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Quandary

Quandary column

The Secret of Morality

By Michael Cook

Does thinking about science improve morality?

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The Dark Background to Immortal Cells

By Michael Cook

The origins of human cell lines used in some of the world’s greatest medical discoveries have been called into question.

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Genetic Privacy at Risk

By Michael Cook

US intelligence agencies may be analysing our communications on a massive scale, but genetic data is already proving just as vulnerable.

Michael Cook is editor of BioEdge, a bioethics newsletter.

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A Retrospective of the Stem Cell Debate

By Michael Cook

Ten years ago embryonic stem cells were set to transform medicine. Ethics took a back seat to science, but the cures never came.

Michael Cook is editor of the bioethics newsletter BioEdge.

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Déjà Vu All Over Again

By Michael Cook

In vitro eugenics could soon make Huxley’s Brave New World a reality.

Michael Cook is editor of the bioethics newsletter BioEdge.

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Genetic Ancestry

By Michael Cook

The thriving business of DNA ancestry testing is hawking dreams, not science.

Michael Cook is editor of the online bioethics newsletter BioEdge.

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Care in Ancient Societies

By Michael Cook

Archaeologists are documenting evidence that ancient humans cared for disabled members of their community.

Michael Cook is editor of the bioethics newsletter BioEdge.

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No Joy for Addicts

By Michael Cook

Neurosurgeons in China are treating drug addicts by destroying a part of the brain responsible for feeling pleasure.

Chinese neurosurgeons are treating heroin addicts by destroying a region of the brain which feels pleasure. Time magazine reports that this “risks permanently ending the entire spectrum of natural longings and emotions, including the ability to feel joy.”

Even in China, zapping bits of the brain is controversial. The Ministry of Health banned it in 2004 – but left a loophole for researchers. Apparently one surgeon drove a truck through this loophole and by 2007 he had done 1000 of these operations to treat severe depression, epilepsy and schizophrenia.

The New Eugenics

By Michael Cook

In the last century eugenics involved sterilisation or murder. This century it is more likely to involve genetic enhancement.

Michael Cook is editor of BioEdge, an online bioethics newsletter.

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Stem Cell Researchers Win Nobel Prize

By Michael Cook

The development of induced pluripotent stem cells overturned conventional thinking and removed the ethical issues associated with the destruction of embryos.

Michael Cook is editor of the online bioethics newsletter BioEdge.

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