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The Emerging Science of Human-Data Interaction

Bioethics News - Tue, 01/06/2015 - 15:21

(MIT Technology Review) – Now Richard Mortier at the University of Nottingham in the UK and a few pals say the increasingly complex, invasive and opaque use of data should be a call to arms to change the way we study data, interact with it and control its use. Today, they publish a manifesto describing how a new science of human-data interaction is emerging from this “data ecosystem” and say that it combines disciplines such as computer science, statistics, sociology, psychology and behavioural economics.

Geographic Information Helps Provide Public Health Intelligence at Mass Gatherings

Bioethics News - Tue, 01/06/2015 - 15:19

(Medical Xpress) – Infectious diseases are one of the many health issues that worry the organizers of mass gatherings, such as the Hajj and the World Cup. Geographers’ tools of the trade can help event organizers to better plan, monitor and respond timely to such eventualities. The ways in which geographers gather, analyze, and visualize information provide health officials with clearer pictures of the transport routes and environmental factors that may further the spread of viruses to and from the attendees’ home countries.

Scientists Develop Pioneering Method to Define Stages of Stem Cell Reprogramming

Bioethics News - Tue, 01/06/2015 - 15:17

(Newswise) – In a groundbreaking study that provides scientists with a critical new understanding of stem cell development and its role in disease, UCLA researchers at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research led by Dr. Kathrin Plath, professor of biological chemistry, have established a first-of-its-kind methodology that defines the unique stages by which specialized cells are reprogrammed into stem cells that resemble those found in the embryo.

When Home Caregivers Kill the Elderly with Neglect

Bioethics News - Tue, 01/06/2015 - 15:14

(The Atlantic) – California’s frail elderly and disabled residents increasingly are receiving care in their own homes, an arrangement that saves the government money and offers many people a greater sense of comfort and autonomy than life in an institution. Yet caregivers are largely untrained and unsupervised, even when paid by the state, leaving thousands of residents at risk of possible abuse, neglect and poor treatment.

The High-Tech Future of the Uterus

Bioethics News - Tue, 01/06/2015 - 15:12

(The Atlantic) – Now that the hurdle of the transplanted uterus has been overcome, researchers have turned to a technology borrowed straight from sci-fi: a bioengineered uterus. Doctors in the burgeoning field of regenerative medicine produce organs and parts of organs in a few different ways. One is by taking a small number of stem cells from a patient’s blood or bone marrow, and then amplifying and shaping the growth of those cells.

Scientists Look for Nanostructures That Allow Compatibility between Metal and Human bone Tissue

Bioethics News - Tue, 01/06/2015 - 15:10

(Phys.org) – Various scientific projects performed at the Research Center for Advanced Materials (Cimav), Unit Monterrey, in the north of Mexico, aimed at one goal: the development of biomedical implants, since the ones existing in the domestic market come generally from foreign manufacture. Currently, this center, part of the National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT) and located at the Park of Research and Technological Innovation (PIIT), researches novel materials, coating systems and specific properties to use in the manufacture of hip and knee implants, and, in the future, of dental parts.

Ebola Wipes Out Every Mother in Liberian Village

Bioethics News - Mon, 01/05/2015 - 11:47

(The Telegraph) – For 11-year-old Montgomery Philip, childhood is over. Six months ago he would have been playing football with his schoolmates, but now his job is to care for his 10-monthold baby brother Jenkie. The pair are both victims of the Ebola virus. Not because they caught the disease, but because they live in Joeblow, Liberia, where the devastating outbreak has killed every mother in the village. The women died because social convention decrees it is they who tend to the sick and bury the dead.

Patent Granted for New Technology Diagnosing Cancer

Bioethics News - Mon, 01/05/2015 - 11:43

(Medical Xpress) – A new diagnostic technology may significantly improve early detection and treatment of cancer and other diseases. Via a simple blood test the method can potentially diagnose diseases such as cancer at an early stage, enable screening of healthy individuals at risk of developing cancer, and help plan an individual course of treatment. Aarhus University has just received a patent for the technology in the USA.

Convicted Serial Rapist To Be Voluntarily Euthanised in Belgium

Bioethics News - Mon, 01/05/2015 - 11:39

(RTE) – Belgian newspaper De Morgen reported that Frank Van Den Bleeken, who has spent the past 30 years in jail for repeated rape convictions and a rape murder, will be euthanised in prison in the north-western city of Bruges. “Euthanasia will indeed be implemented,” a justice ministry spokeswoman told the Flemish-language newspaper, which gave the date as 11 January . “Now the time has come,” the spokeswoman added.

Tragic Case Prompts India to Adopt a Law Permitting ‘Passive’ Euthanasia

Bioethics News - Mon, 01/05/2015 - 11:36

(Washington Post) – Now, a law has taken effect that may help Indians facing a similar tragedy. But it still may not alter Shanbaug’s condition. Last month, India adopted a landmark Supreme Court decision to allow “passive euthanasia” for patients who are in a permanent vegetative state or are declared brain-dead. The procedure involves withdrawing medical treatment and allowing death to occur — as opposed to “active euthanasia,” in which a life is ended through a lethal dose of drugs or other means.

Ten Years in, California’s Stem Cell Program Is Getting a Reboot

Bioethics News - Mon, 01/05/2015 - 11:33

(Los Angeles Times) – Biomedical researchers are sure to find a lot to like about CIRM 2.0, especially Mills’ commitment to streamline the program’s grant and loan approval process for projects aimed at clinical trials of potential therapies. Reviews of applications take about 22 months on average; Mills hopes to cut that to about three months. The process can be made more efficient without sacrificing science.

Widow Outraged Over ABC Airing Husband’s Death Footage on Dr. Oz ‘NY Med’ Show without Permission

Bioethics News - Mon, 01/05/2015 - 11:31

(Tech Times) – A widow is suing ABC television and a New York hospital, saying the network, without her permission, aired footage of her husband’s death in the hospital emergency room where frantic treatment failed to save him after he was hit by a truck. The footage was featured on an episode of “NY Med,” a popular medical reality series filmed at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and starring celebrity physician Dr. Oz.

IVF Mothers Screened for Disease Gave Birth to Babies with Genetic Defects…after Horror Mix-Up at Fertility Lab

Bioethics News - Mon, 01/05/2015 - 11:20

(Daily Mail) – Two babies were born with incurable diseases after shocking blunders in IVF treatment that should have screened out the dangerous inherited conditions. Both mothers had gone to the same clinic to ensure they did not pass on life-limiting illnesses that ran in their families. But mistakes at a laboratory used by the CARE Fertility Nottingham IVF clinic resulted in the outcome the women had so desperately wanted to avoid.

Pharmaceuticals: Going Large

Bioethics News - Mon, 01/05/2015 - 11:18

(Business Insider) – In the early 21st century it has become harder for drugmakers to find new cures quickly enough to replace those on which the patents are expiring. Many drugmakers, both established ones and startups, have sought salvation in biotechnology–the adaptation or exploitation of processes found inside living organisms.

Global Medical Tourism Market to Rise Over $30 bn by 2019: Research

Bioethics News - Mon, 01/05/2015 - 11:17

(Times of India) – Global medical tourism market will rise to $ 32.5 billion by 2019 on account of rising healthcare costs in developed countries, like the US and improved standards of healthcare technology and services in nations like India and China, a research says. The surging costs of healthcare and medical insurance in the US will give a rise to global medical tourism which will register a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.9 per cent from 2013 to 2019, according to the research titled “Medical Tourism Market (India, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Mexico, Brazil, Taiwan, Turkey, South Korea, Costa Rica, Poland, the Philippines and Dubai).

Study Identifies Factors Linked to ED Visits by Cancer Patients

Bioethics News - Mon, 01/05/2015 - 10:51

(Medscape) – A meta-analysis covering more than one million patients with cancer has identified several factors that make these patients more likely to visit the emergency department (ED) in their last month of life. Such patients are more likely to be men, black, have lung cancer, low socioeconomic status, or no palliative care. The study was published online on December 22 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.