Toronto scientists at Mount Sinai Hospital have discovered problems in using reprogrammed stem cells for personalized organ repair. “It looks like the reprogramming process which creates (embryonic-like) stem cells from skin cells is creating damage or mutations,” said Andras Nagy, one of the lead authors of the study published in the journal Nature. These cells, known as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells), were found by researchers to have three times as many genetic mutations as embryonic stem cells. In ... (Continue reading)

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Genetically selected embryo to save siblings

Interim Staff On Feb. 7, doctors in France announced that the country’s first “saviour sibling” was born. Popularly termed a “bébé-médicament” (medicine baby), a saviour sibling is conceived through in-vitro fertilization and screened to ensure its cells could be used to treat a brother or sister with a genetic disorder. Umut-Talha (“our hope” in Turkish) was born on Jan. 26 in good health at Antoine Beclere Hospital in Clamart, a Parisian suburb. His embryo was selected so that it was not a ... (Continue reading)

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Supreme Court rules against federal fertility law

By as split 4-4-1 advisory decision, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld a 2008 Quebec Court of Appeal decision that found some of the federal Assisted Human Reproduction Act intruded on province’s jurisdiction over health. Pro-life and faith groups condemned the decision because it gave provinces control of the creation, destruction and manipulation of human embryos. The Supreme Court upheld in part the Quebec government’s constitutional challenge against the 2004 Assisted Human Reproduction Act (AHRA), ruling that key sections intrude on ... (Continue reading)

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Pro-lifers worry about pre-natal genetic screening

Pro-lifers worry about pre-natal genetic screening

An inexpensive genetic test has been developed that can detect 448 genetic childhood diseases.  The makers of the test are hoping to expand this to 580 conditions within the next six months and the Beyond Batten Disease Foundation, which funded the National Center for Genome Resources research hopes that the new universal screening process will be available commercially within a few years. Presented in the January issue of the journal Science Translational Medicine, ... (Continue reading)

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Embryo-free stem cell breakthrough

Some scientists still want ESCR A faster and more efficient way of deriving stem cells from ordinary skin cells has been discovered, announced scientists in Boston on Sept. 30, who said their discovery will revolutionize an already-booming field of medical advances through adult stem cells. Meanwhile, stem cells derived from human embryos cannot claim even one success in human treatment. A technique that develops ordinary cells into stem cells, or induced pluripotent stem (IPS) cells, was created four years ago; ... (Continue reading)

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Cautious acceptance for scientists who create synthetic life

The creation of the world’s first self-replicating synthetic bacterial cell has been greeted with optimism and controversy. Scientists at the J. Craig Venter Institute, a genome research organization, announced their accomplishment on May 20. The team was able to construct the 1.08 million base pair chromosome of a modified Mycoplasma mycoides cell using the digitized genome of M. mycoides and chemically synthesizing cassettes of DNA that were assembled and grown in yeast cells. The genome was then transplanted into Mycoplasma ... (Continue reading)

Obama’s stem cell policy

National Affairs correspondent Rory Leishman points out yet another shocking disregard for human life on the part of the Obama administration. (Continue reading)

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Toronto researchers may have found ethical alternative to ESCR

Toronto researchers may have found ethical alternative to ESCR

The very real possibility of an immanent ethical stem cell breakthrough has many researchers in the US and Canada excited. (Continue reading)

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The audacity of stem cell hype

The audacity of stem cell hype

The Interim editor Paul Tuns takes a look at Obama’s recent anti-life decisions regarding embryonic stem cell research. (Continue reading)

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We should be chanting, ‘Save our sanity’

Donald DeMarco emphasizes the importance of distinguishing what is real and what is nonsense regarding the politicized issues of the day. (Continue reading)

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Church clarifies issues of IVF and frozen embryos

Church clarifies issues of IVF and frozen embryos

Editor's Note: The Interim is publishing excerpts from Dignitatis Personae: On Certain Bioethical Questions, the Vatican's new instruction on bioethics. The instruction, released Dec. 12 by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is considered the most significant document treating biomedical issues in over 20 years, updating Donum Vitae, addressing the scientific advances of the past two decades. The excerpts we are publishing relate to the issue of in-vitro fertilization and the status of frozen embryos, but Dignitatis Personae ... (Continue reading)

Miracles still happen

Does God still talk to man with signs and wonders? Or did He stop communicating with his children 2,000 years ago? Are miracles a thing of the past, or are they taking place as often and potently as each plea is voiced? It appears as though God is still in touch with his creatures in a profound way. He did say that He would never leave us or forsake us. Surely, this means ... (Continue reading)

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