New finding – Mini-brains spontaneously produce electrical activity similar to the premature babies

“At what point can a mini-brain with brain activity be considered conscious?” Alysson Muotri, a neuroscientist at the University of California, San Diego, and his team have improved the techniques for obtaining brain organoids and have discovered that, after a period...

China approves the first Alzheimer’s drug, giving rise to a debate among experts

According to a news article published by Reuters – Medicine (see HERE), “China is fast-tracking approval for innovative drugs at home in a bid to offer more and cheaper options to patients, as many in the rapidly aging country struggle to find alternatives to costly treatments...

“How Gay Are You?” app has been criticized for being “misleading and irresponsible”

In September this year, our Observatory published a special report: A review of the relationship between same-sex attraction and genetics. The report cited a recent study on the matter, in which one of the authors [said that they] were unable to establish whether or not the...

International discussion has been proposed about ethical use of embryoids

An article published in Nature, signed by notable personalities in the area of bioethics, discusses the ethical implications of embryoids (organoids) or embryo models, in vitro cell aggregates that model various regions of the embryo to allow their study. These studies are framed...

Human–animal hybrid advisability. Human brain gene introduced into monkeys that seems to increase their intelligence

“Genetic changes should not be introduced in higher animals, as this raises bioethical uncertainties.” Chinese scientists have recently produced transgenic monkeys by introducing a human brain gene into the animals during their embryonic development (produci...

Trachea transplants. Medical and ethical assessment of Paolo Macchiarini’s experiments

An interesting article was published recently in “The American Journal of Bioethics” (read HERE), that gives a brief history of the controversial trachea transplants performed by Paolo Macchiarini and his co-workers (see HERE) our previous news about the case)....

With the aim to find a new sources of organs for transplantation, Japan approves the first human-animal embryo experiments. Positive and negative apects

Scientist Hiromitsu Nakauchi is the first researcher in Japan to receive permission from the government to create animal embryos that contain human cells human-animal chimeras and transplant them into surrogate animals for gestation, as explained in an article in the journal...

Our bioethics statement on Trump’s cuts on research with aborted fetal tissues

The President of the United States, Donald Trump, has taken a new step in the fight against abortion, announcing the end of research with tissues from aborted fetuses in federal (NIH, National Institutes of Health) laboratories. While this does not mean that this type of research...

A short review of negative and positive effects of Trump’s restrictions on fetal tissue research

As we published recently (read HERE), the American Administration has placed restrictions on research using fetal tissue, giving rise to a fierce debate among researchers. In this respect, Judd Deere, deputy White House press secretary told Science that enacting the new poli...

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...