We Should Resist Making “Synthetic Embryos” Too Realistic

We Should Resist Making “Synthetic Embryos” Too Realistic

A rendering of emerging medical technology.

(© chombosan / Fotolia)


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Insoo Hyun
Insoo Hyun (PhD) is Associate Professor of Bioethics and Philosophy at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio. He chaired the Subcommittee on Human Biological Materials Procurement for the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR). He also served as Co-Chairperson of the ISSCR Task Force on International Guidelines for the Clinical Translation of Stem Cells. Most recently, Dr. Hyun served as a member of the ISSCR Working Group that revised the ISSCR’s 2016 guidelines for basic and translational stem cell research. Dr. Hyun has authored over 50 scholarly articles in journals such as Science, Nature, Cell Stem Cell, and The Hastings Center Report. His book Bioethics and the Future of Stem Cell Research was published by Cambridge University Press in 2013.
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The Friday Five: Soon Band-Aids Could Be AIs

In this week's Friday Five, research on a "smart" bandage for wounds, a breakthrough in fighting inflammation, the pros and cons of a new drug for Alzheimer's, benefits of the Mediterranean diet with a twist, and we've learned to recycle a plastic that was un-recyclable.

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The Friday Five covers five stories in research that you may have missed this week. There are plenty of controversies and troubling ethical issues in science – and we get into many of them in our online magazine – but this news roundup focuses on scientific creativity and progress to give you a therapeutic dose of inspiration headed into the weekend.

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Matt Fuchs

Matt Fuchs is the editor-in-chief of Leaps.org. He is also a contributing reporter to the Washington Post and has written for the New York Times, Time Magazine, WIRED and the Washington Post Magazine, among other outlets. Follow him on Twitter @fuchswriter.

Sexually Transmitted Infections are on the rise. This drug could stop them.

Cases of gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis soared last year, but researchers are finding that a drug known as doxy seems to reduce the number of infections.

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Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are surging across the U.S. to 2.5 million cases in 2021 according to preliminary data from the CDC. A new prevention and treatment strategy now in clinical trials may provide a way to get a handle on them.

It's easy to overlook the soaring rates of gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis because most of those infections have few or no symptoms and can be identified only through testing. But left untreated, they can lead to serious damage to nerves and tissue, resulting in infertility, blindness, and dementia. Infants developing in utero are particularly vulnerable.

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Bob Roehr
Bob Roehr is a biomedical journalist based in Washington, DC. Over the last twenty-five years he has written extensively for The BMJ, Scientific American, PNAS, Proto, and myriad other publications. He is primarily interested in HIV, infectious disease, immunology, and how growing knowledge of the microbiome is changing our understanding of health and disease. He is working on a book about the ways the body can at least partially control HIV and how that has influenced (or not) the search for a treatment and cure.