31 research outputs found

    Tackling antibiotic resistance

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    The development and spread of antibiotic resistance in bacteria is a universal threat to both humans and animals that is generally not preventable but can nevertheless be controlled, and it must be tackled in the most effective ways possible. To explore how the problem of antibiotic resistance might best be addressed, a group of 30 scientists from academia and industry gathered at the Banbury Conference Centre in Cold Spring Harbor, New York, USA, from 16 to 18\ua0May 2011. From these discussions there emerged a\ua0priority list of steps that need to be taken to resolve this global crisis

    Creating the ‘ethics industry': Mary Warnock, in vitro fertilization and the history of bioethics in Britain

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    Recent decades have seen a shift in the management and discussion of biomedicine. Issues once considered by doctors and scientists are now handled by a diverse array of participants, including philosophers, lawyers, theologians and lay representatives. This new approach, known as ‘bioethics', has become the norm in regulatory committees and public debate. In this article, I argue that bioethics emerged as a valued enterprise in Britain during the 1980s because it fulfilled, and linked, the concerns of several groups. My analysis centres on the moral philosopher Mary Warnock, who chaired a government inquiry into human fertilization and embryology between 1982 and 1984, and became a strong advocate of bioethics. I detail how Warnock's promotion of bioethics tallied with the Conservative government's desire for increased surveillance of hitherto autonomous professions – while fulfilling her own belief that philosophers should engage in public affairs. And I also show that Warnock simultaneously promoted bioethics to doctors and scientists as an essential safeguard against declining political and public trust. This stance, I argue, framed bioethics as a vital intermediary between politics, the public, and biomedicine, and explains the growth and endurance of what the Guardian identified as an ethics industry

    Twenty-first century brain banking. Processing brains for research: the Columbia University methods

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    Carefully categorized postmortem human brains are crucial for research. The lack of generally accepted methods for processing human postmortem brains for research persists. Thus, brain banking is essential; however, it cannot be achieved at the cost of the teaching mission of the academic institution by routing brains away from residency programs, particularly when the autopsy rate is steadily decreasing. A consensus must be reached whereby a brain can be utilizable for diagnosis, research, and teaching. The best diagnostic categorization possible must be secured and the yield of samples for basic investigation maximized. This report focuses on integrated, novel methods currently applied at the New York Brain Bank, Columbia University, New York, which are designed to reach accurate neuropathological diagnosis, optimize the yield of samples, and process fresh-frozen samples suitable for a wide range of modern investigations. The brains donated for research are processed as soon as possible after death. The prosector must have a good command of the neuroanatomy, neuropathology, and the protocol. One half of each brain is immersed in formalin for performing the thorough neuropathologic evaluation, which is combined with the teaching task. The contralateral half is extensively dissected at the fresh state. The anatomical origin of each sample is recorded using the map of Brodmann for the cortical samples. The samples are frozen at −160°C, barcode labeled, and ready for immediate disbursement once categorized diagnostically. A rigorous organization of freezer space, coupled to an electronic tracking system with its attached software, fosters efficient access for retrieval within minutes of any specific frozen samples in storage. This report describes how this achievement is feasible with emphasis on the actual processing of brains donated for research

    Genetic Enzyme Deficiencies and the Blood-Brain Barrier

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