October 26, 2009

Link dump: 2009.10.26

From the four corners of the web:
  • Practical Ethics: Will Down syndrome disappear?
    There are concerns about the impact of the improving accuracy and availability of low risk cheap prenatal tests such as for Down syndrome (DS). Introduction of a noninvasive maternal serum test is expected that might provide a definitive diagnosis of DS in the first trimester at no risk to the fetus. The authors report that the tests should be virtually universally available and allow privacy of decision making. The authors ask whether the new tests will decrease the birth incidence of DS even further. Indeed, might there be no more DS children born? If so, is that a problem?
  • Seven questions that keep physicists up at night [NS]
    It's not your average confession show: a panel of leading physicists spilling the beans about what keeps them tossing and turning in the wee hours. That was the scene a few days ago in front of a packed auditorium at the Perimeter Institute, in Waterloo, Canada, when a panel of physicists was asked to respond to a single question: "What keeps you awake at night? The discussion was part of "Quantum to Cosmos", a 10-day physics extravaganza, which ends on Sunday.
  • Womb transplant 'years away'
    The reported two-year estimate for the first human womb transplant is overly optimistic. There are several major hurdles to overcome before this could be considered ready for trials in humans. It would also involve a series of operations, carrying all of the usual risks, plus ones that are as yet unknown, for a non life-threatening condition.
  • An Open Letter to Future Bioethicists
    I have thought about their question quite a bit. I have come to realize that the answer is not the same for everyone who presents the questions. But, the core of the answer is pretty much the same; pursue masters level training in bioethics, acquire familiarity with key social science methods and tools, learn something about a particular sub-area of the health sciences or life sciences and, seek out every opportunity to fine tune your analytical and rhetorical skills by working with others on projects, research, consulting, or teaching activities. At its heart bioethics is an interdisciplinary activity and knowing how to work with others who do empirical, historical, legal and normative work is a must.

1 comment:

ZarPaulus said...

On the first link, Down Syndrome shortens your life expectancy so I consider it a disease, therefore eliminating it would be a good thing.