Monday, 4 February 2008

Weekly BioNews 28 Jan - 4 Feb 2008

- Finnish patient gets new jaw from own stem cells

Fri Feb 1, 2008 1:46pm EST

By Sami Torma

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Scientists in Finland said they had replaced a 65-year-old patient's upper jaw with a bone transplant cultivated from stem cells isolated from his own fatty tissue and grown inside his abdomen.

Researchers said on Friday the breakthrough opened up new ways to treat severe tissue damage and made the prospect of custom-made living spares parts for humans a step closer to reality.

"There have been a couple of similar-sounding procedures before, but these didn't use the patient's own stem cells that were first cultured and expanded in laboratory and differentiated into bone tissue," said Riitta Suuronen of the Regea Institute of Regenerative Medicine, part of the University of Tampere.

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- Pope says some science shatters human dignity

Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:57am EST

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict said on Thursday that embryonic stem cell research, artificial insemination and the prospect of human cloning had "shattered" human dignity.

In an address to members of the Vatican department on doctrinal matters, Benedict said the Church had a duty to defend the "great values at stake" in the field of bioethics.

The speech was the latest in a series in which the conservative Pope has told his listeners that scientific progress should not be accepted uncritically.

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- WHO reports Tamiflu-resistant flu in U.S., Canada

Fri Feb 1, 2008 1:44pm EST

By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA (Reuters) - The main seasonal flu virus in the United States and Canada as well as parts of Europe shows higher resistance to the antiviral drug Tamiflu, raising questions about its potential effectiveness in a human bird flu pandemic.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported the elevated resistance in North America on Friday, but said it was too early to know what the chances may be for increased Tamiflu resistance in the H5N1 strain of avian influenza.

It did not change its recommendation that Tamiflu be used to treat human cases of bird flu.

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