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for Freedom of Scientific Research
Number 10, March 2010
- "Human Embryonic Stem Cells: Steps Back, Steps Forward". "While the current definition limits hESC to cells taken from the inner layer of a blastocyst (5–6 days after fertilization), the new definition will also include cells taken from a morula, the developmental stage that come before a blastocyst is formed (3–4 days after fertilization) they explain. The new definition should take away some ammunition from the ever vigilant critics of hESC, thus making access and use to hESC less unsteady". Dr. Andrea Boggio, Bryant University, USA; Member of the Board of Directors of Luca Coscioni Association and Andrea Ballabeni, Harvard Medical School; General Counsellor of LCA, comment the redefinition of human embryonic stem cells recently done by the US National Institutes of Health, in charge of selecting research projects to be publicly funded. Read more.
- "Abortion: is Northern Ireland part of UK?". "In October (2008) several modernization amendments were proposed to the (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act) to improve women’s access to abortion. The most controversial amendment was to extend the 1967 abortion act to Northern Ireland. You may wonder if Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom, why does the 1967 Act not include Northern Ireland? Essentially, we are governed by a piece of Victorian legislation, the 1861 Offences Against the Persons Act. This Act states that anyone procuring an illegal abortion will be kept in penal servitude in life. That is still the law in Northern Ireland". Read on line the full text by Audrey Simpson, Director, Family Planning Association, Northern Ireland (from the proceedings of the Second Meeting of the World Congress for Freedom of Scientific Research).
- Country report on freedom of research: Ireland. The country of the month is Ireland, surveyed by the students of Bryant University, RI, USA. Last update: March 2009. Although there are many laws that limit freedoms, Ireland also lacks legislation that specifically addresses many of our questions. This happens to be evident in their lack of specific legislation and legal definitions for the purposes of the project. Oocyte donation is strictly forbidden in Ireland. Along the same vein, it is practically impossible to get around the stringent laws for utilizing a surrogate mother. In some areas however there is a lot more freedom, one example is stem cell research but excluding therapeutic cloning. Euthanasia is also illegal, like abortion which is strictly forbidden in Ireland. Contraceptives are free but you need a prescription for some of them. The report is still incomplete in some fields. You can help monitoring freedom of research and cure in your country and in the world. Any contribution will be fully acknowledged. Read more.
- Rome: condom machine for pupils at school. The Guardian reported the case of an Italian secondary school, the Liceo scientifico Keplero, the first school to install condom-selling machines for students in Italy. While the Cardinal Agostino Vallini deplored the initiative as "trivializing sexuality", Annalisa Chirico, leader of Studenti Coscioni (group of student members of Luca Coscioni Association) was quoted by the Guardian: "The 40% of [teenage] girls do not use any method of contraception", she denounced, "while another 20% entrust themselves entirely to the withdrawal method". Read more.
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