Uterus transplant, birth of the first child. Ethical approach

Last 5th October, the birth of the first child born to a woman who had received a uterus transplant was published in medical journal The Lancet (doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61728-1). The birth occurred on 4th September. From a medical point of view, this is clearly an important...

Suicide one of the leading preventable death in Spain

It is the leading cause of death among men aged 25-34 years old  Around ten suicides occur daily in Spain. For every death, there are between 10 and 20 suicide attempts. According to the latest recorded data, 3,539 people committed suicide in 2012: 2724 men and 815 women. It is...

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...

AIDS, efficacy of antiretroviral treatments

AIDS: Between 1995 and 2012, antiretroviral treatments prevented 5.4 million deaths due to AIDS in under- and moderately developed countries, and averted the death of more than one million children by impeding mother-child transmission (New England Journal of Medicine 370;...

Are there HIV resistant people?

HIV resistant. Three strange cases have been described of patients infected with HIV in whom the virus has not continued to replicate after stopping treatment. The first was described in 1999, and is known as the “Berlin patient”. Now, a further two cases have been reported, t...

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...

Is progress being made towards the creation of artificial life?

Recent press reports have highlighted what appears to be a major advance towards the creation of artificial life, when they reported the total synthesis of the first chromosome of an organism, a yeast, that is biologically more similar to humans than to bacteria[1]. The study was...

Is it morally licit to use cell lines obtained from currently stored embryonic stem cells?

One of our colleagues, a doctor in Molecular Biology who is currently conducting post-doctoral research in the United States, mentioned to us that he had “recently discovered that the cells with which he was working come from human embryos, the famous HEK-293 cells”....

Opinion of American and Dutch doctors on sedation in terminally-ill patients.

Sedation can be defined as the pharmacological induction of a state of impaired consciousness in which the patient is not fully unconscious, and can be aroused verbally or by applying a mild painful stimulus. In both the United States and the Netherlands, sedation is described in...

Another step forward in the field of synthetic biology

DNA is the organic support for genetic information. It is arranged in two parallel columns within the chromosomes. It is made up of base pairs of nucleotides (adenine, cytosine, thymine and guanine), which form the main structural element of DNA. They are molecules composed of a...