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Women Impregnated by IVF at Increased Risk for Reflux Disease

Bioethics News - Tue, 08/11/2015 - 14:37

(UPI) – Women who had children through in vitro fertilization are three times more prone to long-term symptoms of gastro-esophageal reflux disease, or GORD, than mothers who conceived naturally, according a new study of women in Turkey.

Can Genetics Find a ‘Cure’ for Autism?

Bioethics News - Tue, 08/11/2015 - 14:34

(The Conversation) – We live in an age of genetics. Major genetic success stories such as breakthroughs in treating cystic fibrosis and breast cancer inspire hope that it can one day provide a cure for all ills. So when we hear that mental disorders are at least partially genetically determined, we may wonder what progress is being made. A paper in the journal Cell into the psychiatric condition autism shows not only the condition’s daunting genetic complexity, but also how we may combine different genetic approaches to pinpoint a potential cure.

Life’s Core Functions Identified

Bioethics News - Tue, 08/11/2015 - 14:29

(The San Diego Union-Tribune) – What is needed to sustain life? A study led by bioengineers at the University of California, San Diego has given an answer to that question, at the microbial level. Writing in PNAS, researchers have defined the minimum set of genes and functions necessary for microbial life. The study was led by Bernhard Palsson, the Galetti Professor of Bioengineering at UC San Diego and corresponding author on the paper. Numerical and statistical experts from Stanford University also took part in the study. Defining this core set of necessary elements is useful in understanding cell functions, and also for synthetic biology, the study stated.

Illegal Abortions and Secret Euthanasia: What I’ve Seen in 60 Years as a Nurse

Bioethics News - Tue, 08/11/2015 - 14:27

(The Telegraph) – In 62 years as a nurse, Mary Hazard has seen the NHS transform from a four-year-old service to a colossal institution. The matrons have been replaced by supervisors and the hours spent learning how to care have been phased out in favour of academic qualifications. Nearly every detail of nursing has changed, right down to the clothing worn on the ward.

European Doctors often Reject Assisted-Suicide Requests

Bioethics News - Tue, 08/11/2015 - 14:16

(Reuters) – Even when physician-assisted suicide is legal, doctors often have reservations about helping patients die, two European studies suggest. In one study, researchers reviewed euthanasia requests made to the End-of-Life Clinic, established in The Netherlands in 2012 to provide the option of physician-assisted suicide to people who met legal requirements for this possibility but couldn’t convince their regular physicians to approve it.