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Gene-Based Embryo Selection: Are 'Designer Babies' on the Horizon?

The notion of parents picking out genetically perfect babies may seem like science fiction, but bioethicists warn in a new report that some companies have already started to offer couples going through in vitro fertilization (IVF) the means to pick better embryos through polygenic scoring.

Polygenic scores are a "weighted average of the contributions of all of the genes we have informatio...

Scientists Create Embryos With Cells From Monkeys, Humans

Researchers have successfully introduced human stem cells into monkey embryos in the lab, creating short-lived hybrid organisms that could prove an important step in growing human transplant organs from livestock or creating better animal models for studying human disease.

The human/monkey chimeras -- organisms that contain cells from two or more species -- survived for up to 20 days in p...

Too Many U.S. Doctors Biased Against Patients With Disabilities: Study

Dr. Lisa Iezzoni is all too familiar with the discrimination that patients who have a disability can face: Having lived with multiple sclerosis for more than four decades and now in a wheelchair, she has also studied health care experiences and outcomes for people with disabilities for more than 20 years.

But her new survey on doctors' attitudes towards disabled patients still surprised h...

Bias More Likely in Medical Journals That Accept Reprint Fees: Study

There is a longstanding fear in the scientific community that pharmaceutical companies could sway the research published in medical journals by paying them for advertising, but a new study reveals that advertising might not be the problem.

"All the available literature suggests that ad revenue should be the real concern, but that's not what we found," said study author S. Scott Graham...

Allow Dead Men to Be Sperm Donors, Medical Ethicists Say

Should a dying man be allowed to let doctors harvest his sperm for possible use by strangers after death? Yes, say two medical ethicists in the United Kingdom.

Writing in an article published Jan. 20 in the Journal of Medical Ethics, Drs. Nathan Hodson and Joshua Parker said that such donations would be akin to the organ donor process.

"If it is morally acceptable th...

'Designer Babies' a Long Way Off

"Designer babies" aren't going to be a reality anytime soon, researchers say.

Concerns about genetically altering embryos to have desired traits have been around nearly as long as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and the technology to screen embryos have existed.

But while recent live births resulting from embryonic CRISPR gene editing have re-focused attention on the issue, the...

Scientists Bring Pig's Brain, Dead 4 Hours, Back to 'Cellular Activity'

The death of brain cells may not be as sudden, or as irreversible, as previously believed.

Four hours after a pig's death, Yale scientists restored circulation and revived cellular activity within the dead animal's brain.

The cells of the brain remained viable six hours later, compared with other brains not preserved using the newly developed process, the researchers reporte...

After Chinese Infant Gene-Editing Scandal, U.S. Health Officials Join Call for a Ban

The controversy over a Chinese scientist who claimed he created gene-edited babies has prompted the U.S. National Institutes of Health to join an international moratorium on such research.

"Today, leading scientists and ethicists from seven countries have called for an international moratorium on the use of genetic editing to modify the human germline for clinical purposes," NIH Direc...

Payments for Research Can Lead to Lies: Study

People who are paid to take part in research may be more likely to lie about their eligibility than those who aren't paid, a new study finds.

It included nearly 2,300 people who were surveyed on whether they're received a recent flu shot. One group of participants was told that their eligibility to take part in the survey didn't depend on whether or not they'd had a flu shot. This was...