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nº 22

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                                                                                       April 2014

The ethics of synthetic biology

The ethics of synthetic biology

How synthetic biology could affect biodiversity, since on producing new forms of life, the number of species that currently exist could increase; how the production of new organisms could affect the concepts of health and disease, to what extent synthetic biology could affect social justice, and even whether synthetic biology could be a mistake in itself, due to the difficulty …

Is it advisable for nuns to take contraceptives as preventive treatment to reduce the risk of uterine or ovarian cancer?

Is it advisable for nuns to take contraceptives as preventive treatment to reduce the risk of uterine or ovarian cancer?

From our point of view, we believe that the medical risk/benefit balance does not support the preventive use of contraceptives in celibate women, such as the nuns. A lively debate on this subject has been recently published in the Los Angeles Times, following an opinion piece authored by Malcolm Potts1, professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Berkeley University …

Some lights and shadows in assisted reproduction.

Embryos with two mothers and one father, new reproductive option

The major ethical difficulties entailed  should not be forgotten, since in addition to those of human cloning, it would have those derived from the production of embryos, would have two mothers and one father. The exchange of genetic material …

Interference in the use of contraceptives in HIV positive women

Interference in the use of contraceptives in HIV positive women

The use of contraceptives in HIV positive women who are receiving antiretroviral therapy could be problematic, since antiretroviral therapy may reduce the efficacy of contraceptives in preventing unwanted pregnancy, while oral contraceptives may increase the toxicity of antiretroviral therapy (British Medical Journal 2013; 347: f6695).

HIV can be stored in certain human cells and remain active there

The disease cannot be cured, as the HIV remains in the patients’ body, although inactive. It is known that AIDS can be treated with new antiretroviral drugs, converting it from a fatal disease to a chronic one. However, the disease is not completely cured, although it is not known for certain why. In relation to this, on 12 January 2014, …

Medical risks of in-vitro fertilisation

Medical risks of in-vitro fertilisation child

Children born using in-vitro fertilisation have double the risk of dying in the first 28 days after birth than those conceived naturally. They are also more likely to be premature and above all, have three times the likelihood of having low birth weight (PLOS ONE...

Bebés medicamento

Alternative to the use of saviour siblings a ehics approach

One alternative to the creation and use of saviour siblings is the possibility of deriving cell lines from the embryos created (saviour embryos). Cells are then differentiated from them that can be transplanted to treat the sick sibling (Reproductive Biology online 20). This new possibility would have ethical difficulies …

Regulation of genetic testing in the United States

Regulation of genetic testing in the United States

 Incidental findings and the resulting problems are increasing in magnitude According to a report by the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues in the United States, companies, clinicians and researchers must inform consumers …

Reduced the risk of infection by iPS cells when transplanted

Another major advance in cell reprogramming and in obtaining iPS cells was achieved by researchers at Osaka and Kyoto universities, led by Masoto Nakagawa and Shinya Yamanaka, who succeeded in developing a method by which the cells generated have a lower risk of infection when transplanted. To achieve this, they used laminin-511, a synthetic protein (Scientific Reports online 8-I-2014).

Lacrimal and salivary glands have been produced artificially

Lacrimal and salivary glands have been produced artificially

Nature Communications (DOI: 10.103) published two studies describing the bioartificial production of lacrimal and salivary glands. They were able to be transplanted in mice and the organs created began to function. This a new possibility for the treatment...