bioethics bioethics

Embryoids like this one are created from stem cells and resemble very primitive human embryos. Scientists are studying them in hopes of learning more about basic human biology and development. Courtesy of Rockefeller University hide caption

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Courtesy of Rockefeller University

A human embryo kept alive in the lab for 12 days begins to show signs of early development. The green cells seen here in the center would go on to form the body. This embryo is in the process of twinning, forming two small spheres out of one. Courtesy of Gist Croft, Cecilia Pellegrini, Ali Brivanlou/Rockefeller University hide caption

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Courtesy of Gist Croft, Cecilia Pellegrini, Ali Brivanlou/Rockefeller University

Embryo Experiments Reveal Earliest Human Development, But Stir Ethical Debate

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Anemic patients did not know about their condition during a testosterone trial. Renphoto/Getty Images hide caption

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Renphoto/Getty Images

Researchers Failed To Tell Testosterone Trial Patients They Were Anemic

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Editing human genes that would be passed on for generations could make sense if the diseases are serious and the right safeguards are in places, a scientific panel says. Claude Edelmann/Science Source hide caption

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Claude Edelmann/Science Source

Scientific Panel Says Editing Heritable Human Genes Could Be OK In The Future

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Some ethicists and consumer watchdog groups worry that the newly revised federal rules governing medical research don't go far enough to protect the rights and privacy of patients. Dana Neely/Getty Images hide caption

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Dana Neely/Getty Images
Alicia Watkins for NPR

Breaking Taboo, Swedish Scientist Seeks To Edit DNA Of Healthy Human Embryos

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Maria Fabrizio for NPR

When Pregnant Women Need Medicine, They Encounter A Void

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Pablo Ross of the University of California, Davis, inserts human stem cells into a pig embryo as part of experiments to create chimeric embryos. Rob Stein/NPR hide caption

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Rob Stein/NPR

NIH Plans To Lift Ban On Research Funds For Part-Human, Part-Animal Embryos

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A chalkboard "bucket list" stirred imaginations and got people talking at an Indianapolis festival designed to help make conversations about death easier. Jake Harper/WFYI hide caption

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Jake Harper/WFYI

Death Talk Is Cool At This Festival

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Nobel laureate David Baltimore of Caltech speaks to reporters at the National Academy of Sciences international summit on human gene editing, on Tuesday in Washington, D.C. Hundreds of scientists and ethicists from around the world debating how to deal with technology that makes it easy to edit the human genetic code. Susan Walsh/AP hide caption

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Susan Walsh/AP

Scientists Debate How Far To Go In Editing Human Genes

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Chris Nickels for NPR

Powerful 'Gene Drive' Can Quickly Change An Entire Species

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Ken (left) and Henry were created using DNA plucked from a skin cell of Melvin, the beloved pet of Paula and Phillip Dupont of Lafayette, La. Edmund D. Fountain for NPR hide caption

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Edmund D. Fountain for NPR

Cloning Your Dog, For A Mere $100,000

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iStockphoto

Costs Of Slipshod Research Methods May Be In The Billions

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Cambrian Genomics says that what it calls a DNA printer is essentially a DNA sorter — it quickly spots and collects the desired, tailored stretch of DNA. Courtesy of Cambrian Genomics hide caption

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Courtesy of Cambrian Genomics

DNA 'Printing' A Big Boon To Research, But Some Raise Concerns

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Ikon Images/Corbis

Scientists Urge Temporary Moratorium On Human Genome Edits

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Along with sperm, the in vitro procedure adds fresh mitochondria extracted from less mature cells in the same woman's ovaries. The hope is to revitalize older eggs with these extra "batteries." But the FDA still wants proof that the technique works and is safe. Chris Nickels for NPR hide caption

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Chris Nickels for NPR

Fertility Clinic Courts Controversy With Treatment That Recharges Eggs

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The size of the brain of a chimpanzee (right) is considerably smaller than that of a human brain. Probably multiple stretches of DNA help determine that, geneticists say. Science Photo Library/Corbis hide caption

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Science Photo Library/Corbis

Just A Bit Of DNA Helps Explain Humans' Big Brains

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Surgeons at Methodist University Hospital in Memphis prepare to transplant a liver in 2010. Karen Pulfer Focht/The Commercial Appeal/Landov hide caption

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Karen Pulfer Focht/The Commercial Appeal/Landov

Who Gets First Dibs On Transplanted Liver? Rules May Change

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U.S. Marine Sgt. Robert Scoggin gets a vaccination against smallpox in 2003 at Camp Pendleton in California — one of the final steps before deployment overseas. David McNew/Getty Images hide caption

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David McNew/Getty Images

Keep Or Kill Last Lab Stocks Of Smallpox? Time To Decide, Says WHO

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Being able to insert the two man-made letters into DNA, alongside the usual four-letter alphabet, could teach old cells new tricks and lead to better drugs, researchers say. courtesy of Synthorx hide caption

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courtesy of Synthorx

Chemists Expand Nature's Genetic Alphabet

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Botulism bacteria, or Clostridium botulinum, grow in poorly preserved canned foods, especially meat and fish. The microbe's toxin could be lethal as a bioweapon. Dr. Phil Luton/Science Photo Library/Corbis hide caption

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Dr. Phil Luton/Science Photo Library/Corbis

Who's Protecting Whom From Deadly Toxin?

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