This Week in Bioethics

by Matthew Eppinette, CBC Executive Director on September 15, 2017

Post image for This Week in Bioethics

1. Good News, Right Up Top!

This appears to be a promising advancement in adult/non-embryonic stem cell research. Scientists in San Diego are developing a new method for working with the cells, using a process that is similar to the ways in which cells normally develop. The upshot is that this new technique “removes the risk of altering the cell genome . . . and could result in a more uniform quality of stem cells produced.” For those interested, the journal article announcing the development is in Nature Biotechnology. And don’t forget that our very first documentary film was on stem cell research. You can watch Lines That Divide on Vimeo.com.

2. Ramsey Institute Scholar on Germ-Cell Gene Editing

Our Paul Ramsey Institute Scholar Gilbert Meilaender carefully and thoughtfully addresses the potential and the peril associated with the newly developing technology of germ-cell gene editing. 

we might wonder whether germ-cell editing should even be characterized as medicine. The ‘patient’ is no longer a particular suffering human being; instead, the object of such proposed interventions is what Paul Ramsey once called ‘that celebrated nonpatient, the human species.’

As with everything Dr. Meilaender writes, it is well worth your time to read it in full.

3. Millions Raised to Bring Reproductive Technologies to Tech Employees

As we’ve reported before, many tech companies are offering egg freezing as a benefit for their employees. A Silicon Valley startup has raised $3.6 million to bring egg freezing and IVF to those who don’t have it as a company benefit. One HR director is quoted as saying her company is interested in this because the company values “close family ties.” We say, this is not the way to support close family ties. Egg freezing is full of false promises and potential harms.

4. New Book on Surrogacy

Our #StopSurrogacyNow campaign this week announced a new book by Dr. Renate Klein, an original signer of the #StopSurrogacyNow Statement and long-term women’s health researcher from Australia. Her book, Surrogacy: A Human Rights Violation, will be published in November 2017, and is now available for pre-order.

5. A Cautionary Computer Hacking Tale

Someone recently hacked into a casino through sensors mounted in a fish tank. The sensors monitor the condition of the tank, but allowed hackers to gain access to the casino’s computer network and download 10 gigabytes of data. While the incident is being highlighted as a caution regarding the “Internet of Things” or IoT, there is a lesson in there for those who wish to merge humans and machines. Computers and computer networks are far from invulnerable, and it seems some are bent of finding and exploiting any access they can.

Just One More Thing 

Simply put, while we run a lean operation at CBC, we really do need your financial support! We don’t ask this lightly. We know there are many good causes worth giving to in the world. But we are doing work that no one else is doing, raising issues that no one else is raising, forming partnerships no one else if forming, and working to identify, inform, and inspire the next generation of bioethics leaders . . . for our shared human future 


 
The Center for Bioethics and Culture is a non-profit 501(c)(3) public benefit educational organization. All gifts are tax-deductible.

This Week in Bioethics Archive

Image by Fronk via flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

 

Previous post:

Next post: