UK for the first time allows genetic manipulation of human embryos

Homunculus-alchemical-creationBy giving permission to a group of researchers to genetically modify human embryos, the United Kingdom has re-affirmed its role as the EU country in which scientists have to comply with the lowest ethical standards. The British government apparently considers low ethics a competitive advantage.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has, for the first time, approved a licence to use gene editing in research. This decision recklessly tears down one of the last ethical barriers for research. From now on, ethics will never again be an obstacle for ambitious researchers, or for the multi-million industry behind them. Continue reading “UK for the first time allows genetic manipulation of human embryos”

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Transplantable organs from man-pig chimera?

pig-with-human-face-dieThe Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung today has a very interesting article on a conference of stem-cell researchers in Bonn, where a professor from Japan, Hiromitsu Nakauchi, has presented plans concerning the cultivation of human organs for transplantation … in genetically manipulated pigs. At this stage it is not yet cler whether this project, if it really can be realized, poses new ethical problems, or whether it is a contribution to avoiding or solving them.

“ONE OF US” castigates European Commission: “Your stance is self-defeating”

one_of_us_logo_02In the lawsuit through which they are challenging the European Commission’s inadequate reply to their successful initiative, the Organizers’ Committee of the European citizens’ initiative (ECI) “ONE OF US” have now replied to the Commission’s statement of defense.

In their reply, the Citizens’ Committee serenely expresses the view that it can already now consider itself as the winner in this dispute at least from a moral point of view: Continue reading ““ONE OF US” castigates European Commission: “Your stance is self-defeating””

Pro-life citizens’ initiative “ONE OF US” wins moral victory: European Commission admits “inconsistencies and misrepresentations”

There has been a long period of silence around “ONE OF US, with more than 1,7 million signatures the most successful European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) so far, which is asking the EU to adopt legislation to guarantee for the full protection of the human being as from the moment of conception. As readers of our blog will recall, the  organizers of the ECI, following the European Commission’s disappointing and inappropriate reaction to their initiative, have brought a formal action (case T 561/14) against the Commission to the General Court of the EU. In their application, which was filed on 25 July 2014, they have demanded that the Commission’s reply to their initiative, which was issued as Communication COM(2014) 355 final on 28 May 2014, be annulled, and that the Commission be obliged to issue another, more appropriate reply to the pro-life ECI that was endorsed by 1.7 million Europeans.

The Commission’s reply to this court application has now been received.

In his reaction, the representative of the ECI, Dr. Grégor Puppinck, speaks of a “great moral victory for ONE OF US, and a disaster for the Commission”: Continue reading “Pro-life citizens’ initiative “ONE OF US” wins moral victory: European Commission admits “inconsistencies and misrepresentations””

EU Court confirms Brüstle Judgment on human embryos

ivfThe Court of Justice of the EU has confirmed its interpretation of the term “human embryo”. In a new case concerning the patentability of processes covering the use of parthenogenetically-activated human ova, the High Court of Justice for England and Wales submitted a preliminary question to the CJEU, asking whether the concept of “human embryo”, as interpreted in the judgment in the case of Brüstle v. Greenpeace, is limited to organisms capable of commencing the process of development which leads to a human being. In that regard, the High Court of Justice explained that, according to current scientific knowledge, organisms such as those which are the subject of the applications for patent registration are not capable of developing into a human being. Human embryos are excluded from patentability under Article 6 of Directive 98/44/EC on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions. Continue reading “EU Court confirms Brüstle Judgment on human embryos”