Daily Dose: Resurrecting dead pig brains; CRISPR babies a good thing?

Resurrection men: Neuroscientists at Yale University were able to temporarily revive pig brains four hours after they had been slaughtered in an abattoir. They were able to restore connections and halt the death of cells in the brain, something once believed to be irreversible.the researchers stressed that the pigs were never at a point where consciousness had been restored. https://bbc.in/2Ir0hL2

The alternate viewpoint: It’s easy to make off-the-cuff judgments about CRISPR editing of human embryos like the so-called Chinese CRISPR babies. To their credit, STAT news has focused on the other side of the debate. In an article, “As calls mount to ban embryo editing with CRISPR, families hit by inherited diseases say, not so fast”, Sharon Begley highlights individuals born with devastating conditions. Those people view CRISPR editing of embryos for its potential to alleviate a lifetime of pain. According to one woman whose two sons inherited her condition, “It’s easy to get on your high horse when you’re not in our position. If editing an IVF embryo is the best option to mitigate the pain that a child would otherwise suffer, then give us the choice.” http://bit.ly/2XqaN8X

Hopeful times: A malaria vaccine that promises to offer 100% protection from the disease will undergo a large-scale testing. According to Nature, “The trial will begin in early 2020 on Bioko, an island off the coast of Equatorial Guinea, and will involve 2,100 people aged 2–50 years. The trial is intended to provide the efficacy and safety data needed for regulatory approval.” https://go.nature.com/2XfxFYu

Outbreak news: The CDC has posted an update to the multistate outbreak of Shiga toxin producing E. coli O103. According to their website, “Eleven ill people have been hospitalized. No deaths and no cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome (a type of kidney failure) have been reported.” The source of the outbreak has yet to be determined. http://bit.ly/2XmsXbG

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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