Tag Archives | biohazard

Can We Trust Scientists’ Self-Control?

Positive-pressure biosafety suitNew biological techniques create the potential for catastrophe. The self-control of scientists is not enough to protect us, or to secure public trust. National governments must step in. Filippa Lentzos, Koos van der Bruggen and Kathryn Nixdorff argue that the US should lead the way, at the Guardian:

There is a growing convergence of concern about new technologies in the life sciences that are raising significant societal, ethical, environmental and security risks. Global public engagement must be a priority for deliberation about these technologies and for developing a set of common red lines.

The genome-editing technique CRISPR-Cas9 is the latest in a series of technologies to hit the headlines. This week Chinese scientists used the technology to genetically modify human embryos – the news coming less than a month after a prominent group of scientists had called for a moratorium on the technology. The use of ‘gene drives’ to alter the genetic composition of whole populations of insects and other life forms has also raised significant concern.

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Horror in Russia: Fisherman Discovers Hundreds of Mummified Fetuses

According to Russia Times, a Russian fisherman near the Ural mountains made a gruesome discovery while hiking in search of firewood: hundreds of canisters containing human fetuses. The 50 milliliter canisters and their horrific contents were abandoned on the outskirts of the small town of Nevyansk. Authorities there denied that the fetuses originated in their town, claiming that Nevyansk is too small to have produced this many abortions and miscarriages.

The canisters were later tracked to three hospitals in the area, but the mystery doesn’t end there: the containers were filled with formalin and labeled with identifying information regarding the mothers, both completely out of accordance with Russian medical policies. Even stranger? This gruesome cargo has apparently been in storage for ten years…

Read More at Russia Times.

 

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