Fighting Aids: getting pills into bodies

Jan 21, 2017 by

by Elizabeth Pisani, Prospect Magazine: A new account of the early days of Aids shows how cleverly activists influenced the powerful. “It’s time gay guys just grew up!” This jarring comment came recently from a youngish gay friend, a former Aids activist and sex worker. We were talking about whether the NHS should pay for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), which involves people who don’t have HIV taking small doses of treatment to avoid infection. Several large trials have shown that PrEP works...

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Three-person IVF baby for infertile couple

Jan 18, 2017 by

by Michelle Roberts, BBC: A baby has been born to a previously infertile couple in Ukraine using a new type of “three-person IVF”. The Times reports that doctors in Kiev used a method called pronuclear transfer in what is a world first. It is not the first baby born with DNA from three parents, however. The baby girl, born on 5 January, is thought to be the world’s second “modern three-parent baby” – another child was created using a slightly different...

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Stem cell biology may revolutionise reproduction

Jan 17, 2017 by

by James Cook, MercatorNet: Last year a Stanford law professor, Hank Greely, published a book, The End of Sex And The Future of Human Reproduction. In it he predicted that in 20 to 40 years’ time people would no longer have sex to make babies. Sex will be largely recreational and procreation will be subcontracted to IVF clinics to create designer babies. Greely was not setting the scene for a dystopian science fiction novel but extrapolating from current trends in genetic testing and stem cell...

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Prospective same-sex parents face hurdles as NHS fertility treatments set to be axed

Jan 17, 2017 by

by Nick Duffy, Pink News: Same-sex couples hoping to conceive in some parts of England may soon face financial hurdles, as a string of struggling local NHS authorities prepare to axe provisions for free fertility treatments. At present, artificial insemination and IVF is available on the NHS to couples who have trouble conceiving naturally, with insemination procedures often relied on by women in same-sex relationships in order to have children. However, struggling healthcare authorities...

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Scientists: New fertility technique “raises spectre of embryo farming on unimaginable scale”

Jan 12, 2017 by

from SPUC: A new fertility procedure that could allow sperm and eggs to be made from people’s skin may lead to “embryo farming” on a massive scale and drive parents to have only “ideal” children, researchers have warned. IVG The procedure, in vitro gametogenesis (IVG) involves reprogramming adult cells into a younger, more versatile state, then growing them into functioning sex cells. The technology has so far only been demonstrated in mice, and is illegal to...

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Cloning, stem cells and GMOs: How religious beliefs shape our thinking

Jan 11, 2017 by

by David Warmflash, Genetid Literacy Project: It is difficult to examine society’s acceptance or rejection of key biotech developments without considering the role played by the world’s major religions and their belief structures. Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam react to new technologies and concepts in their own way – though there is rarely universal consensus on every issue within those religions. Not surprisingly, the basis for modern day beliefs is often found in...

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