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Fetal/maternal cell transfer, non-invasive prenatal diagnosis and naturally occurring micro-chimerism


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Fetal/maternal cell transfer, non-invasive prenatal diagnosis and naturally occurring micro-chimerism.

The discovery of cell free fetal DNA (ffDNA) that is recoverable from maternal blood during pregnancy is currently the basis for a variety of non-invasive prenatal tests for limited conditions. This project will trace the techno-scientific development and ‘production’ of fetal and maternal cells and genetic material, and the ongoing construction of theory/method packages through which prenatal diagnostic goals are intertwined with biomedical platforms and initiated into clinical practice. I will also be examining assumptions about what prenatal diagnostic technologies mean to potential parents, in various contexts, and about how ‘risk’ may operate in those meanings.


By E Genis, UK.


Health Policy Resource.

Human Embryos or Hybrids?


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Human Embryos or Hybrids?

We developed this role play for our course on Genomics and Society in the Humanities programme at the Peninsula Medical School at Exeter University for small student groups of medical undergraduates between Year 1 and Year 4. From both previous experience with such teaching tools in diverse student groups including teachers, nurses, public groups and students in different disciplines, and also from the students’ lively engagement and enthusiastic response to this particular role play, we recommend it be used where the aim is to introduce the complexity of the socioethical situation in modern biomedicine more generally or stem cell research in particular.


By E Genis, UK.


Health Policy Resource.

Research Briefing: Stem Cell Research in Context

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Research Briefing: Stem Cell Research in Context
by Christine Hauskeller and Dana Wilson-Kovacs


The project:

Different national regimes governing research on human embryos facilitate embryonic stem cell research in the UK and largely restrict it in Germany. While the UK has invested more substantially in embryonic stem cell research, Germany has strongly supported research using adult stem cells.