Human genetic engineering breakthrough raises ethical concerns

By Paul Stark Scientists in Oregon have successfully genetically modified human embryos, according to research published earlier this month. The researchers used a gene editing technique called CRISPR to repair a disease-causing mutation. “In altering the DNA code of human embryos,” explains the MIT Technology Review, “the objective of scientists is to show that they can …

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Human embryos modified to eliminate a single-gene disease

By Michael Cook American and Korean scientists have published in Nature the details of how they successfully edited a single gene in human embryos. A team of American, Chinese and Korean scientists led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov of Oregon Health and Science University used gene-editing CRISPR/Cas9 technology to eliminate a gene, MYBPC3, linked to a heart disorder. …

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Scientists proposing eliminating 14-day limit for experimenting on human embryos

By David Prentice, PhD Editor’s note. The following ran May 11, 2016 and was, indeed prophetic. Just as Prof. Prentice predicted, there are loud calls to “scrap” the self-imposed “limit” on the age allowed for experiments on human embryos, currently 14 days. We read this in The Guardian: Later this week some of the world’s …

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Growing Human Embryos Outside the Womb: New Record, Old Questions

By David Prentice, Ph.D. Editor’s note. My family and I will be on vacation through September 6. I will occasionally add new items but for the most part we will repost “the best of the best” — the stories our readers have told us they especially liked over the last five months. This first ran …

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Human embryos: Property or persons?

By Paul Stark On November 18 a judge ruled that a San Francisco woman’s frozen embryos must be “thawed and discarded” against her wishes. The woman sought to gestate and raise the embryos, but her ex-husband, with whom she created the embryos through in vitro fertilization, wanted them destroyed. The couple had signed a consent …

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National Right to Life Condemns Reported Creation of Human Embryos to Kill Them; Warns of “Human Embryo Farms”

The following statement was issued by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) in response to publication today in the online journal Cell of a paper in which scientists at Oregon Health & Science University reported use of cloning techniques to produce human embryos, 21 of whom they were able to sustain to the point in development at …

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Flouting the law barring embryo research: Supreme Court declines case to clarify law on human experiments

By David Prentice and Samuel B. Casey Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider the question of whether federal taxpayer dollars can be used lawfully to destroy human embryos in order to harvest their stem cells. The case challenged regulations of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that allow the destruction of living …

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Why the human zygote is an organism (and why it matters)

By Paul Stark In the public debate over embryo-destructive biomedical research, many people dismiss the claim that the human zygote and blastocyst/young embryo (early stages of human prenatal development just following conception) are human beings on the grounds that other cells and tissues—such as a patch of skin cells, or the sperm and egg—are also …

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Dear Abby highlights solution to “Deadlock” over frozen embryos

By Paul Stark In yesterday’s “Dear Abby” column, “Deadlocked in New Jersey” asks for advice about the fate of her frozen human embryos. She and her husband used in vitro fertilization and gave birth to two children, and two “excess” frozen embryos remain. Her husband does not believe they can financially accommodate any more children, …

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Good news you may have missed in the battle to protect human embryos

By Scott Fischbach, executive director, Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life We live in such a loud and noisy world that sometimes the news that is most important gets lost.  In recent weeks some major developments have been taking place in the battle to protect living human embryos from so-called scientists who want to dissect and …

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Fighting Successfully to Thwart the Drive to Commodify Human Life

By Dave Andrusko Almost exactly one month apart, two classic examples of how unrelenting resistance to the drive by the biotechnology industry and individual researchers to commodify human life can pay rich dividends. One, here at home, the other, in Europe. As we reported, on September 16, after eight long years of patient work, there …

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The European Centre for Law and Justice Welcomes decision of the European Court of Justice on the status of the human embryo

By Gregor Puppinck, PhD, Director, European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ) In an important and closely-monitored judgment, the European Court of Justice has decided, in the case C-34/10 “Oliver Brüstle v Greenpeace e.V.,” that an invention is excluded from being patented where the process requires either the prior destruction of human embryos or their …

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