Mother to child transmission. A novel prevention technique of hereditary mitochondrial disease

‘The technique remains nevertheless an intervention on the germ line’ This possible new technique to prevent mitochondrial disease transmission , while it has major advantages, remains nevertheless an intervention on the germ line, and therefore should be carefully...

Human gene editing controversy. Summit concludes with divergent opinions

Despite differences, nearly everyone at the meeting agreed that efforts to use gene editing after birth to correct defects in non-reproductive cells should continue. When nearly 500 scientists, ethicists, legal experts and advocacy groups from more than 20 countries came together...

Gene editing in human embryos. England opened the gates with a scientific community deeply divided in this respect

The United Kingdom Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has approved a request from the Francis Crick Institute to use new gene editing techniques in human embryos for the first time. The research will be led by Dr. Kathy Niakan. The group’s objective is, in...

Delaying motherhood is giving problems for both mothers and their children.

Delaying motherhood is known to cause problems for both mothers and their children. Now, we have further details on this topic. In an article published in PNAS (“Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) diseases frequency”,  doi 10.1073/pnas.1409328111), it was shown that the...

Genome editing CRISPR-Cas9 technique. Biomedical, ecological and ethical considerations

The real possibility of using this technique for genetic modification of the human germ line, which could have serious and unpredictable consequences in the individuals treated and their offspring; it could also definitively lead to the introduction of transhumanism in society....

Genetic selection of embryos: a technique that is clearly eugenic

Just 35 years ago, the world witnessed the birth of Louise Brown, the first test-tube baby. At the beginning of this month, just a few days before the anniversary of this event, a team at the University of Oxford announced at the European Society of Human Reproduction and...
Posted On 17 Jan 2016
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Human embryo and its mother. Their dialogue extends to the genomic area

A key issue in the Masters in Bioethics taught at our Catholic University is the “biological status of the human embryo”, because demonstrating that the early human embryo (from the blastocyst phase) is a biological being of our species and not a uniform cluster of...

Do genes influence man’s liberty?

Debate is still raging in a philosophical-legal-scientific field, although it was back in 2009 that an Italian court reduced a murderer’s sentence by one year because experts identified that the person concerned had a gene called MAOA (monoamine oxidase A), which is...

Eugenics. Embryos lost due the Genetic Diagnosis

Data from the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) on the use and results of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) in Europe have been published. The main data included in the report are as follows: The study included 11,130 oocytes collected, 12.8 per...
Posted On 06 Feb 2015
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New steps towards the production of human cell lines

In 2013, Mitalipov’s group published an impressive study (Cell 153; 1228-1238, 2013) in which they reported the production of human blastocysts, and how embryonic human cell lines could be derived from them, and from these, cells of various tissues. Regardless of the ethical...