(Medscape) – In light of reasonable 6-month graft function, clinicians should consider kidney transplant from deceased donors with acute kidney injury (AKI), according to a multicenter study published online March 11 in the American Journal of Transplantation. However, there are risks for kidney discard and delayed graft function (DGF), defined as the need for continued dialysis support in the first week after transplantation.
(Science) – Researchers in Sierra Leone today started a new phase II trial of an experimental drug in Ebola patients. The first participant received an injection of the therapeutic, called TKM-Ebola, this morning at an Ebola treatment unit in Port Lok. The trial may expand to other sites; the study team hopes to have an answer fast so that it can either move on to another drug or start a phase III study of TKM-Ebola.
(Medical Xpress) – The Swiss right-to-die organisation Exit that helps with assisted suicides on Wednesday said its membership reached a record high in 2014 with the number of applicants increasing by 20 percent. The group said that 13,413 members from the Italian- and German-speaking parts of Switzerland joined last year.
(New York Times) – John D. Arras, a plain-spoken philosopher who preached that doctors should consider fairness and morality, as well as medical issues, in making life-or-death decisions about patient care, died on Monday in Galveston, Tex. He was 69. He died after having a stroke while vacationing with his family, his wife, Liz Emrey, said.
(New York Times) – More than 600 medical workers have been killed in Syria’s civil war in deliberate and indiscriminate attacks, most of them by government forces, an international rights group announced Wednesday. The group, Physicians for Human Rights, said it had documented 233 attacks on 183 medical facilities across Syria since the country’s conflict began in March 2011.
(Nature) – Amid rumours that precision gene-editing techniques have been used to modify the DNA of human embryos, researchers have called for a moratorium on the use of the technology in reproductive cells. In a Comment published on 12 March in Nature, Edward Lanphier, chairman of the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine in Washington DC, and four co-authors call on scientists to agree not to modify human embryos — even for research.
(Medical Xpress) – The Ebola outbreak that has swept West Africa since 2014 may have cleared the way for a more familiar killer that could claim thousands of more lives—measles. The African countries most affected by the outbreak could now be highly susceptible to measles epidemics due to severe disruptions in health-care systems caused by Ebola, researchers at Princeton University and Johns Hopkins University report in the journal Science. The closing of and public aversion to clinics and hospitals during the Ebola epidemic resulted in the reduction of routine procedures such as measles vaccination.
(BBC) – Draft laws aimed at boosting the birth rate in Iran reduce women to “baby-making machines”, the rights group Amnesty International warns. One proposal outlaws voluntary sterilisation and promoting birth control, while another makes it harder for women without babies to get jobs. Amnesty says the two laws would set women’s rights in Iran back by decades.
(Medical Xpress) – Their analysis of media coverage showed that most news reports were highly optimistic about the future of stem cell therapies and forecasted unrealistic timelines for clinical use. The study, published in the latest issue of Science Translational Medicine, examined 307 news reports covering translational stem cell research in major daily newspapers in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom between 2010 and 2013.
(The Atlantic) – As medical technology becomes more advanced, it also becomes more difficult for doctors to discern the line between life and death. PET scans, which have been widely used since the 1990s, are a good example. Rather than solely showing body anatomy like an MRI or CT scan would, a PET scan can actually detect cellular activity in tissues. In a study published last year in The Lancet, 13 out of 41 patients in a persistent vegetative state showed detectable brain activity on PET scans, results that the investigators thought were consistent with “minimal consciousness.”
(People) – A Pennsylvania judge is set to make a final decision Wednesday on whether Sherri Shepherd is the legal mother of a 7-month-old baby born via surrogate last August. “We believe it’s in this child’s best interest to have two legal parents, and those parents are the people who brought about his conception, Lamar Sally and Sherri Shepherd,” Sally’s lawyer, Tiffany Palmer, tells PEOPLE.