February 2024 Edition
BioethicsNews en inglés

INSTITUTE OF LIFE SCIENCES

No.123 - February 2024

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SPECIAL REPORTS

The future is already here: Neuralink successfully implants a chip in the human brain

“Telepathy”, the new brain implant created by Neuralink, aims to create brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) that allow devices to connect with the mind using artificial intelligence. South African multimillionaire Elon Musk announced on January 29 on his social network X that another of his companies, Neuralink, had implanted a brain chip in a person for the first time. His message was …

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The future is already here: Neuralink successfully implants a chip in the human brain

Primate cloning: A step forwards or backwards?

Primate cloning: A step forwards or backwards?
A new cloning experiment conducted in China in 2022 and described this month in Nature Communications marks the first successful cloning of a rhesus monkey. It was achieved using a slightly different approach to the conventional cloning technique used to clone Dolly the sheep and other mammals, including long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis), which were the first primates to be cloned. …

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Hydroxychloroquine, medication used to treat Covid-19, could have caused 2,799 deaths in Spain

Hydroxychloroquine, a drug used to prevent and treat acute attacks of malaria in adults and children weighing more than 31 kg, was prescribed to patients hospitalized with Covid-19 during the first wave of the virus. Its use could be related to approximately 13,000 premature deaths in six countries, of which 2,799 occurred in Spain. In a paper published in Biomedicine …

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Hydroxychloroquine, medication used to treat Covid-19, could have caused 2,799 deaths in Spain

How does comparative genomics help us to understand evolution?

How does comparative genomics help us to understand evolution?
We analyze the contribution of “comparative genomics”, a branch of genomics that compares the sequences of different organisms in order to deduce their phylogenetic relationships. Biology has revealed that all living beings descend from a single organism, the “cenancestor”, something similar to a primitive prokaryote that, once formed, became diversified by the slow progressive accumulation of modifications in its incipient …

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Persistence of brain activity during the dying process

A recent study conducted in dying patients, published in the journal Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine (1), was able to demonstrate how the global cerebral hypoxia that occurs in these patients after withdrawal of their ventilatory support markedly stimulated the brain activity recorded on an electroencephalogram (gamma activity) in some individuals. As the study authors highlight, this finding suggests …

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Persistence of brain activity during the dying process

NEWS and VIEWS

Alabama carries out first nitrogen gas execution

Alabama carries out first nitrogen gas execution
The state of Alabama executed Kenneth Eugene Smith on January 25, 2024 using an experimental method, nitrogen asphyxiation. This prisoner was sentenced to death for murdering Elizabeth Sennett in the late 1980s. The use of this method for execution, carried out for the first time in this state, has been criticized by anti-death penalty activists and by the United Nations …

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ER doctors may not be forced to perform abortions in Texas

Abortion was the leading cause of death worldwide in 2022 according to the WHO. Every year, around 73 million induced abortions occur, which is about 200,000 abortions per day. Six out of ten unwanted pregnancies end in abortion. Joe Biden, president of the United States, wants to force emergency room doctors in Texas hospitals to perform abortions when necessary. This …

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ER doctors may not be forced to perform abortions in Texas
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