Eubios News in Bioethics & Biotechnology - January 2000


Eubios Journal of Asian and International Bioethics 10 (2000), 20-31.

Comments are written in text form together with recent references. This list continues from the last issue of EJAIBand will continue. The full list of news (OLD = 1991-1993; NEW = 1994+) until May 1999 is available on-line topic-by-topic, at: http://eubios.info/NBB.html

Abbreviations


News in Bioethics & Biotechnology

Comments are written in text form together with recent references. This list continues from the last issue of EJAIB and will continue. This list is available on-line topic-by-topic, at:
http://eubios.info/NBB.html


Genetic Engineering of Plants

A genetically modified rice that has improved iron and vitamin A is described in Food Today 17 (Oct. 1999), 4. Increasing productivity by crossing with wild relatives is discussed in NS (27 Nov. 1999), 13. Plant genomics is revolutionizing agricultural research, Biotech. & Development Monitor 40 (Dec. 1999), 2-6. The Rockefeller Foundation is ending a large rice biotech program, Science 286 (1999), 1468-9.

A colloquim with papers on the enhancement of horticultural crops for improved human health is HortScience 34 (1999), 1156-69. The use of plants to make plastics is discussed in Science News 156 (1999), 246.

Expression of CAX1 gene can increase sensitivity to stress, Plant Cell 11 (1999), 2113-22. The use of blueberry to study control of chilling requirement and cold hardiness is HortScience 34 (1999), 1185-8. Brassica self-incompatibility can be broken down in ARC1 antisense transgenic plants in Science 286 (1999), 1729-31; and on the male determinant, Science 286 (1999), 1697-700. Monsanto roundup ready soybean is not suitable for growth in very hot climates, reports say once soil temperature is 45C, NS (20 Nov. 1999), 25. Cytogenetic analysis of translocations in soybean are discussed in Heredity 90 (1999), 648-53.

Potatoes have been made that are resistant to the fungus that caused the Irish potato famine, NS (11 Dec. 1999), 8. A fungus Ascochyta caulina may be able to kill fat hen, which is useful for organic farms, NS (27 Nov. 1999), 14. The threats of geminiviruses are discussed in Science 286 (1999), 1835. Expression of the Bs2 pepper gene confers resistance to bacterial spot disease in tomato, PNAS 96 (1999), 14153-8. Penicillin may help fight fungal diseases in crops, NS (11 Dec. 1999), 22.

Genetic Engineering of Animals

Pig growth can be enhanced by growth hormone gene transfer at the somatic level, NS (18 Dec. 1999), 22. The maternal contribution to fertility in cattle is reported from field trials in New Zealand in Animal Reproduction Science 57 (1999), 127-40. Ectopic gene expression in anthropods using Sindhis viral vectors is reported in Current Biology 9 (1999), 1279-87. A universal marker for transgenic insects is reported in Nature 402 (1999), 370. Neurodegeneration in Drosophila can be suppressed by HSP70, Nature Genetics 23 (1999), 425-8. Gene transfer is discussed in Toshiki, T. et a. "Germline transformation of the silkworm Bombyx mori L. using a piggyBac transposon-derived vector", Nature Biotechnology 18 (2000), 81-4. MRI scanners for small animals have been made, Science 286 (1999), 2261-2.

Postnatal sex reversal of ovaries is seen in mice lacking estrogen receptors alpha and beta, Science 286 (1999), 2328-31. Mice deficient in CREM have altered emotions and locomotion, PNAS 96 (1999), 14094-9. A model that prevents instability of the CAG repeat in Huntington disease transgenic mice is Nature Genetics 23 (1999), 471-3. Mice models of neurofibromatosis are discussed in Science 286 (1999), 2172-9.

Designer Molecules

A review of the RNA world that may have existed before DNA is TIG 9 (1999), M9-13. The evolutionary challenges of extreme environments are reviewed in J. Exp. Zoology (Mol. Dev. Ecol.) 285 (19999), 326-59. A general comment on the development of sensors is BMJ 319 (1999), 1288.

The addition of enzyme to animal feed may help digestion of some substances, and one example is phytase, Biotech. Letters 21 (1999), 925-7. The potential for bioenergy schemes is discussed in Bioresource Technology 71 (2000), 225-34.

Biotechnology & the Public

The use of technology in medicine is discussed in Marck, PB. "Recovering ethics after 'technics': developing critical text on technology", Nursing Ethics 7 (2000), 5-14. Farmers attitudes to technical innovation are surveyed from Quebec in Can. J. Agricultural Economics 47 (1999), 31-43. In general on technology, Nature 402 (1999), 350.

The danger of the US governments clamp down on scientific freedom following the allegations of spying at Los Alamos are in Newsweek (11 Oct. 1999), 8. In general on loss of interest in science, Science 286 (1999), 2072-8. Ethics should aid research, Nature 402 (1999), 576. Religion and science are discussed in a book review in Nature 402 (1999), 579-80.

Several papers on risk and the philosophy of risk are in Ambio 28 (1999), 538-49. An essay on Frankenstein is Science 286 (1999), 1859-74. The risks of Mount Vesuvius erupting are discussed in Science 286 (26 Nov. 1999).

The first part including abstracts and report from the proceedings of the Oviedo conference 16-19 May, 1999, have been published in booklet form, "International Conference of the Council of Europe on Ethical Issues Arising from the Application of Biotechnology" (Council of Europe, 1999, 95pp. ISBN 92-871-4157-6). The Swiss TA Programme organized a consensus conference (locally named PubliForum) on the theme "Genetic engineering and Food" in June 1999. The report containing the conclusions of the lay panel is now translated in English and is available on our web site as pdf file at the following address: http://www.admin.ch/swr/e/swr.html. You can also directly order it: Brigitta Walpen, TA Programme, Swiss Science Council, Inselgasse 1, 3003 Bern, Switzerland. On the agbiotech revolution, GEN 20 (1 Jan. 2000), 1, 14, 16, 47.

Culture affects technology, MJA 171 (1999), 508-9. In November 1999 Japan had to destroy one of its H-II rockets soon after takeoff in a failed rocket launch, Nature 402 (1999), 336. Science education is discussed in Science 286 (1999), 2056. Science and higher education in Russia is discussed in Science 286 (1999), 1303-4. On creativity, Science 286 (1999), 2272.

Regulation & Field Trials of GMOs

The dangers of gene transfer from GM fish is discussed in NS (4 Dec. 1999), 4. A letter on the possible positive use of terminator technology is Nature 402 (1999), 457; The Economist (9 Oct. 1999), 108-9. The technology would seem to be useful in fish farms. Novartis has developed a sugar-based replacement as a gene marker instead of antibiotic resistance, NS (20 Nov. 1999), 10.

A report that the Bt toxin is released into the rhizosphere soil is Saxena, D. et al. "Insecticidal toxin in root exudates from Bt corn", Nature 402 (1999), 480. They however have no idea if this affects the root communities, but it is now a subject for research. The risks of Bt to Monarch butterflies does not appear to be high after experiments, Probe VIII (1 Jan. 2000), 1-3; GEN 19 (Dec. 1999), 1, 12, 62; Science 286 (1999), 1662-6.

A review on lateral genomics is TIG 9 (1999), M5-8. Highlights from the 9th International Congress on Molecular Plant-Microbe interactions are in The Plant Cell 11 (1999), 2063-9. The complete genome sequence of Thermotoga maritima has revealed lateral gene transfer is common, Current Biology 9 (1999), 747-51. The retrotransfer of genes in plasmids is reviewed in Microbiology 145 (1999), 3321-9. The efficiency of rabies control using a GM vaccine is assessed by computer simulation in Ecological Modelling 124 (1999), 221-32.

The safety of GM crops is discussed in Outlook (Lincoln University) (Sept. 1999), 18-23; TREE 15 (2000), 14-7. A report on the use of papaya is Hautea, R. et al., "The Papaya biotechnology network of Southeast Asia: Biosafety considerations and papaya background information", No. 11, 2000 (ISAAA Briefs 2000, 108 pp.). Crops that are made resistant by genetic engineering can still do better by chemical additions, NS (18 Dec. 1999), 5.

There is still impasse in the regulation of GMOs, seen in the WTO trade talks in Seattle, NS (11 Dec. 1999), 12; Nature 402 (1999), 348. For biosafety regulation in the European Union see http://www.icgeb.trieste.it/biosafety/bsfeurop.htm and each directive / decision / regulation is linked to its full-text page on the European server. The ICGEB also is adding monthly new links to official databases for environmental releases of GMOs at http://www.icgeb.trieste.it/biosafety/bsfrel.htm They provide links to OECD (BioTrack); Australia (GMAC); Argentina (CONABIA); Brazil (CTNBio); Canada (CFIA); EU (JRC); Germany (RKI) and USA (USDA/ISB). They welcome linking new available databases.

The US still expects to increase its agricultural exports a further US$500 million in the year 2000, Agricultural Outlook (Oct 1999), 10-1. The OECD is holding a conference in Edinburgh in early 2000 on the safety of biotechnology, Nature 402 (1999), 338. The UK farming industry costs almost 2.3 billion pounds a year in environmental and health damage, almost equal to the income, NS (18 Dec. 1999), 10.

Concerns over biowarfare are still high, but research is called for to prevent terrorism, Science 286 (1999), 1677, 2241; NS (18 Dec. 1999), 36-9. The safety of the vaccine against inhalational anthrax is reviewed in JAMA 282 (1999), 2104-6. A book review is JAMA 282 (1999), 1877-8. Lab safety lapses have lead to the licenses for radioactive chemical experiments being suspended in the Toronto University Health Network, Science 286 (1999), 2253.

Vaccines & Diseases

The idea of personalized vaccines are coming closer to reality, GEN 19 (Dec. 1999), 1, 25. Combined Hib and DTP vaccine is reviewed in Lancet 354 (1999), 2063-8. Hib in Asia is discussed in Bulletin WHO 77 (1999), 867-8. Individual rights versus community health are discussed in an editorial in BMJ 319 (1999), 1448-9. A call for more use of pneumococcal vaccine in adults, especially in elderly is Lancet 354 (1999), 2011. Predicting the evolution of influenza A is difficult, Science 286 (1999), 1921-5. The single positive finding of human papillomavirus DNA in a Pap smear test confers increased risk of future invasive cervical cancer, NEJM 341 (1999), 1633-8; BMJ 319 (1999), 1454. A mechanism has been suggested for linking atherosclerosis and viruses, Lancet 354 (1999), 1976. On varicella virus, Time (11 Oct. 1999).

The risks of contaminated surgical instruments in CJD is Lancet 354 (1999), 1823-4. The rest of Europe is now having to face their own cases of BSE, NS (4 Dec. 1999), 11. A US electronic statewide system of reporting notifiable disease in Hawaii is reviewed in JAMA 282 (1999), 1845-50. In general on vaccines, Lancet 354 (1999), 2006-7.

Studies of the virus that caused brain inflammation in New York is an immigrant virus from the Middle East, and it has spread at least in birds to Connecticut and Maryland, Science 286 (1999), 1450-1, 2331-3, 2333-7; JAMA 282 (1999), 1806-7; Jia XY. Et al. "Genetic analysis of West Nile New York 1999 encephalitis virus", Lancet 354 (1999), 1971-2. A genetic map of the malaria parasite is Science 286 (1999), 1351-3: 1263-4.

Control of MRSA is discussed in JAMA 282 (1999), 1745-51. Quinupristin/dalfopristin are new drugs to combat resistant bacteria, Lancet 354 (1999), 2012-3. Brain scans have shown that Gulf War syndrome is real, NS (4 Dec. 1999), 10.

AIDS & Sexually Transmitted Diseases

A study on access is Wilson, D. et al. "Global trade and access to medicines: AIDS treatments in Thailand", Lancet 354 (1999), 1893-5. South Africa is now supporting use of the low cost antiretroviral drug nevirapine, Nature 402 (1999), 332, 454. Israel banned the showing of condoms in photos on International AIDS day on 1 December, 1999; BMJ 319 (1999), 1455. Syringe vending machine trails from France have been useful to reach some persons who avoid programs, AJPH 89 (1999), 1852-4. A UK study of persons who avoid GPs to talk about HIV is SSM 50 (2000), 233-45.

The US CDC has asked doctors to give patient names or identifying codes for persons with HIV (9 Dec. 1999). From a dentists view, Canadian Dental Association, "Statement on the ethical and legal considerations of treating patients with infectious diseases", J Can Dental Assoc 65 (1999), 456. Care for persons with HIV is discussed in a paper from Finland in Nursing Ethics 6 (1999), 224-39. Chinese experts are calling for more education to halt HIV, Lancet 354 (1999), 1800. Japan is rethinking how to educate on STDs, Lancet 354 (1999), 2059. A study of 681 men, 81% having sex only with men; and 12% bisexual, found a trend toward increasing levels of unprotected anal intercourse, Strathdee, SA. Et al. "HIV infection and risk behaviours among young gay and bisexual men in Vancouver", CMAJ 162 (2000), 21-5. The impact of HIV on Africa is discussed in JAMA 282 (1999), 1992-4. In 1999 a worldwide record of 26 million deaths from AIDS was reported, BMJ 319 (1999), 1387.

A review is Berer, M. "Reducing perinatal HIV transmission in developing countries through antenatal and delivery care, and breastfeeding: supporting infant survival by supporting women's survival", Bulletin WHO 77 (1999), 871-7; pp. 869-70. Also, NEJM 341 (1999), 1698; Lancet 354 (1999), 1901-4; BMJ 319 (1999), 1431-2. A drug which blocks P-glycoprotein may help stop transfer of HIV from mothers to fetuses, NS (4 Dec. 1999), 6. A letter on post-exposure prophylaxis for exposure to HIV is JAMA 282 (1999), 1623-4.

Concerns about the safety of using HIV-1 gp120 gene as a potential AIDS vaccine are discussed on the site www.newstrolls.com/news/dev/CJ/vaccine/103098.htm;Veljkovic V. & Metlas R., Potentially negative effects of AIDS vaccines based on recombinant viruses carrying HIV-1 derived envelope gene: a warning on AIDS vaccine development., Vaccine 11 (1993), 291; Veljkovic V., et al. Molecular basis of the inefficacy and possible harmful effects of AIDS vaccine candidates based on HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein gp120. Vaccine 15 (1997), 437.

On the origins of AIDS, Newsweek (13 Dec. 1999); Science 286 (1999), 1305-6. A new strain of HIV that destroys the immune system of chimps was discussed in a public meeting at NIH before trials, Science 286 (1999), 1454-5. Mechanism is discussed in Science 286 (1999), 1470-1; and therapy in NEJM 341 (1999), 1865-81, 1925-6; JAMA 282 (1999), 1627-38, 1668-9, 1994.

Specific HLA alleles affect resistance to hepatitis C virus infection, Lancet 354 (1999), 2094-5, 2119-24.

Microbes & Pollution Remedies

Bioremediation of former manufactured gas sites is reviewed in EST 33 (1999), 4379-84. Many microorganisms have been found capable of breaking down perchlorate, EST 33 (1999), 515A. Risk assessment for polycyclic aromatics is reviewed in EST 33 (1999), 4357-63. The distribution of lindane and other hexachlorocyclohexanes in the environment is reviewed in EST 33 (1999), 4373-8.

The genome sequence of a resistant bacteria has been found from Celera Genomics, White, O. et al. "Genome sequence of the radioresistant bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans R1", Science 286 (1999), 1571-7. On its use, Brim, H. et al. "Engineering Deinococcus radiodurans for metal remediation in radioactive mixed waste environments", Nature Biotechnology 18 (2000), 85-90. Biosorption of uranium by Aspergillus fumigatus is reported in Biotech. Techniques 13 (1999), 695-9. Mercury can be removed by a resistant Pseudomonas putida strain, AEM 65 (1999), 5279-84. Two Sedish detective dogs found 10 tonnes of mercury hidden in drains, NS (27 Nov. 1999), 23.

A review on biosensors is EST 33 (1999), 500-6. Degradation of spent sausage casings by cellulases is one way to reduce their accumulation, Bioresource Technology 71 (2000), 125-31.

Environmental Issues

The role of culture in setting standards is discussed in Martin, CSM. "Spiritual and cultural resources as a component of tribal natural resource damages claims", Public Land & Resources Law Review 20 (1999), 1-12. The law and the present generation is discussed in Heinzerling, L. "Environmental law and the present future", Georgetown Law J. 87 (1999), 2025-78. A paper on regulation of aircraft noise is Morrison, SA. Et al. "Fundamental flaws of social regulation: The case of airplane noise", J. Law & Economics XLII (1999), 723-43. On environmental law and policy in general, Harvard Environmental Law Review 23 (1999), 297-470. A series of papers on maritime law are in Tulane Law Review 73 (June 1999), 1481-2194. The role of law in regulating science in the US is reviewed in Wagner, WE. "Congress, science and environmental policy", Univ. Illinois Law Review (1999), 181-286. A review of law changes in the environmental laws in 1999 in the US is Syracuse Law Review 49 (1999), 469-72.

About 55 million years ago the planet released much carbon-rich gas which increased global temperatures, Science News 156 (1999), 260. Europe may face an ice age as a result of global warming altering ocean currents, NS (27 Nov. 1999), 6. Establishing a renewable energy market is discussed in EST 33 (1999), 495-9A, 508-11A. The idea to make hydrogen as a fuel in cars on the spot is discussed in NS (20 Nov. 1999), 22. A method to estimate damage from power stations is discussed in EST 33 (1999), 4364-72. Efforts to stop global warming are discussed in NS (20 Nov. 1999), 24; (27 Nov. 1999), 5. A review of the chemical and biological response of the Pacific Ocean to the 1997-98 El Nino is Science 286 (1999), 2126-31. A combination of logging and El Nino is blamed for a failure of dipterocarps in Borneo, Science 286 (1999), 2184-8. Dimethylsulphide is discussed in Nature 402 (1999), 363-4.

The impact of free trade on the environment are discussed in NS (27 Nov. 1999), 16-7; The Economist (9 Oct. 1999), 15-6. Pollution needs to be stopped despite a country's urge to industrialize, NS (27 Nov. 1999), 48-9. The impact of law on companies in Australia is reviewed in Univ. Queensland Law J. 20 (1998), 50-69. There are also social costs in law suits, Georgetown Law J. 87 (1999), 285-345. Chinese crop yields are reduced by the aerosol emissions in the atmosphere, PNAS 96 (1999), 13626-33. There is discussion of Egypt's plan to divert the Nile river flow for irrigation in NS (18 Dec. 1999), 16-7.

China has been using methyl bromide to fumigate soils, despite the substance being banned as a destroyer of the ozone layer, and the existence of a simple replacement, NS (11 Dec. 1999), 7. The ground can be fumigated by covering soil with a plastic sheet, adding water and letting the sun boil the water. The level of UV-B in sunlight in New Zealand is now 12% higher than in 1990, NS (27 Nov. 1999), 6.

Fertilizer may be hiding perchlorate which is a water pollutant, Science News 156 (1999), 245. Deaths of harbour porpoises and dolphins in the UK are linked to PCBs and mercury, NS (18 Dec. 1999), 12. Reduced bone formation is shown after exposure to organophosphates, Lancet 354 (1999), 1791-2. Some organochlorine compounds, including DDT are linked to exocrine pancreatic cancer, Lancet 354 (1999), 2125-9. Environmental cancer is reviewed in JAMA 282 (1999), 1681-2. Some effects n health may be subclinical, Env. Research 81 (1999), 87-91. Reducing garbage is discussed in Time (8 Nov. 1999), 80-1. On emerging environmental issues, Ambio 28 (1999), 464-71. Pollution permit trading is discussed in J. Env. Econ. Management 38 (1999), 249-66.

The Tokaimura nuclear accident is discussed in Newsweek (11 Oct. 1999), 14-18; Time (11 Oct. 1999), 24-9, (18 Oct. 1999), 22-4; BMJ 319 (1999), 1323. The law is discussed in Pelzer, N. "Focus on the future of nuclear liability law", J. Energy & Natural Resources Law 17 (1999), 332-53. Risk management is reviewed in Nature 402 (1999), 596-7. The backlog of liquid radioactive waste may force UK nuclear power plants to shutdown, NS (5 Dec. 1999), 5. Nuclear weapons stockpiles are still the major threat to human existence, Nature 402 (1999), 583.

The uncertainty over the impacts of EMF is discussed in Lancet 354 (1999), 1918-9, 1925-31, 1967; NS (11 Dec. 1999), 3, 14; Bulletin WHO 77 (1999), 906-3. A study of cell phone deaths is JAMA 282 (1999), 1814-6. A study of jet pilots found that they have excess skin cancer which may be the result of sun exposure while on leisure breaks at holiday destinations, Lancet 354 (1999), 2029-31. A measure is Amanuma, K. et al. "Transgenic zebrafish for detecting mutations caused by compounds in aquatic environments", Nature Biotechnology 18 (2000), 62-5.

Biodiversity

A paper on restoring wild species is Doremus, H. "Restoring endangered species: The importance of being wild", Harvard Environmental Law Review 23 (1999), 1-92. A collection of letters and papers by Dr. Mike Vandeman (Email:mjvande@pacbell.net) on conservation including a paper "Wildlife Need Habitat Off-Limits to Humans" is on-line at < http://www.imaja.com/change/environment/mvarticles/>. There is a decrease in wilderness areas, Time (8 Nov. 1999), 82-4. A legal analysis of the listing of the bull trout under the Endangered Species Act in the USA is Public Land & Resources Law Review 20 (1999), 99-130.

Some species are likely to be mainly born in zoos rather than the wild in the future, Newsweek (27 Dec. 1999), 54-7. The question of whether cloning should be used to revive an extinct bird, the Huia, in New Zealand was debated at a conference in July 1999. For the news release and pictures of the Huia see <http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/ radewey/cu-071699.html>

In Brazil forest rangers carry machine guns, Newsweek (25 Oct. 1999), 54-5. The difficulty of defining a species is discussed in NS (20 Nov. 1999), 1. Ecosystem communication is discussed in Science 286 (1999), 1684-5, 2068-9, 2091-2. Biodiversity protection is reviewed in J. Natural Resources & Environmental Law 14 (1999), 85-114. Experiences of conservation biologists hiding as a moose are described in NS (25 Dec. 1999), 62-4. The impact of agriculture on forests is discussed in Science 286 (1999), 1283.

There are fears that lobster stocks will be depleted n the Atlantic, NS (25 Dec. 1999), 16. Cod catches are a third of what they were in the 1980s in Europe, NS (20 Nov. 1999), 14. A legal study on dugongs is Leong, E. "Indigenous Australians and dugongs in the Southern Great Barrier Reef: Legal remedies", Univ. Queensland Technology & Law J. 14 (1999), 108-42. Coral is discussed in Ambio 28 (1999), 472-8; Nature 402 (1999), 601.

Animal Rights

Artificial corneas may save rabbits from eye tests, and may eventually be used for human transplants, NS (18 Dec. 1999), 7; Science 286 (1999), 2051-2. Animal rights protests are discussed in Science 286 (1999), 1477; Lancet 354 (1999), 1978. Vegetarianism is discussed in Time (8 Nov, 1999), 76-7. The idea to grow new brains and stem cells is reviewed in Time (8 Nov. 1999), 66-9. A book review on Imaginary Companions and the Children who create them, is Nature 402 (1999), 351.

A review of DNA analysis for whale meat analysis is Bowen, BW. " A field born in conservation's cold war", TREE 15 (2000), 1-2. Evolutionary studies suggest higher primates may have an Asian root, Science News 156 (1999), 244. The violations of a chimp care facility, the Coulston Foundation in the USA, are discussed in Science 286 (1999), 1269-70.

The idea that humans will evolve into a superorganism is discussed in NS (25 Dec. 1999), 78-9; Frith CD. & Frith, U. "Interacting minds - A biological basis", Science 286 (1999), 1692-5. The limits to how much we can have in our brain is discussed in NS (18 Dec. 1999), 26-31. Language is discussed in Science 286 (1999), 2283-4; Current Biology 9 (1999), R672; and reason in Science 286 (1999), 1861-2. Colour perception in a blind patient is analyzed in PNAS 96 (1999), 14124-9. People who know no fear are discussed in Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. B 266 (1999), 2451-6. In general, Thompson P. "Evolutionary ethics: its origin and contemporary face", Zygon 34 (1999), 473-84.

Safety of Recombinant DNA Products

Designer estrogens are reviewed in Science News 156 (1999), 252-4. Children with major burns can continue normal growth when treated with growth hormone, despite the normal growth retardation after burns, Lancet 354 (1999), 1789. Treatment of traumatic bleeding with recombinant factor VIII is reported in Lancet 354 (1999), 1879. Anti-tumour necrosis factor has benefits in some arthritic therapy, Lancet 354 (1999), 1932-9. Insulin may be a substance of misuse for some patients, BMJ 319 (1999), 1417-8. Hypoglycemia is discussed in JAMA 282 (1999), 1720. A study in the UK suggests costs of interferon beta-1b were high for multiple sclerosis therapy, BMJ 319 (1999), 1529-33. Stabilization of proteins encapsulated in injectable poly (lactide-co-glycolide) is described in Nature Biotechnology 18 (2000), 52-7.

Food safety

GM food is discussed in Science 286 (1999), 1666-8; Time (13 Dec. 1999), 25; GeneWatch 12 (Dec. 1999), 1-3, 5-11, 13, 15; The Economist (16 Oct. 1999), 97-8; Nature 402 (1999), 571, 575; Nature Biotechnology 18 (2000), 13. There is widespread contamination of crops with GM varieties, EST 33 (1999), 484-5A. However access issues may determine if developing countries can get GM crops, Nature 402 (1999), 341-5. SPS agreements are discussed in Agribusiness 15 (1999), 323-33, 355-69. FDA not yet moved by biotech food critics Nature Biotechnology 18 (2000), 15.

In general on food safety increases in the decade, JAMA 282 (1999), 1909-12; Food Policy 24 (Dec. 1999), 589-706. Regulation of food in Switzerland is reviewed in Food Today 17 (Oct. 1999), 2. Shiga toxin producing O157 survives a long time in bovine faeces, AEM 65 (1999), 5177-81. There are usually mixed microbial populations in food, J. Theor. Biol. 201 (1999), 159-70. An editorial calling for use of food irradiation after the 1999 Report of the Auditor General of Canada is CMAJ 162 (2000), 5; (www.oag-bvg.gc.ca). On food irradiation, Science 286 (1999), 2275-6; Report of a Joint FAO/IAEA/WHO Study group, High-dose irradiation: Wholesomeness of food irradiated with doses above 10 kGy, WHO Technical Report Series 890 (1999). On nutraceuticals, Science 286 (1999), 1854-6, 2269-70; and unconventional diets, BMJ 319 (1999), 1419-22.

Testing for heart disease risk is discussed in JAMA 282 (1999), 1991-2, 2012-8. The risk of high sodium includes heart disease, JAMA 282 (1999), 2027-34, 2068-70; and alcohol and heart disease, BMJ 319 (1999), 1523-8. Obesity is an epidemic in UK children, Lancet 354 (1999), 1874-5. Obesity has bad health affects, JAMA 282 (1999), 2136-42; Science 286 (1999), 1679-81. Obesity and ethics is discussed in MJA 171 (1999), 611-3. In Pakistan there have been some cases of cattle fodder being sold as food, Lancet 354 (1999), 1982.

The benefits of tea are discussed in Food Today 17 (Sept. 1999), 1; and green tea, Biol. Bull. 197 (1999), 285-6. Chocolate contains additional flavonoids not found in tea, Lancet 354 (1999), 1825. Vitamin C intake is discussed in JAMA 282 (1999), 2118-9. On the dangers of caffeine, NEJM 341 (1999), 1639-44, 88-9. Many people have an allergy to latex, NS (11 Dec. 1999), 9; NEJM 341 (1999), 1858.

Disease Risks & Drugs

A press dossier on the Adoption of an Opinion on Doping in Sport by the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies to the European Commission, has been released in Nov. 1999 (69pp.). Performance indicators of drug harm minimization are discussed in Bioethics Research Notes 11 (Dec. 1999), 37-9. Bionic nerves can help avoid muscle wasting after stroke, NS (11 Dec. 1999), 5. Lifestyle and bones are discussed in Lancet 354 (1999), 1923; Science 286 (1999), 1825.

Thalidomide is being used for Crohn's disease, Gastroenterology 117 (1999), 1271-7, 1485-98. Alternative medicine is discussed in Time (8 Nov. 1999), 50; JAMA 282 (1999), 1682-3; and in Ireland herbal remedies are on prescription, Lancet 354 (1999), 1799. The failure of a single dose of secretin to help children with autism is reported in NEJM 341 (1999), 1801-6, 1842-3; Lancet 354 (1999), 2140. A legal discussion of Halcion and negligence is Syracuse Law Review 48 (1999), 299-321. A series of papers on technology in medicine are in JAMA 282 (17 Nov. 1999), 1875+. The reuse of "single-use" medical devices is common, BMJ 319 (1999), 1320.

On how genes alter an individual's response to drugs is in GEN 19 (Dec. 1999), 6, 55; Time (8 Nov. 1999), 62. Accelerated drug review in the FDA is discussed in AJLM 25 (1999), 543-68; and generic equivalence studies, JAMA 282 (1999), 1995. A lawsuit by Canadian prisoners who claim they were given LSD in drug trials without conset is underway, Lancet 354 (1999), 2144. The death rate from ecstasy and heroin is discussed in Lancet 354 (1999), 2166-7. A series of papers are ina special issue, Agar, MH. & Kozel, NJ., eds., Ethnography and substance use: Talking numbers", Substance Abuse & Misuse 34 (No. 14, 1999), 1935-2172. A study of the quality of life of Thai persons who abuse substances is J. Rehabilitation (July 1999), 41-8.

A series of papers on alcoholism are in NS (27 Nov. 1999), 26-91. The dangers of early drunk driving are discussed in Lancet 354 (1999), 1788. Beer may have some protection against cancer, NS (4 Dec. 1999), 16. There is discussion of a possible ban on alcohol advertising in NS (27 Nov. 1999), 90-3. Addiction is discussed in The Economist (6 Nov. 1999), 99.

A Korean study shows that in Korea smoking is a major independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, JAMA 282 (1999), 2149-55. The insurance costs of smoking are discussed in J. Law & Economics XLII (1999), 575-609. Passive smoking is more risky for women with a glutathione-S-transferase M1 deficiency, BMJ 319 (1999), 1522. Smoking cessation is discussed in AJPH 89 (1999), 1827-31; JAMA 282 (1999), 1722-3. The EU is planning tighter controls, BMJ 319 (1999), 1391. There is an on-line journal, <www.tobaccocontrol.com>. Tobacco smoking in children is a risk factor for a depressed mood, AJPH 89 (1999), 1837-40; however adverse experiences also tend to lead to smoking, JAMA 282 (1999), 1652-8.

Mandatory public health programs are discussed in Health & Human Rights 4 (1999), 193-203; also JAMA 282 (1999), 1812; NEJM 341 (1999), 1778. International health programs and regulations are discussed in Lancet 354 (1999), 2062. The major causes of death are discussed in Time (8 Nov. 1999), 64-5. On the risks of hearing loss after exploding airbags, NS (27 Nov. 1999), 7. Letters on correct use of car seats are in JAMA 282 (1999), 1721. The idea to regulate firearms as a consumer product is being discussed in the USA, Science 286 (1999), 1481-2. The Red Cross is trying to identify weapons too barbaric to use, NS (4 Dec. 1999), 14-5. There is little evidence that men who were prisoners of war in the far East have higher rates of death than general, Lancet 354 (1999), 2116-8.

Patenting & Business

India and Brazil, and access issues of developing countries to licensed GM crops are discussed in Nature 402 (1999), 341-5. The proposed Indian patent law will protect crops for 15 years unless their commercial exploitation would be "injurous to health", Nature 402 (1999), 566. A paper on ethics and law is Blunt, P. "Selective breeding and the patenting of living organisms", Syracuse Law Review 48 (1999), 1365-90. The Roslin Institute has been awarded a patent on animal cloning techniques for Dolly, and the rights will be administered by Geron Incorporated (USA).

Genentech has agreed to pay University of California US$200 million for an infringement of the growth hormone patent, Science 286 (1999), 1655; Nature 402 (1999), 335. The Hoffman-Roche Taq polymerase patent has been ruled as invalid, Science 286 (1999), 2251; Nature Biotechnology 18 (2000), 7. There are reports that a liver disorder may have been missed because of patent right claims, NS (25 Dec. 1999), 10. The future of copyright in the digital age is discussed in Science 286 (1999), 1251. The US Supreme Court's views on intellectual property are discussed in Nature Biotechnology 18 (2000), 101-2.

Monsanto has announced a proposed merger with Pharmacia & Upjohn Inc. on 20 Dec. 1999. Japan has boosted nuclear safety and biotechnology in the new supplementary budget designed to boost Japan's economy. Several papers on the use of biotechnology by developing countries are in the ISEE Biennial Report 1997-1999. On banana production in Kenya, Biotech. & Development Monitor 40 (Dec. 1999), 18-22. Also in their paper, Alvarez, "Connecting people to the promise of biotech", No. 15, 2000 (ISAAA Briefs 2000, 19pp.). A general review on seed and agrochemical companies is Biotech. & Development Monitor 40 (Dec. 1999), 14-8. Science in India is discussed in Science 286 (1999), 1295, 2083-4; and in Russia, Science 286 (1999), 1303+; and biotech. In Japan, GEN 20 (1 Jan. 2000), 20, 47.

A paper on business ethics is Koehn, D. "Toward a Confucian business ethic", Ethics and Society Newsletter (Hong Kong Baptist University) 7 (Nov. 1999), 2-11. Links to pharmaceutical industry in medicine are discussed in BMJ 319 (1999), 1321; JAMA 282 (1999), 1814. Public sponsors should follow ethical rules also, BMJ 319 (1999), 1430. On the dangers of globalization, Environment & Health News 14 (Winter 1999), 1. The WTO is shaping domestic health policies in many countries, Lancet 354 (1999), 1889-92. Also on WTO and drug policies, BMJ 319 (1999), 1521; Nature 402 (1999), 567. Comments on WTO protests include NS (4 Dec. 1999), 3; Newsweek (6 Dec. 1999), 4; (13 Dec. 1999), 8-17; Time (13 Dec. 1999), 22-4.

Birth Control

Papers on access to reproductive health and distributive justice are in Reproductive Health Matters 7 (1999), 19-117. The future of population growth is discussed in Time (8 Nov. 1999), 72-3; Naturwissenshaften 86 (1999), 411-21. The evolution of human sexuality is discussed in Lancet 354 (1999), 2175. Letters on the definition of sex are in JAMA 282 (1999), 1916-9. An Indian study found abusive men are more likely to have extramarital sex, JAMA 282 (1999), 1967-72.

A report from Japan after approval of the pill is Goto, A. et al. "Oral contraceptives and women's health in Japan", JAMA 282 (1999), 2173-7. A UK and Sri Lanka study has suggested that there may be gum problems in pill users, NS (27 Nov. 1999), 7. Pill users developed acquired resistance to activated protein C, which may explain the risk of venous thromboembolism, Lancet 354 (1999), 2036-40. The mechanism of contraceptives is reviewed in AJOG 181 (1999), 1263-9. Norplant implants are discussed in AJOG 181 (1999), 1270. There are legal battles by several women in the UK who had hysterectomies because of misread cervical smears, Lancet 354 (1999), 1833. Hysterectomies may improve sexual functioning, JAMA 282 (1999), 1934-41. The morning-after pill has been offered on-line in New Zealand and hopes to sell the drug RU-486, currently not allowed in New Zealand.

On 25 November 1999 the House of Lords in the UK closed the idea that a person can claim the right to claim the costs of bringing up an "unwanted" healthy child whose birth resulted from negligence in medical treatment intended to prevent conception or to terminate pregnancy, Lancet 354 (1999), 1924.

Colorado has had another legislative hearing on the banning of female genital mutilation, Reproductive Freedom News VIII (Nov. 1999), 1, 3, Sex may make sports persons more aggressive for the competition, NS (27 Nov. 1999), 18. Males are less likely to seek medical help for STDs than women, BMJ 319 (1999), 1315-6.

Embryo Status

There have been several federal appeal court decisions in the USA which have overturned "partial-birth" abortion bans as unconstitutional, Reproductive Freedom News VIII (Nov. 1999), 6-7. The Supreme Court is likely to consider these bans, Reproductive Freedom News VIII (Dec. 1999), 1, 6. The ban on abortion in El Salvador is discussed in Reproductive Freedom News VIII (Dec. 1999), 2. The UN dues being paid by the USA are linked to avoiding abortion in population health programs, Newsweek (29 Nov. 1999), 33; Lancet 354 (1999), 1886. In New Zealand there are calls for the abortion law to be changed to allow all doctors to authorize abortions, Christchurch Press (22 Dec. 1999), 11; (24 Dec. 1999), 3.

A paper on law is Cook RJ, Dickens BM, "Human rights and abortion laws", Int. J Gynecology and Obstetrics 65 (1999), 81-7. Philosophical papers on abortion are in Nursing Ethics 6 (1999), 37-81. A group called Abortion Reform has combined 13 former groups as a lobby to allow abortion in Ireland, Lancet 354 (1999), 1980. Scotland is aiming to stop antiabortion harassment, BMJ 319 (1999), 1520. On compassion in third trimester abortion, Brit. J. O.&G. 106 (1999), 1329-30.

Results after ten years have found a patients who received fetal neuronal tissue for Parkinson's disease now has normal dopamine release and improved symptoms, Lancet 354 (1999), 1882.

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)

A paper on the impact of cloning is Solter, D. "Cloning and embryonic stem cells: Anew era in human biology and medicine", Croatian Medical J, 40 (1999), 309-18; and on laws, Hsu, MB. "Banning human cloning: An acceptable limit to scientific inquiry or an unconstitutional restriction of symbolic speech", Georgetown Law J. 87 (1999), 2399-430. Also on cloning, Nature Genetics 23 (1999), 395. In Japan researchers who fused nuclei of human cells with bovine egg cells in cancer research have broken rules designed to stop human cloning, Lancet 354 (1999), 1801. Japan may outlaw human reproductive cloning, Lancet 354 (1999), 1885; BMJ 319 (1999), 1390.

France may be lifting its ban on human embryo experiments, following the recommendation of the Conseil d'Etat, Nature 402 (1999), 563, 565. The NIH has set rules that allow funding of some embryonic stem cell research, Science 286 (1999), 2050-1; BMJ 319 (1999), 1517. Rat spinal cord function has been restored in experiments using stem cells, Science 286 (1999), 1826-7. Also on stem cells, Science 286 (1999), 2238-9; BMJ 319 (1999), 1308.

The case of three identical boys, triplets has been reported in Spain, Lancet 354 (1999), 1882. Multiple pregnancies are discussed in F&S 72 (1999), 970-2; JAMA 282 (1999), 1832-8. The possibility that humans will no longer procreate by sex is discussed in Time (8 Nov. 1999), 46-9; MJA 171 (1999), 659, 660-4; NS (25 Dec. 1999), 54-5. The possibility that sex surveys to survey behaviour actually shape our behaviour is discussed in Christchurch Star (29 Dec. 1999), B1; The Independent (Dec. 1999). There is some concern in the UK on where to limit the use of preimplantation diagnosis, BME 152 (1999), 5-6. Some parents use it to help sick siblings by providing a tissue matching embryo (and child), NS (11 Dec. 1999), 18-9. On the use of IVF, Plomer, AL. Et al. "Rationing policies on access to in vitro fertilization in the National Health Service, UK", Reproductive Health Matters 7 (1999), 60-70; Waller, L. "The costs of treating infertility", J. Law & Med. 7 (1999), 183-90.

The Donor Conception Support Group of Australia Inc is a self-funding organization run by volunteers that has been in existence since 1993. Starting with a membership of 20 adults, we have now grown to approximately 600 adults and 300 children with members in the USA, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Sweden, U.K. ,Germany and Indonesia. The membership is made up of people considering or using donor sperm, egg or embryo, those who already have children conceived on donor programmes, adult donor offspring and donors. We also have Social Workers, Doctors, clinic staff as members of the group. Their Aims Are 1) To provide support to People considering or currently on donor sperm, egg or embryo programs, donors and recipient families- parents and most importantly the children themselves. 2) To increase public awareness of the use of donor gametes. To contact the DCSG the address is Donor Conception Support Group of Australia Inc, P.O.Box 53, Georges Hall 2198, NSW Australia.

A report from Ron's angels and buying eggs is Newsweek (8 Nov. 1999), 54-5; and on the future prospects, Nature 402 (1999), 585. The psychological profile of oocyte donors is reported in F&S 72 (1999), 1066-72. Two papers on surrogacy and law are in Medical Law Review 7 (1999), 1-20, 38-57. The protection of liberty is discussed in Daar, JF. "Assisted reproductive technologies and the pregnancy process: Developing an equality model to protect reproductive liberties", AJLM 25 (1999), 455-78. Reproduction after death is discussed in Bennett, B. "Posthumous reproduction and the meanings of autonomy", Melbourne University Law Review 23 (1999), 286-307. DALYs are applied to reproductive health in Reproductive Health Matters 7 (1999), 118-29. ART is discussed in Roberts JH. "Coalition building and public opinion: new reproductive technologies and Canadian society", Intl J of Technology Assessment in Health Care 15 (1999), 15-21.

There have been some recent cases of sex determination cases in India being investigated by the Medical Council, Lancet 354 (1999), 1981. A philosophical defense is Savulescu, J. "Sex selection: the case for", MJA 171 (1999), 373-5. A study on three sex prediction methods, fetal heart rate test, the Chinese calendar test and the Draino test, is Ostler, S. & Sun, A. "Fetal sex determination: the predictive value of 3 common myths", CMAJ 162 (2000), 1525-6.

Safety is reviewed in Loft A. et al. "A Danish national cohort of 730 infants born after intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) 1994-1997." Human Reproduction14 (1999): 2143-8. Letters on male infertility and the risk of diseases in future generations are Lancet 354 (1999), 1906-8. IVF pregnancies may have increased early rate of pregnancy loss, F&S 72 (1999), 1061-5. The question of whether there are marker loci for fertility is discussed in F&S 72 (1999), 1148-50. In general on the science, Science 286 (1999), 2265; F&S 72 (1999), 1035-40; BMJ 319 (1999), 1388; MJA 171 (1999), 342-3, 353-7.

Human rights and transexualism is discussed in Health & Human Rights 4 (1999), 134-64. Transexualism is discussed in Lancet 354 (1999), 1828-9. Social factors can make gay men suicidal, Science News 156 (1999), 261.

Fetal Environment & Neonates

Folic acid is still not being taken by many in the USA who would most benefit from it, Probe VIII (1 Jan. 2000), 6-7; also Lancet 354 (1999), 2167-8; BMJ 319 (1999), 1499. However babies are more healthy in the USA now than a decade ago, JAMA 282 (1999), 1807-10. The question whether fetal surgery is best for spina bifida fetuses is discussed in Lancet 354 (1999), 1795; JAMA 282 (1999), 1819-25, 1826, 1873-4.

Risks of alcohol inducing miscarriage are discussed in NS (20 Nov. 1999), 17. Moderate coffee consumption is unlikely to lead to risk of spontaneous abortion, but excess may, NEJM 341 (1999), 1639-44; BMJ 319 (1999), 1456. The affect of inhaled nitric oxide in neonates is discussed in Lancet 354 (1999), 2162-3. Preconceptional paternal exposure to pesticides increases the risk of childhood leukemia, Lancet 354 (1999), 1819. Poor growth in utero is linked to risk of coronary heart disease, BMJ 319 (1999), 1403-7. Work and pregnancy and fatigue are discussed in AJOG 181 (1999), 1172-9.

On laws governing pregnancy, Levman N. "Fostering relationships: the state and pregnancy", J Law and Social Policy 14 (1999), 217-42; Randall M. "Pregnant embodiment and women's autonomy rights in law: an analysis of the language and politics of Winnipeg Child and Family Services v. D.F.G. Saskatchewan Law Rev 62 (1999), 515-42. On pregnancy and an attractive body, BMJ 319 (1999), 1401-2. The terminology for fetus and mother are discussed in Brit. J. O.&G. 106 (1999), 1235-7.

On breast feeding and obesity, BMJ 319 (1999), 1576. WHO's recommendations to continue breast feeding until two years are supported by a study in Africa in Lancet 354 (1999), 2041-5. There is a lack of evidence of benefits from adding long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid to infant formula milk, Lancet 354 (1999), 1919, 1948-54. A comparison of infant mortality rate and GNP is Lancet 354 (1999), 2047. Vitamin A supplements are discussed in NEJM 341 (1999), 1697. Why babies cry is still largely unknown, BMJ 319 (1999), 1381. Bed-sharing with infants is risky before 4 months, and on sofas, but otherwise is not a risk factor for parents who do not smoke, BMJ 319 (1999), 1457-62.

Morning sickness and sex of child are discussed in Lancet 354 (1999), 2053; NS (18 Dec. 1999), 25. A case with a court-ordered cesarean is discussed in Nursing Ethics 6 (1999), 494-505. There is an increasing rate of unnecessary cesereans in richer Latin American countries, BMJ 319 (1999), 1397. The risks of birth injury while using vacuum assisted delivery devices is discussed in NEJM 341 (1999), 1758-9. Programming of fetal blood pressure in twins is reported in BMJ 319 (1999), 1313-4, 1325-9, 1330-3, Maternal thyroid deficiency may adversely affect neuropsychological development of the child, NEJM 341 (1999), 2015-7.

Genetic Disease Markers

A study finding no evidence for involvement of dopamine D4 receptor gene in anorexia nervosa is AJMG 88 (1999), 594-7. Results of a genome screen for autism are in AJMG 88 (1999), 609-15, 729-32. Schizophrenia genetics is in AJMG 88 (1999), 686-704, 724-8. Genetic links to alcoholism are discussed in AJMG 88 (1999), 634-41, 676-85; NS (27 Nov. 1999), 38-43. The identity of one of the secretases involved in Alzheimer's disease has been found, Nature 402 (1999), 471-2, 533-40, 588-9; Science 286 (1999), 735-41; Time (1 Nov. 1999), 50; (29 Nov. 1999), 61.

HUM-MOLGEN has developed a molecular diagnostic registry database (SOM-MUT) to offer on-line searches for laboratories offering molecular diagnostic tests for somatic mutations/alterations. This service is complementary and cross-linked to, but independent from, Helix (http://www.hslib.washington.edu/helix/), the registry for laboratories offering germ line mutations. After the first 4 months of activity they have expanded this activity to labs outside Europe and North America. See the general page of SOM-MUT (http://opus.cilea.it/som-mut/);or else contact Dr. Nenad Blau Email: blau@kispi.unizh.ch.

Population choice in mapping genes for complex diseases and ethnic groups are discussed in Nature Genetics 23 (1999), 397-404; TIG 15 (1999), M17-20. Sickle cell anemia is discussed in Science 286 (1999), 1488-9. On cancer genes, Science 286 (1999), 1832-4, 2096-7, 2256-8; AJHG 65 (1999), 1779-82; Time (8 Nov. 1999), 58-60; JMG 36 (1999), 873-80; TIG 15 (1999), M57-60. Carriers of BRCA1 and BRCA2 who have children are significantly more likely to develop breast cancer by the age of 40 than those who do not, Lancet 354 (1999), 1846-50.

The question of whether research on rare genetic diseases is a good use of funds is asked in Lancet 354 (1999), 1798. Perforin gene defects are involved in familial hemophagocytic lymphohistocytosis is Science 286 (1999), 1957-9. Mutatons in COL11A2 cause non-syndromic hearing loss, Nature Genetics 23 (1999), 413-9. A new anion transporter gene has been found to be mutated in sialic acid storage diseases, Nature Genetics 23 (1999), 462-5. Genes and periodic fevers are discussed in a workshop report in Lancet 354 (1999), 2141. Genetics plays a role in otitis media, JAMA 282 (1999), 2167-8; and in osteoporotic fractures, BMJ 319 (1999), 1334-7.

Sex determination genes are conserved, see Nature 402 (1999), 601-2. On the Y chromosome, Lancet 354 (1999), 1746-7. The evolutionary rate of a gene is affected by chromosomal position, Current Biology 9 (1999), 987-9. Studies on mutation rate in hemophilia B are described in AJHG 65 (1999), 1572-87. A gene that alters inheritance has been found, Science 286 (26 Nov. 1999).

Genetic Screening Methodology

Down's syndrome screening is discussed in Lancet 354 (1999), 2171; NEJM 341 (1999), 1935-7; AJOG 181 (1999), 1045-8; Brit.J.O.&G. 106 (1999), 1287-93, 1304-6. Combining FISH and PCR allows the same fetal cell to be double tested, Sekizawa, A. "Fetal cell recycling: Diagnosis of gender and RhD genotype in the same fetal cell retrieved from maternal blood", AJOG 181 (1999), 1237-42.

BRCA gene risks are discussed in AJHG 65 (1999), 1771-5. Self sampling of tissue for cervical tests was better than a doctor taking samples in a UK study, Lancet 354 (1999), 1970. The question of when a risk factor can be used as a screening test is discussed in BMJ 319 (1999), 1562-5.

New nano-tweezers are being developed that could allow cells to be manipulated, NS (18 Dec. 1999), 18. The use of SAGE in gene expression analysis is discussed in Science 286 (1999), 1491-2. Screening unlabeled DNA targets with randomly ordered fiber-optic gene arrays is described in Nature Biotechnology 18 (2000), 91-4. A general approach to SNP discovery is Nature Genetics 23 (1999), 452-6. Insertional transposon mutagenesis by electroporation of released Tn5 transposition complexes is described in Nature Biotechnology 18 (2000), 97-100. The possible future use of genetic tests is discussed in Science 286 (1999), 2300-1; The Economist (23 Oct. 1999), 107-8; BMJ 319 (1999), 1306-7; JAMA 282 (1999), 1801-2.

DNA Fingerprinting & Privacy

A press dossier on the opinion on Ethical Issues of Healthcare in the Information Society by the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies to the European Commission, has been released in 30 July. 1999 (78pp.). A comparison of history suggests Europeans and Americans differ on how to protect sensitive personal information, Newsweek (Special Millennium issue 1999), 82-3. A US legal paper is O'Neil, RM. "Privacy and press freedom: Paparazzi and other intruders", Univ. Illinois (1999), 703-16. The question of whether doctors should ever lie on behalf of their patients is asked in JAMA 282 (1999), 1674. Also on privacy, JAMA 282 (1999), 1676-7, 9; BMJ 319 (1999), 1366; MJA 171 (1999), 544-6; Rowell M, et al. "The Good Pediatrician: Should You Keep a Secret? Confidentiality and Truthfulness", Annals RCPSC 32 (Fall Supplement 1999), 102-7. Researchers have voiced objections to a proposal that the US Congress considered on privacy, Science 286 (1999), 1658.

Ethics & Genetic Screening

The US Secretary's Advisory Committee on Genetic Testing (SACGT) is seeking comments from the public on oversight and other issues relating to genetic testing. A Federal Register notice, a web site (http://www4.od.nih.gov/oba/sacgt.htm), and a public meeting on January 27, 2000 in Baltimore, Maryland (http://www4.od.nih.gov/oba/sacgtpubmtg.htm). The entire document at http://www.hum-molgen.de/bb/Forum7/HTML/000003.html. Address: Secretary's Advisory Committee on Genetic Testing, National Institutes of Health, 6000 Executive Boulevard, Suite 302, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA. Fax: Int+1-301-496-9839. Web: http://www4.od.nih.gov/oba/sacgt.htm.

The results of predictive testing with genetic linkage and definite mutation are reported in Maat-Kievert, A. et al. "Predictive testing of 25% at-risk individuals for Huntington disease (1987-1997)", AJMG 88 (1999), 662-8; Lodder, LN. et al. "Presymptomatic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2: How distressing are the pretest weeks?", JMG 36 (1999), 906-13. Genetic counseling is discussed in Wilson, GN. Ed., Health Supervision and Anticipatory Guidance in Genetic Syndromes, AJMG Seminars in Medical Genetics 89 (1999), 55-120. Nondirectiveness is quite difficult in practice, see Anderson, G. "Nondirectiveness in prenatal genetics: patients read between the lines", Nursing Ethics 6 (1999), 126-36. The genetic right not to know is defended in Laurie, GT. "In defence of ignorance: genetic information and the right not to know", European J. Health Law 6 (1999), 119-32. A gene bank in Estonia is raising ethical concerns, Science 286 (1999), 1262-3.

There can be tensions in the roles of doctors and expectations of policy makers in genetics, BMJ 319 (1999), 1410-3. Testing is discussed in Gevers, S. "The role of the law with respect to self-testing", European J. Health Law 6 (1999), 155-64; BMJ 319 (1999), 1283-5. Computer-based genetic testing is discussed in JAMA 282 (1999), 1719-20. Infusion of prenatal diagnosis in Brazil is discussed in SSM 50 (2000), 41-51.

Two recent books include, Avise, JC. The Genetic Gods: Evolution and Belief in Human Affairs, (Harvard University Press, 1998, 279pp), review in JAMA 282 (1999), 2179-80; Wingerson, L. Unnatural Selection: The Promise and the Power of Human Gene Research (Bantam, 1998, 399pp). On the need for ELSI studies, NS (25 Dec. 1999), 5; New Statesman (13 Dec. 1999), 14-5; Lancet 354 (1999), 1992-3. The commercialization of genetic research raises extra issues, Science 286 (1999), 2277-8.

A book review of Tapper, M. In the Blood: Sickle Cell Anemia and the Politics of Race (Univ. Pennsylvania Press 1999, 160pp.) is BMJ 319 (1999), 1582. A related paper is Newman M. "An examination of Saskatchewan law on the sterilization of persons with mental disabilities", Saskatchewan Law Rev 62 (1999), 329-48. A legal paper on the enforcement of the US ADA is Syracuse Law Review 48 (1999), 1577-614. There is a need for reform of the diagnosis of borderline personality disorder, Lancet 354 (1999), 2095-6. On the evil of Hitler, Time (31 Dec. 1999), 76-7.

Gene Therapy

There are concerns that germ-line transmission may occur in somatic cell trials, following a rat experiment, NS (20 Nov. 1999), 7. Discussion of the gene therapy safety inquiry is Nature Biotechnology 18 (2000), 8. There may be tougher rules following a patient death, NS (18 Dec. 1999), 9; Science 286 (1999), 2244-5. Safety and privacy are discussed in GEN 20 (1 Jan. 2000), 1, 11, 45. On the future enhancement of humans, Newsweek (27 Dec. 1999), 61-3C.

For SCID and hemophilia B there are encouraging signs that gene therapy may be working, Lancet 354 (1999), 2057. The hair follicle as a gene therapy target is discussed in Nature Biotechnology 18 (2000), 20-1. The use of telomerized cells for tissue engineering is discussed in Nature Biotechnology 18 (2000), 22-3. Gene therapy is being tested on Alzheimer's patients, NS (25 Dec. 1999), 4.

Synthetic DNA delivery systems are discussed in Nature Biotechnology 18 (2000), 33-7. Recent trials include: Thomas, M. et al. "Formation of functional tissue from transplanted adrenocortical cells expressing telomerase reverse transcriptase", Nature Biotechnology 18 (2000), 39-42; Alexeev, V. et al. "Localized in vivo genotypic and phenotypic correction of the albino mutation in skin by RNA-DNA oligonucleotide", Nature Biotechnology 18 (2000), 43-7. Genetic enhancement of cancer therapy is described in Lancet 354 (1999), 1999-2000.

Human Genome Project (HGP)

The ethics of genomics is discussed in Cho, MK. Et al. "Ethical considerations in synthesizing a minimal genome", Science 286 (1999), 2087-90. The DOE ELSI Retrospective from 1990 to 1999 is on the Web www.ornl.gov/hgmis/resource/elsiprog.html. On the human genome project in general, Biotech. & Development Monitor 40 (Dec. 1999), 6-10; Newsweek (Special Millennium issue 1999), 92-4; Nature Genetics 23 (1999), 382-3; BMJ 319 (1999), 1282. Genomics nomenclature is sometimes confusing so there are ideas to simplify it, Nature 402 (1999), 347-8.

The sequence of human chromosome 22 has been completed in the first draft, and is on-line. The paper is Dunham, I. Et al. "The DNA sequence of human chromosome 22", Nature 402 (1999), 489-95; 445, 447-8, 467-8; Lancet 354 (1999), 1975. The paper was joint between public and private researchers. The next is expected to be chromosome 21, and German and Japanese researchers are leading that effort, Science 286 (1999), 2057-8. Berlin is promoting genomics, Nature 402 (1999), 568. The billionth human genome base was sequenced on 17 November, 1999, Nature 402 (1999), 331. The size distribution of homozygous segments in the genome is reported in AJHG 65 (1999), 1489-92. Analysis of the yeast genome is reported in Nature 402 (1999), 362-3, 413-8. A minimal Mycoplasma genome is discussed in Science 286 (1999), 2165-9.

Functional genomics in the UK has been given more funds, Lancet 354 (1999), 2145; Nature Genetics 23 (1999), 375-6. France has launched a program to gain financial benefits from genomics, Nature 402 (1999), 569. Pharmacogenomics is discussed in BMJ 319 (1999), 1286. A mouse genomic project has been awarded US$21 million for sequencing by the NIH, JAMA 282 (1999), 1805. On bioinformatics, GEN 20 (1 Jan. 2000), 3, 40.

A study of intracellular gene transfer between genomes in legumes is PNAS 96 (1999), 13863-8. Human evolution is discussed in Time (17 Jan. 2000), 40-9; Science 286 (1999), 2054-5; Current Biology 9 (1999), 1331-4. There are scientific concerns over the reburial of unidentified Indian remains in the US under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, Science 286 (1999), 1285. Ice men are discussed in Science 286 (1999), 1843; and analysis of a virus in a Mummy, Science 286 (1999), 2071. In general on evolutionary genetics, Nature 402 (1999), 365-6, 411-3; Science 286 (1999), 1829. The idea of genetic reconstruction of a Mammoth is discussed in Time (1 Nov. 1999), 48-9.

General Medical Ethics

A series of 9 papers on therapy in war victims is Croatian Medical J, 40 (1999), 455-507. A project on education of ethics for nurses in Romania and the Code of Ethics of the Romanian Nursing Association are in Nursing Ethics 7 (2000), 66-82. Four papers on bioethics in Germany including the issues of academic freedom are in IJB 10 (1999), 9-42. There is debate in Germany over whether a parliamentary commission on bioethics should be set up because it may delay implementation of guidelines, Nature 402 (1999), 331. A discussion of followers of Gandhi and non-violence ethics is Time (31 Dec. 1999), 74-5.

A series of 3 papers on ethics through relationships is Nursing Ethics 6 (1999), 3-36. The virtue of caring is reviewed in van Hooft, S. "Acting from the virtue of caring in nursing", Nursing Ethics 6 (1999), 189-201; and discussed in 4 papers in Nursing Ethics 6 (1999), 357-98. Dialogue is discussed in Koch T, & Rowell M. "The dream of consensus: finding common ground in a bioethical context", Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 20 (1999), 261-73. A feminist study is Secker B. "Labeling patient (in)competence: A feminist analysis of medico-legal discourse", J Social Philosophy 30 (1999), 295-314. Creighton B. "Pharmacy conscience clause: a critical issue for Canada's pharmacists", Can Pharmaceutical J. 132 (1999), 26-7. In general, McKneally MF. "Bioethics for Clinicians: Surgery", Annals RCPSC 32 (Fall Supplement 1999), 69-82; Singer PA. "Bioethics for Clinicians: Medicine", Annals RCPSC 32 (Fall Supplement 1999), 4-18.

Care of persons with mental health problems is discussed in Nursing Ethics 6 (1999), 327-36, 399-410. The results of a UK government consultation after the document, Who Decides?, is BME 152 (1999), 3-4. There is a lack of funds given to mental health research, NS (18 Dec. 1999), 13. In general on psychiatry, NEJM 341 (1999), 1859. Problems on DALY life scales have been criticized because they explicitly presuppose that the lives of disabled persons have less value than the lives of persons without disability, BMJ 319 (1999), 1423-5. Home telecare is a service for all, MJA 171 (1999), 518-21.

Five papers on the concept of persons are in KIEJ 9 (1999), 289-382. Autonomy in Italy is discussed in Sala, R. & Manara, D. "The regulation of autonomy in nursing: the Italian situation", Nursing Ethics 6 (1999), 451-67. Also, Ikonomidis S, & Singer PA. "Autonomy, liberalism and advance care planning", JME 25 (1999), 522-7. The future of freedom is discussed in Newsweek (27 Dec. 1999), 70-1. For children, Hellmann J. "The Good Pediatrician. In Pursuit of Harmonized Values: Relationships with Young Patients and their Parents", Annals RCPSC 32 (Fall Supplement 1999), 85-92; Hilliard RI. "The Good Pediatrician: Ethical Issues in Medical Education, Teaching and Learning", Annals RCPSC 32 (Fall Supplement 1999), 142-7.

A trial showing reduced anxiety when a video on colonoscopy is shown is Lancet 354 (1999), 2032-5. Consent requirements for necropsy may change in the UK, Lancet 354 (1999), 2055. On consent, NEJM 341 (1999), 1705; JAMA 282 (1999), 1625; Etchells E. "Informed Consent in Surgical Trials", World Journal of Surgery 23 (1999), 1215-9. In general on medical ethics, Lancet 354 (1999), 2179; BMJ 319 (1999), 1444.

Women in science are discussed in Science 286 (1999), 1272-8, 1659, 2081; Nature 402 (1999), 337. Violence against women is a challenge to the Supreme Court, NEJM 341 (1999), 1927-9. On women's health in Japan, JAMA 282 (1999), 2176-7. A description of New Zealand's independent practitioner associations is BMJ 319 (1999), 1340-2. Reporting clinical trials needs to be ethical, JAMA 282 (1999), 1766-8.

A Korean dispute on traditional medicine is analyzed in SSM 50 (2000), 123-35. A call for cross-cultural approaches to medical treatment is Newsweek (Special Millennium Issue 1999), 86-91; and on the goals of health in Quebec, Ottawa Law Review 29 (1999), 335-67. American Indian culture affects rehabilitation services, J. Rehabilitation (July 1999), 3+. Misunderstandings between Ethiopian immigrants and Israeli doctors are described in AJPH 89 (1999), 1814-8. A book review of Hippocrates is NEJM 341 (1999), 1776. The question of research in medical history is Lancet 354 (1999), 1811-2.

Law & Medical Ethics

A discussion of how UNESCO can help protect human rights is Taylor, AL. "Globalization and biotechnology: UNESCO and an international strategy to advance human rights and public health", AJLM 25 (1999), 479-542. The proposals from the IALES resulting from the Conference held in Bratislava 25-26 June, 1999, are in IJB 10 (1999), 89. The English translation of the Medical Research Involving Human Subjects Act (Netherlands) is in BME 152 (1999), 13-8. Letters on whether the Declaration of Helsinki should be revised are in NEJM 341 (1999), 1851-3; and a paper on the US rules, Woodward, B."Challenges to human subject protections in US medical research", JAMA 282 (1999), 1947-52, 1963-5. A revised edition of the International Guidelines on Bioethics by SS Fluss has been published as a Supplement to EFGCP News (Dec. 1999 24pp.) (see earlier version on Eubios www site). A book review of Welsome, E. The Plutonium Files: America's Secret Medical Experiments in the Cold War (NY: Dial Press, 1999, 580pp.) is NEJM 341 (1999), 1941-2.

Medical errors kill about 98,000 people in the USA each year, Time (13 Dec. 1999), 38-40; BMJ 319 (1999), 1519. Medical malpractice is discussed in Vandebilt Law Review 52 (1999), 1131-64; BMJ 319 (1999), 1314-5. Risk of legal action in telemedicine is analyzed in MJA 171 (1999), 563-5. Trends in health law in the USA are reviewed in Syracuse Law Review 49 (1999), 553-8; and in New Zealand, New Zealand Law Review (1999), 337-53. In general on human rights, Lancet 354 (1999), 2075-6; BMJ 319 (1999), 1569-71. A series of papers on the future of punishment is in UCLA Law Review 46 (1999), 1719-1940. Forensic medicine is discussed in BMJ 319 (1999), 1316-7. In the UK doctors who diagnose child abuse are being harassed, BMJ 319 (1999), 1376-7.

Scientific Ethics

A report from the US Office of Research Integrity is in Croatian Medical J, 40 (1999), 321-5. Peer review is discussed in Current Biology 9 (1999), R794; Science 286 (1999), 1853; Lancet 354 (1999), 2092. Chinese scientific journals are facing problems of having too many of low quality, over 4000 scientific journals, Science 286 (1999), 1683. On netprints, BMJ 319 (1999), 1515-6. !2 publishers have agreed t link their publications on-line, BMJ 319 (1999), 1389.

A researcher has been censured for a paper 20 years ago where the origin of DNA samples was hidden so that Genentech's human growth hormone patent claim would be successful, Science 286 (1999), 2249-50. As reported about, Genentech has agreed to pay US$200 million to UC for the patent dispute. Europe is aiming to prevent fraud more than police it, Science 286 (1999), 2258-9. On scientific misconduct in general, Nature 402 (1999), 577-8.

The idea of a Hippocratic Oath for scientists is raised in Science 286 (1999), 1475. A new book, Ohler, J. Taming the Beast: Choice and Control in the Electronic Jungle (TECHNOS Press 1999) addresses the importance of using wisdom to navigate the opportunities and dangers that the future of technology continually presents us, as well as how to achieve a sense of balance and peace while living a technological lifestyle. See a paper in Technos 8 (1999), 16-20. Being a lawyer is associated with many lifestyle problems, Vandebilt Law Review 52 (1999), 871-951.

Euthanasia & Terminal Care

Papers on palliative care in Holland, Sweden and Belgium (in Italian) are in Bioetica e Cultura VIII (1999), 23-56. Research on the bereaved is discussed in Nursing Ethics 7 (2000), 23-34. Papers on death and dying in prison are in JLME 27 (1999), 213-269; St. John PD. & Man-Son-Hing M. "Physician-assisted suicide: the physician as an unwitting accomplice", J. Palliative Care 15 (1999), 56-58; Tisdale C, Woloschuk DMM. "Terminal sedation: is there a role for the pharmacist?" Can Pharmaceutical J 132 (1999), 28-33. The America Nurses Association has a position statement on foregoing nutrition and hydration available from their website http://www.nursingworld.org/readroom/position/ethics/etnutr.htm. Switzerland allows assisted suicide but not euthanasia, Lancet 354 (1999), 2059. Criticism of the US Congress in its efforts to undermine Oregon's law on assisted suicide is NEJM 341 (1999), 1923-4. Palliative care is also discussed in BMJ 319 (1999), 1472-5, 1447-8; Lancet 354 (1999), 2083-5; JAMA 282 (1999), 1638-45, 1670-2, 2078-81; SSM 50 (1999), 137-54; Cancer Nursing 22 (1999), 414-20.

Papers on nursing and euthanasia are in Nursing Ethics 6 (1999), 97-117, 157-62. End of life care in Japan is discussed in Okuno, S. et al. "Elderly Japanese people living in small towns reflect on end-of-life issues", Nursing Ethics 6 (1999), 308-15. Misconceptions about pain in Chinese patients with cancer are reported in Cancer Nursing 22 (1999), 408-13. Euthanasia is discussed in The Economist (16 Oct. 1999), 99-102. A survey in Italy found 18% of doctors supported euthanasia for the terminally ill, Lancet 354 (1999), 1876-7. Human life expectancy is discussed in Time (8 Nov. 1999), 54-6.

Organ Transplants & Brain Death

The question of how quickly to declare death is discussed in Youngner, SJ. Et al. "When is "dead?", HCR 29 (Nov. 1999), 14-21. The question of whether the dead donor rule should be broken is HCR 29 (Nov. 1999), 6-13. There has been another case of a baby being gestated by a brain dead mother in Spain, Lancet 354 (1999), 2145. That is in accordance with the mother's wishes. For discussion in general, Spike, J. "Brain death, pregnancy, and posthumous motherhood", J. Clinical Ethics 10 (1999), 57-65. On discontinuation of ventilation after brain death, BMJ 319 (1999), 1366-7; Lancet 354 (1999), 1909.

Organ swapping is being used to encourage live kidney transplants between suitable donors, however, because it is a contract it is closer to commerce, HCR 29 (Nov. 1999), 28-33. Against commerce see, NS (18 Dec. 1999), 48-9; Lang, A. "What is the body? Exploring the law, philosophy and ethics of commerce in human tissue", J. Law & Med. 7 (1999), 53-66. A question on giving is Siminoff, LA. & Chillag, K. "The fallacy of the "gift of life", HCR 29 (Nov. 1999), 34-41. Italy has approved live donor liver transplants, Lancet 354 (1999), 2060. Equitable organ distribution is difficult, J. Legal Medicine 20 (1999), 405-24. A call for presumed consent in the USA has been made, BMJ 319 (1999), 1382-3, 1445. In the USA not-for-profit dialysis centres have less mortality ad place more patients on kidney waiting lists, NEJM 341 (1999), 1653-60. There are some racial differences in access and preferences, NEJM 341 (1999), 1661-9, 1691-3; Lancet 354 (1999), 1977; and patients who receive transplants have a better survival rate than dialysis, NEJM 341 (1999), 1725-30, 1762-3.

The question of maintaining organ transplant centres in South Africa is discussed in HCR 29 (Nov. 1999), 42-50. Resource use in liver transplants is discussed in JAMA 282 (1999), 2123-4. On 9 November, 1999, the Iranian Parliament approved the first reading of a bill to allow organ transplants, Lancet 354 (1999), 1802. In the UK there is review of hospitals who took organs from children to check whether consent was obtained, BMJ 319 (1999), 1518. Pain in recipients of blood or marrow transplant is reviewed in Cancer Nursing 22 (1999), 397-407.

Neural transplants are reviewed in Hildt, E. "Ethical aspects of neural tissue transplantation", Croatian Medical J, 40 (1999), 326-33. Development of a bioartificial pancreas is discussed in Biotechnol. & Bioeng. 66 (1999), 219-30, 231-7. Replacement arteries may be able to be grown soon, Science 286 (1999), 1493-4. Human corneas have been constructed, Griffith, M. et al. "Functional human corneal equivalents constructed from cell lines", Science 286 (1999), 2169-73. Artificial tissues are discussed in GEN 20 (1 Jan. 2000), 18, 48.

On October 15, 1999 the Canadian federal Health Minister, Alan Rock, accepted the recommendations on organ and tissue donation and transplantation in Canada made by the Standing Committee on Health in April 1999. These recommendations included the creation of a comprehensive transplantation network, increased public and professional education and awareness, better information tracking, reporting and research and greater transparency in the area of xenotransplantation. The Government response to the report of the Standing Committee on Health is available on the Internet at www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hpb-dgps/therapeut/zfiles/english/btox/info/govresponse.html.

The principles of the draft report of the infection surveillance steering committee of the UK Xenotransplantation Interim Regulatory Authority are in BME 152 (1999), 9-11. There will always be some risk of infection, BME 152 (1999), 19-23. Also on xenotransplants, J. Law, Medicine & Ethics 27 (1999), 137-52; Newsweek (27 Dec. 1999), 63-5; BMJ 319 (1999), 1311.

Health Costs

Ethical issues are discussed in Yeo M, et al. "Incorporating ethics in priority setting: a case study of a regional health board in Canada", Health Care Analysis 7 (1999), 177-94. A series of papers on costs are in J. Law & Med. 7 (1999), 117-229. Ration roulette is discussed in NS (20 Nov. 1999), 18-9. Socioeconomic inequality in health is discussed in BMJ 319 (1999), 1356-8, 1426-9, 1453, 1469-70; J. Health Economics 18 (1999), 605-22; Texas Law Review 77 (1999), 1603-1750; AJPH 89 (1999), 1800-6; NEJM 341 (1999), 2021-2; SSM 50 (2000), 255-70. Economics and end of life care is discussed in JAMA 282 (1999), 2076-7; BMJ 319 (1999), 1350-2, 1353-5, 1379, 1450-1, 1496-7.

Canadian health care is discussed in Downie J, Caulfield T (eds): Canadian Health Law and Policy. Toronto and Vancouver: Butterworths, 1999; Gordon M, et al. "The ethics of health-care systems: Contrasting Canada and the United States", Annals RCPS C 32 (1999), 267-71. About half of US internists lie to insurance companies to make sure their patients get the medical care they think is needed, Lancet 354 (1999), 1743; JAMA 282 (1999), 1675, 1678-9. On the NHS, BMJ 319 (1999), 1287, 1449-50, 1490-2; and US health care, NEJM 341 (1999), 1768-9, 1940-1, 1945-8, 2029-32; JAMA 282 (1999), 1619-21. Jordan is refoming health care, Lancet 354 (1999), 1979.

A call for Taiwan to be included in WHO is Lancet 354 (1999), 2157. On the role of the UN, Newsweek (Special Millennium Issue 1999), 11; and international health care, AJPH 89 (1999), 1795-7. Papers on the role of the World Bank in health care are in SSM 50 (2000), 163-184. The role or primary care physicians is discussed in NEJM 341 (1999), 1980-5, 2008-10.
Internet Sites

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The updated homepage of HUM-MOLGEN moved to the new address http://hum-molgen.de. A general genomics and genetics news page is <www.phrma.org/genomics>.


Prepared by Darryl Macer
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