| After a court battle, a young Hodgkin's patient is allowed to avoid chemotherapy
by Lynde Langdon Posted 9/16/06, 12:00 am
The parents of a teenager who refuses chemotherapy for his Hodgkin's disease agreed in August to compromise with doctors and social workers who accused them of neglect. Sixteen-year-old Abraham Cherrix told his parents he could not cope again with the weakness, pain, and nausea he felt during his first round of chemotherapy about a year ago.
| With presidential veto, stem-cell battle is far from over
by Lynde Langdon Posted 8/12/06, 12:00 am
ST. LOUIS-Republican senators returning to their home states for August recess face constituencies newly fractured over expanding public funding for embryonic stem-cell research. The issue-which drew the first veto of the Bush administration July 19-has fractured not only Republicans but even those conservatives elected with pro-life constituencies.
| Bioethicists want to keep tabs on the practice of making "designer babies"
Lynde Langdon | 7/15/06, 12:00 am
At first, the British government typically only allowed couples to toss out in vitro fertilization embryos if the embryos tested positive for serious childhood illnesses. Recently, it extended the allowance to include embryos with a chance of developing inherited cancer such as breast cancer as adults.
Now, the Sunday Times reports, doctors at the University College Hospital in London are asking the government to allow parents to choose the sex of their child if they have a family history of autism-a non-fatal condition that affects more boys than girls.
| How far will a television network go to challenge the top-rated show in America during a sweeps period?
Lynde Langdon | 5/20/06, 12:00 am
How far will a television network go to challenge the top-rated show in America during a sweeps period? On May 9, ABC attempted to draw viewers away from American Idol on Fox with a TV movie that assumed history would soon repeat itself with a bird-flu pandemic.
Before airing Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America, ABC boasted it had done meticulous research about H5N1, the strain of avian influenza now sweeping across the globe. But the movie seemed more like an adaptation of a popular book about the 1918 "Spanish flu" pandemic than a docu-drama about a contemporary disease.
| Governments around the world are preparing for the possibility that bird flu will mutate into a disease that humans can give to one another
Lynde Langdon | 4/22/06, 12:00 am
Most English-speaking countries expected bird flu to cross their borders, but the disease's arrival in Scotland on March 29 shocked at least one resident into paranoia. Members of the British press at first thought professional soccer coach Jose Mourinho was being sarcastic when he said last week that he feared bird flu more than the rival club Manchester United.
| The nanotech future is just beginning
Lynde Langdon | 3/04/06, 12:00 am
ST. LOUIS- In a dim meeting room at the America's Center in St. Louis, two rows of armless stick figures splash across a projection screen. The figures, some upright and others upside down, look like two-tentacled squids lined up to tickle each other's feet. The stick figures represent lipids, the molecules that make up fat. In this picture, they line up to form a lipid bilayer, the material that makes up the membrane, or skin, of living cells. What the scientists at this symposium are learning about lipid bilayers could change the world.
| Following months of accusations, an investigation committee reports that Hwang Woo-Suk's research results were fabricated
Lynde Langdon | 1/28/06, 12:00 am
A 9-month-old Afghan hound named Snuppy can now claim more than just the title "World's First Cloned Dog." An investigation into the research of his engineer, South Korea's Hwang Woo-Suk, revealed Snuppy was also Mr. Hwang's only legitimate scientific discovery during the two years he lied to the world about astonishing achievements he never made.
| Bioethicist and presidential advisor Leon Kass wants to get back to basics about medical science's complexities
Lynde Langdon | 1/28/06, 12:00 am
Leon Kass did not appoint himself shepherd of the rocky hills of modern-day bioethics. He set out with a one-year leave of absence from his biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health to explore bioethics 35 years ago. The young physician-scientist never made it back to the lab.
Instead, his thoughts and writings about the nature of human dignity became guideposts for a nation struggling to answer the question: What does it mean to be human?