Our obsession with cheating death leads us deeper into an ethical swamp

Jul 5, 2016 by

by Philippa Taylor, TCW: A 60-year-old woman has been granted permission to take her dead daughter’s frozen eggs to a US fertility treatment clinic, to fertilise them with donor sperm and then (assuming success) to carry the embryos and (she hopes) give birth to her own grandchild. Or should I say her own child? Because on the one hand this child would be the woman’s son/daughter, but on the other, the child would also be her grandson/grand-daughter. More of that shortly, but first...

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Why don’t I have a dad? Agony of single mums’ IVF children

Jul 4, 2016 by

by Colin Fernandez, Mailonline: More than a third of children born to single mothers from IVF treatment have mixed or negative feelings about not having a father, research has found. So-called ‘solo mothers’ form a growing number of those having fertility treatment – but little research has been done on the effects on their children. Typically well-educated and with good careers, they have children without a partner out of choice because they fear that time is running out for them...

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Doctors edge closer to creating babies with DNA from three people

Jun 9, 2016 by

by Ian Sample, Guardian: Doctors are a step closer to creating babies with DNA from three people after research on healthy embryos found the procedure was likely to produce normal pregnancies. Studies on embryos made with extra DNA showed that the majority were indistinguishable from standard IVF embryos, although further tests hinted that the procedure still carried risks. The work will be reviewed by the UK government’s fertility regulator, which is expected to make a recommendation on...

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The rights and wrongs of the Human Genome Project—Write

Jun 7, 2016 by

by Karl D Stephan, MercatorNet: The highly prestigious journal Science carried an unusual article on June 2. Most scientific papers are about new discoveries—we figured out this theory or we measured thus-and-so in that experiment. Well, this paper was neither of those things. In “The Human Genome Project—Write,” the 25 co-authors announced their intention to synthesize a human genome from scratch. In layman’s terms, they are saying that they are going to design a human...

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Scientists attempting to harvest human organs in pigs create human-pig embryo

Jun 6, 2016 by

by Kevin Rawlinson, Guardian: Researchers in California have been trying to grow human organs inside pigs in attempt to tackle donor shortage. Scientists trying to grow human organs inside pigs in an attempt to tackle a shortage of donors have successfully created part-human, part-pig embryos, it has been reported. Researchers at the University of California, Davis combined human stem cells and pig DNA and allowed the embryos to mature for 28 days, before terminating the experiment and...

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Scientists launch proposal to create synthetic human genome

Jun 3, 2016 by

by Tim Radford and Nicola Davis, Guardian: Twenty years after scientists learned to ‘read’ the human genome, scientists are hoping to write their own synthetic version of the DNA recipe for life. Two decades ago we learned to “read” the human genome – the entire three-billion-letter DNA recipe for life coiled in the human chromosomes. Now scientists want to start writing it. A $100 million global consortium has been proposed, to devise ways to assemble human DNA in the laboratory so as to...

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