Joking that he is eager to grow a pair of crab claws, Stephen Colbert asked National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins last night what’s taking so long with stem cell research. In response to the Colbert Report host, Collins [...]
There are promising developments heralding the arrival of personalized medicine, a new medical field where the results of genetic tests or other biomarker assessments are used to tailor drugs and treatments to individual patients.
It turns out that induced pluripotent stem cells are more similar to embryonic stem cells than previously thought—at least in mice. Although iPS cells are not completely identical to embryonic stem cells, two teams of Chinese scientists have been able [...]
The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit Tuesday against the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Myriad Genetics, and the University of Utah, arguing that patents for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are invalid. Mutations in the two genes are responsible [...]
Stem cell research might need to be the tortoise to gene therapy’s hare. In the most recent issue of Science, James M. Wilson of the University of Pennsylvania, cautions stem cell research advocates to avoid the hype surrounding much work [...]
Warfarin is a widely-used drug that prevents blood clots during surgery. Two million patients a year take it, but doctors must calibrate dosing carefully to prevent bleeding complications from the blood thinner. Fortunately, the Food and Drug Administration last year [...]
A raft of scientific evidence in recent years, along with a recent book, demonstrates that environment has a very strong impact on an individual’s brain development. The work effectively rebuts most of the lingering arguments over the controversial Bell Curve hypothesis.
The new rules on embryonic stem cell research weigh ethical considerations and sound science. Now that’s progressive.
The National Human Genome Research Institute recently posted a searchable database and spreadsheet of genome-wide association studies, or GWAS. The catalog includes data on 1309 single nucleotide polymorphisms, called SNPs, from articles in 296 publications. The table explains what traits [...]
Predictably, President Obama has run into some political pushback on last week’s Executive Order. The complaints have arisen primarily over two issues, neither of which is substantial and both of which deserve to be countered.
Although we are still celebrating President Obama’s executive order on stem cell research, it’s important to remember that the policy change was proceeded by new research involving the creation of virus-free induced pluripotent cells. The discovery came courtesy of Rudolf [...]
Stem cell policy just caught up with research, and SP contributor and CAP Research Assistant Michael Rugnetta outlines how to move forward with dicussions on how to to conduct ethical research involving human embryonic stem cells at the Huffington Post. From his [...]
The National Institutes of Health announced in late February that it will soon begin a clinical trial that will prescribe the anticoagulant drug warfarin based on genetic data collected by an international consortium that the NIH spearheaded. The decision and [...]
Food and Drug Administration Acting Director Frank Torti announced Monday in a podcast the creation of a new position in the Office of Chief Scientist: the Senior Genomics Advisor. Dr. Liz Mansfield, a scientist who has worked on scientific policy [...]
The Senate is doubling down on the House proposal to support biomedical research and innovation with the recovery and reinvestment package—and then some. The Senate version of the stimulus bill originally provided $3.5 billion in funds for the National Institutes [...]
Originally, the Neuroethics Society expected 50—maybe 80—people to show up for its First Annual Meeting. But over 200 neuroethics devotees assembled last week at the American Academy for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C. This is just the beginning, as neuroscience experts are moving to educate more policymakers on the implications of advances in the field.
Yesterday, Michigan voters amended the state constitution to allow Michigan’s scientists to derive human embryonic stem cells without fear of criminal prosecution. The amendment will allow fertility patients to donate excess embryos from IVF clinics, a practice which up until now was illegal in Michigan.
“Saving” embryos from destruction through the Human Cloning Ban Act, as conservatives suggest, would neither save them or the women carrying them to term.
Deep brain stimulation is an experimental technique in which electrodes are implanted into the thalamus to correct the effects of neurodegenration or brain injury. Scientists have used the process to treat essential tremor since 1997 and Parkinson’s disease since 2002. The Neurophilosophy blog reports that doctors have recently used the technique to monitor brain surgery in real time—and in tempo. Neurosurgeons had their patient, the legendary bluegrass musician Eddie Adcock, play his banjo while he was undergoing deep brain stimulation.
Today, the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News both endorsed a new policy that will be on the ballot this November in Michigan, and, if passed, will allow stem cell research. Michigan has the most restrictive anti-stem cell research laws in the nation, a tragedy which is compounded by the fact that Michigan has one of the most productive biotech R&D infrastructures of any state.