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...

Euthanasia. Euroupe countries social acceptance is very low

A recent survey carried out in 47 European countries (Int J Public Health, DOI: 10. 1007/s00038-013-0461-6) found that euthanasia is legalized in only six countries: Belgium, Holland, Luxemburg, France, Denmark and Switzerland; its social  acceptance is very low in the remaining.

iPS cells : have them the same characteristics of embryonic stem cells?

A concern raised some time ago is to determine whether the iPS cells produced from adult somatic cells have the specific characteristics of embryonic stem cells. If so, iPS cells could advantageously replace embryonic stem cells for experimental and clinical purposes, without the...