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April 7, 2014

Video: Is Peer Review Broken?

(Biome)  To coincide with this year’s Experimental Biology conference, BioMed Central and BMC Biologyorganised a panel discussion to explore the increasing frustration with the peer-review process from the scientific community.

March 28, 2014 Offers Comprehensive Information on End of Life

( – A new Web resource from the National Institutes of Health is aimed at helping people address a sensitive subject—the end of life. The latest addition to NIHSeniorHealth, the health and wellness website for older adults, the End of Life module provides visitors with information about the most common issues faced by the dying and their caregivers.

March 27, 2014

What’s Next in Prenatal Genetic Testing?

(Medscape) – At the Future of Genomic Medicine VII conference in March 2014, leading experts in genomic research and clinical application discussed the expanding influence of genomics on the practice of medicine. Medscape asked Jay A. Shendure, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Genome Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, to offer insight on how the advent of noninvasive genetic testing has influenced prenatal assessments and what might be next on the horizon in the field of reproductive medicine.

March 19, 2014

Older Women and Altheimer’s

(CNN) – Older women are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s than breast cancer according to a new report.

March 14, 2014

Video: Three Parent Children and Mitochondrial Transfer – British Parliament

(Parliament TV) Video footage from British Parliament discussion of Three Parent Children and Mitochondrial Transfer featuring MP Jacob Rees-Mogg. Westminster Hall, March 12, 2014.


Footage begins 15:58:55 and goes through 16:30.

March 11, 2014

Cambridge scientists film embryo implantation for the first time

(Reuters) – Cambridge University biologists have cracked the so-called ‘black box’ of embryonic development, a mystery which has long puzzled scientists. The researchers have found a way to record the earliest stages of an embryo’s growth and have filmed for the first time ever, the moment of implantation, opening new possibilities for improved methods of IVF treatment and regenerative medicine.

February 28, 2014

Clinical trial shows stem cell injections reduce low back pain (w/ video)

(Medical Xpress) – A single injection of stem cells into degenerative discs reduced low back pain for at least 12 months according to results of a 100-patient, phase II, international clinical trial that included researchers at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center. W. Jeremy Beckworth, MD, assistant professor of Orthopaedics and Rehab Medicine, was part of the trial that used injections of bone marrow stem cells called mesenchymal precursor cells (MPCs) to reduce pain. On average researchers found a pain reduction greater than 50 percent at 12 months.

Phantom limb pain relieved when amputated arm is put back to work (w/ video)

(Medical Xpress) – Max Ortiz Catalan, researcher at Chalmers University of Technology, has developed a new method for the treatment of phantom limb pain (PLP) after an amputation. The method is based on a unique combination of several technologies, and has been initially tested on a patient who has suffered from severe phantom limb pain for 48 years. A case study shows a drastic reduction of pain.

February 26, 2014

Protecting the nanotechnology workforce

(Free ebooks) – Nanotechnology—the manipulation of matter on a near-atomic scale to produce new materials and devices—has the ability to transform many industries, from medicine to manufacturing, and the products they produce. By 2020, the National Science Foundation estimates, nanotechnology will have a $3 trillion impact on the global economy and employ 6 million workers in the manufacture of nanomaterial-based products, of which 2 million may be manufactured in the United States [NSF 2011]. Nanomaterials may present new challenges to understanding, predicting, and managing potential health risks to workers.

Video of virus-sized particle trying to enter cell

( – Tiny and swift, viruses are hard to capture on video. Now researchers at Princeton University have achieved an unprecedented look at a virus-like particle as it tries to break into and infect a cell. The technique they developed could help scientists learn more about how to deliver drugs via nanoparticles—which are about the same size as viruses—as well as how to prevent viral infection from occurring.

February 20, 2014

How gene therapy targest liver cells [video]

(Scientific American) – Advances in gene therapy over the past 15 years are finally allowing investigators to safely treat a growing number of carefully selected patients with a broad range of defective or missing genes, as reported by Ricki Lewis in the March issue of Scientific American. One of the biggest obstacles researchers have learned to overcome is the immune system’s propensity to over-react when thousands of copies of the stripped-down viruses carrying normal genes are injected into the body, mistakenly treating them as foreign invaders.

February 19, 2014

Plastic surgery offered for bullied kids

(CNN) – CNN’s Piers Morgan talks to Dr. Thomas Romo and one of his clients about offering plastic surgery to bullied kids.

February 14, 2014

A drug-dealing robot that upends the pharmacy model

(Wired) – The technical backbone of PillPack is a suite of drug-dealing robots. A large, beige machine in PillPack’s New Hampshire office is filled with a cornucopia of curatives which are dispensed into the plastic packets. The strip of dose packs is then fed through another robot that reviews each plastic packet for quality control purposes before a team of pharmacists double check the prescriptions and send them off to patients.

January 16, 2014

Trailer: Transcendence

In ‘Transcendence’, Johnny Depp plays a brilliant scientist whose mind is allowed to live on and evolve through artificial intelligence, after his body is attacked. (U.S.A. Today)

January 14, 2014

Sam Berns, boy with ‘aging disease’ progeria, dies at 17

The 17-year-old boy who became the face of the progeria, the “Benjamin Button” disease, has died. Sam Berns died Friday from complications of the disease. Progeria is a fatal genetic condition that causes rapid aging. He was diagnosed at just 22 months old. His parents, Dr. Leslie Gordon and Dr. Scott Berns, reacted to his diagnosis by creating the Progeria Research Foundation in 1999 to find the cause of the disease and a cure. (ABC News)

January 9, 2014

Stem cell trial seeks longer lives for victims of deadly ALS

Researchers at Emory University in the United States are hoping to extend the lives of patients diagnosed with the deadly neuro-degenerative disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). ALS kills by destroying a patient’s nervous system but in clinical trials, the scientists say injections of neural stem cells show promise in slowing the disease’s progress. Ben Gruber reports. (Reuters)

December 16, 2013

El Salvador abortion ban

Strongly influenced by Catholic teachings, the country of El Salvador now forbids all abortions. Fred de Sam Lazaro reports from San Salvador on the consequences for many women when abortion is considered murder, regardless of the circumstances. (PBS)

November 25, 2013

Terminally ill prof teaches end-of-life lessons

David Oliver has spent decades teaching others how to care for dying patients. Now, he is terminally-ill with Stage 4 cancer. But the medical school professor at the University of Missouri is using death as a teachable moment, using his own case, and the Internet. (CBS News)

November 18, 2013

Design fiction: Grow your own, life after nature

“GROW YOUR OWN… is a new exhibition created by Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin that invites you to consider some of the potentially ground-breaking applications and uncertain implications of synthetic life. Tackling the provocative questions that designing life raises, GROW YOUR OWN… gives you the opportunity to help shape future discussions around synthetic biology – an emerging approach to genetic engineering, bringing together engineers, scientists, designers, artists and biohackers to design ‘living machines’. (Wired)

November 12, 2013

Invention could scope out counterfeit drugs

Malaria kills hundreds of thousands of people in Africa annually, and it sickens millions more. Medicine can keep the disease in check and save lives. But up to half the drugs in Africa may be substandard—and up to a third may be counterfeit. At the moment, there’s no easy way to reliably test a drug in the field. That could change if a new technology called PharmaCheck, developed by researchers at Boston University, moves from prototype to reality. (Scientific American)

Ruling on NYC disaster plans for disabled may have far reach

A year after Superstorm Sandy stranded many New Yorkers without power for days, a federal judge has ruled that New York City’s emergency plans violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. Those shortcomings, the judge found, leave almost 900,000 residents in danger, and many say the ruling could have implications for local governments across the country. (NPR)


The Bioethics Poll
Should individuals and/or institutions be allowed to patent human genes?
Yes, with some qualifications

View results

Which area of research should more money be invested in:
Animal-Human Hybrids
Gene Therapy
Reproductive Technology
Stem Cell Research
"Therapeutic" Cloning
None of the above

View results

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