News from Bioethics.com

Study Shows Purdue’s Switch to ‘Abuse-Deterrent’ OxyContin Helped Drive a Spike in Hepatitis C Infections

3 months 2 weeks

(STAT News) – When Purdue Pharma reformulated its signature pain drug OxyContin in 2010, its aim was to make the pill “abuse-deterrent.” But the change may have had an unanticipated and disastrous public health impact, according to a new study: accelerating a nationwide spike in hepatitis C infections. When the new version of OxyContin became far more difficult to crush or ingest nasally, many opioid users switched to injecting illicit heroin after 2010. That shift, researchers found, caused hepatitis C rates to spike three times faster in states with the highest non-medical OxyContin use.

IVF Linked to Slightly Higher Risk of Maternal Complications

3 months 2 weeks

(CBC) – Women who become pregnant using fertility treatments — particularly in-vitro fertilization — have a slightly higher risk of severe complications around the time of delivery compared to women who conceive naturally, research suggests. Those complications include post-partum bleeding that may require a blood transfusion, admission to an intensive care unit, infection of the reproductive system, and — in extremely rare cases — death.

‘We’re Still Waiting’: As Cystic Fibrosis Drugs Deliver New Hope, Not Everyone Is Being Swept Up by Scientific Progress

3 months 3 weeks

(STAT News) – The catch is that cystic fibrosis is not caused by one mutation, or a handful, but more than 1,500 different rearrangements in the code for the gene known as CFTR. The cutting-edge treatments — there are three available now and a fourth, still-experimental medication expected to be approved, all from Vertex Pharmaceuticals — cover the mutations held by some 90 percent of CF patients. That leaves up to 10 percent of people whose diseases are advancing without a powerful defense to slow them down. Hillman is among them.

Transplanting Pig Kidneys in Humans, 3D Organ Printing and Other Futuristic Innovations to Solve the Organ Shortage

3 months 3 weeks

(CNBC) – Now researchers, doctors and policymakers are exploring new strategies to increase the supply of organs needed to meet demand. Among the promising pursuits: advancing stem cell research in an effort to heal damaged organ tissue; developing biofabrication techniques in an effort to fast-track the 3D manufacturing of human organs, and using gene-editing techniques to find safe ways to use pig organs for human transplants.

New U.S. Experiments Aim to Create Gene-Edited Human Embryos

3 months 3 weeks

(NPR) – A scientist in New York is conducting experiments designed to modify DNA in human embryos as a step toward someday preventing inherited diseases, NPR has learned. For now, the work is confined to a laboratory. But the research, if successful, would mark another step toward turning CRISPR, a powerful form of gene editing, into a tool for medical treatment.

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