Seven latest biomedical breakthroughs which present new ethical challenges

Introduction When technical breakthroughs are made in the field of biomedicine, they are always aimed at achieving positive ends, both experimental and biomedical, but they can very often raise ethical and medical concerns. Balance between the risks and benefits This diatribe...

Important move towards clinical use of pig donor hearts in human patients. New technique allows pig hearts transplanted in monkeys survive for more than six months

One of the major problems in heart transplantation in humans is the shortage of organs to satisfy current clinical demand. Although the use of genetically modified pig hearts has been proposed as a potential solution, and preclinical tests have been carried out in baboon models,...

Neuroscience. New experiments with brain rekindle the bioethical debate

Neuroscience research, with the ultimate goal of deepening our knowledge of the human brain, about which we still know so little, is advancing rapidly (see HERE). Thus, major projects such as the “BRAIN Initiative” in the United States and the Human Brain Project (HBP) in Europe...

Monitoring must continues on gene therapy, possible risks

In order to introduce DNA into cells, gene therapy  uses viruses, but now experimental studies in animals have suggested that when high doses of viruses are used, the process is not as safe as believed. Recent experiments conducted by James Wilson at the University of...

Human-sheep hybrids created for the first time to develop organs

Human-sheep hybrids have been created for the first time by scientists at Stanford University (see New advances and challenges in the production of human-animal chimeras). The scientists grew the embryos in a surrogate sheep, allowing them to gestate up to 3 weeks (see HERE )....

Two monkeys cloned for the first time. Shades and lights

The cloned monkeys could mark the beginning of a new era in studying human diseases. Why does, Militiov, the biotechnologist that cloned primates for the first time, fears private attempts to clone humans? In the latest edition of the prestigious Journal Cell, an article was...

CRISPR-Cas9 brings the possibility of performing pig-to-human xenotransplantation closer

Use chimeric animals as organ incubators, a hopeful means to resolve increasing organ shortage The shortage of human organs and tissues for transplantation represents one of the most critical unmet medical needs today. To address this problem, xenotransplantation, i.e. the use of...

Review of the last advances in the producing of a functional intestine

A new step has been done to grow something therapeutically useful intestine in the long run (see the last article we published HERE). When it comes to growing intestines, the first inch is the hardest -, especially in a Petri dish. Scientists at Cincinnati Children’s...

New advances and challenges in the production of human-animal chimeras

They had overcome the obstacle of using human embryonic stem cells, but that even so, a ethical difficulty remained with the producing organs formed almost entirely of human cells in experimental animals. It seems a little excessive that, in less than two months, we have...

Ethical reflection on the latest biomedical experiments by Juan Carlos Izpisua and his group

Over the last few days, some of the biomedical experiments conducted by Juan Carlos Izpisua and his group — in which researchers from several Spanish universities take part — have been widely reported by various media. Let us say at the outset that we see no need to highlight the...
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