SCBE In The News 2017

December

Healthline, 12/03/17
--Can a brain scan tell if you’re lying?
In the final piece in a five-part series, “Too High,” created for those with high blood pressure and their family and friends, Randall Stafford, professor of medicine and director of the Program on Prevention Outcomes and Practices, writes about determining the appropriate blood pressure target.

Newsweek, 12/05/17
--Is it a crime to avoid vaccines? People who refuse are being punished with jail and job loss
Michelle Mello, professor of health research and policy and of law, provides comment in this piece about punitive measures against parents who do not vaccinate their children.

Scope, 12/07/17
--On the road to diabetes: How to halt disease progression and turn back to health
This post written by Randall Stafford, professor of medicine and director of the Program on Prevention Outcomes and Practices, discusses pre-diabetes prevention strategies. This is the second piece in a series of blog on pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes.

Scope, 12/08/17
--New report provides recommendations to reduce the cost of prescription drugs in the U.S.
In an effort to make prescription drugs more affordable and accessible for people living in the U.S., the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicines, recently published a report that makes recommendations on key issues affecting drug prices. The report co-authored Michelle Mello discusses the study in a recent Q&A on the Stanford Law School blog.

Newsweek, 12/11/17
--Is health care a right? Spinal muscular atrophy drug with outrageous price tag cuts to heart of ethical dilemma
Medical experts at Stanford and their colleagues at several other universities have raised ethical questions about the way a treatment for spinal muscular atrophy is being used. Lead author Alyssa Burgart, assistant professor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine and medical director of clinical ethics at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, is quoted in this article. The study is also highlighted in a Stanford Medicine press release and quotes co-authors David Magnus, the Thomas A. Raffin Professor and director of the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics and professor of medicine and of biomedical ethics, and Holly Tabor, associate professor of medicine and assistant director of the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics (SCBE); and John Day, professor of neurology and neurological sciences and of pediatrics.

Inside Stanford Medicine, 12/11/17
--Drug for spinal muscular atrophy prompts ethical dilemmas
Medical experts at Stanford and their colleagues at several other universities have raised ethical questions about the way a treatment for spinal muscular atrophy is being used.

Inside Stanford Medicine, 12/11/17
--5 Questions: Michelle Mello on ranking clinical trial reporting of pharmaceutical companies
In this Q&A, Michelle Mello, professor of law and of health research and policy, discusses the ranking of large pharmaceutical companies based on their sharing of clinical trial information with the public.

Washington Post, 12/11/17
--We need to talk about genetically modifying animals
In this piece, Hank Greely, with the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, discusses the need to strengthen regulations governing the genetic modification of animals.

Scope, 12/14/17
--Breaking down diabetes: Top priorities for patients and their doctors
This post written by Randall Stafford, professor of medicine and director of the Program on Prevention Outcomes and Practices, looks at ways to improve diabetes treatment, an effort that requires strong commitment from both patients and their doctors. This is the third in a series of blog posts discussing pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes.

Newsweek, 12/18/17
--Brain injuries may be a hidden cause of criminal behavior
This story discusses a study examining a possible connection between brain damage and violent crime.Hank Greely, with the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics and director of the Stanford Program in Neuroscience and Society, provides comment.

November

Scope, 11/02/17
--Too high: Current blood pressure targets may not be low enough
In the final piece in a five-part series, “Too High,” created for those with high blood pressure and their family and friends, Randall Stafford, professor of medicine and director of the Program on Prevention Outcomes and Practices, writes about determining the appropriate blood pressure target.

STAT News, 11/06/17
--Tiny human brain organoids implanted into rodents, triggering ethical concerns
Scientists have implanted tiny human brain organoids into lab rats and mice, raising ethical concerns. Hank Greely, with the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, is quoted in this piece.

General Surgery News, 11/09/17
--Avoiding malpractice for breast surgeons
Michelle Mello, professor of health research and policy and of law, provides comment in this piece about reconciling adverse events with patients and family members as a way to avoid malpractice claims.

Associated Press, 11/15/17
U.S. scientists try 1st gene editing in the body
Scientists for the first time have tried editing a gene inside the human body as an attempt to permanently change a person’s DNA to cure a disease. Hank Greely, with the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, provides comment here.

Inside Stanford Medicine, 11/16/17
--5 Questions: Randall Stafford on new blood pressure guidelines
In this Q&A, Randall Stafford, professor of medicine and director of the Program on Prevention Outcomes and Practices at Stanford, discusses the new, redefined guidelines for high blood pressure.

NBCNews.com, 11/29/17
--What you’re giving away with those home DNA tests
This story discusses consumer genetic tests and quotes Hank Greely, with the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics.

Scope, 11/30/17
--On the road to diabetes: A look at what’s happening inside the body
This post, written by Randall Stafford, professor of medicine and director of the Program on Prevention Outcomes and Practices, examines the early signs of pre-diabetes. This is the first piece in a series of blogs on pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes.

October

STAT News, 10/12/17
--An anarchist takes on the drug industry – by teaching patients to make their own meds
Hank Greely, with the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, provides comment in this article about a do-it-yourself pharmaceuticals movement that teaches patients to make their own medicines.

September

Mother Jones, 09/2017
--A future of genetically engineered children is closer than you’d think
Drew Endy, associate professor of bioengineering, and Hank Greely, with the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, address the future, safety and ethics of genetically modifying human embryos in this piece.

August

The Verge, 08/03/17
--Editing human embryos is okay – but don’t turn them into people yet
A team of genetics experts has issued a policy statement recommending that research on editing human genes in eggs, sperm, and early embryos continue, but only if the ethical issues are addressed and if the work does not result in a human pregnancy. Co-lead author Kelly Ormond, professor of genetics, is quoted here, in articles from the Daily Mail (U.K.), Genome Web, The Sun (U.K.) and a piece from Inside Stanford Medicine.

New York Times, 08/04/17
--In breakthrough, scientists edit a dangerous mutation from genes in human embryos
Hank Greely, with the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, provides comment in this piece about the future, safety and ethics of genetically modifying human embryos. Greely was also featured in a segment from Bloomberg.

STAT News, 08/07/17
--The creator of the pig-human chimera keeps proving other scientists wrong
This piece profiles Salk Institute’s Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, whose lab last year announced it had created pig-human chimeras — fetal pigs with human cells mixed in. Hiromitsu Nakauchi, professor of genetics, and Hank Greely, with the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, are quoted here.

CNN.com, 08/07/17
--FDA warns '3-parent' baby fertility doctor over marketing
The FDA has told a fertility doctor to stop marketing a controversial three-parent fertility treatment, which makes it possible for babies to be made from the genes of two women and a man. Hank Greely provides comment in this article.

The Globe and Mail (Canada), 08/07/17
--Modification of genes in human embryos could mark turning point in human evolution
Following the announcement that a team of researchers has edited genes in a viable human embryo, debate continues over the potential ramifications of the work. Kelly Ormond, professor of genetics, was the co-lead author of a recent policy statement recommending that research on editing human genes in eggs, sperm, and early embryos continue, but only if the ethical issues are addressed and if the work does not result in a human pregnancy. She is quoted in this article.

July

Scope, 07/10/17
--Stanford medical student juggles his studies, graphic art, and numerous extracurricularsIn this Q&A, medical student Ryan Brewster discusses his career in medicine and training in the arts. Sam Rodriguez, clinical assistant professor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine; Audrey Shafer, professor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine; and James Lock, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, are referenced here.

STAT News, 07/20/17
--Mice show signs of mental disorder after brains injected with cells from schizophrenic human
A new study found that mice injected with cells from schizophrenia patients began to show signs of the mental disorder. Hank Greely, with the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, who was not involved in the study, provides comment in this article.

San Francisco Chronicle, 07/24/17
--Jahi McMath’s family wins backing for argument that she’s alive (subscription required; for a copy of the article, please e-mail mjgallardo@stanford.edu)
It’s been three years since 13-year-old Jahi McMath was declared brain-dead following throat surgery. Her family has kept her on life support and is fighting to have her death certificate overturned. David Magnus, the Thomas A. Raffin Professor, professor of pediatrics and director of the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, who is not involved in Jahi’s case, provides comment in this article.

Observations (ScientificAmerican.com) 07/28/17
--About that “first gene-edited human embryos” story…..
MIT Technology Review has reported that researchers from Oregon Health and Science University have edited viable human embryos using CRISPR. However, results are pending publication next month. This piece written by Hank Greely, with the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, address the future, safety and ethics of genetically modifying human embryos. Greely is also quoted in articles from the Associated Press, CNN.com, STAT News, The Verge and Wired.

June

Scope, 06/09/17
--"The Still Point" — A performance inspired by pain and love
This post chronicles a recent interactive performance on campus featuring music, art, storytelling and sound painting. Performers included Benjamin Robison, a medical student, and Matthew Wetschler, who is on leave from his residency in emergency medicine.  

Sacramento Bee, 06/21/17
--New tests can tell more about health of fetuses. What should parents do with results?
Genetic testing during pregnancy is becoming more accurate and accessible, raising ethical questions about whatparents should do with the information. Holly Tabor, associate professor of medicine, provides comment in this story.

Medscape, 06/27/17
--Whole-genome sequencing possible in clinic, but value unclear  (subscription required; please contact Margarita Gallardo at mjgallardo@stanford.edu for a copy)
One in five apparently healthy primary care patients carry a genetic variant expected to cause a rare disease, according to results of a pilot study. Holly Tabor, associate professor of medicine and assistant director of the Stanford Center for Bioethics, provides comment in this article.

The Atlantic, 06/27/17
--Making babies, no sex, necessary
This piece discusses the future of conceiving children. Hank Greely, with the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics and author of The End of Sex and the Future of Reproduction, provides comment here.

April

Nature, 04/06/17
--23andMe given green-light to sell DNA tests for 10 diseases
The Food and Drug Administration approved the first at-home genetic test that can help determine a person’s risk of developing certain diseases. Hank Greely, with the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, provides comment in this piece.

NPR, 04/16/17 
--The Poetic Intimacy Of Administering Anesthesia
In this piece, Audrey Shafer, professor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine and founder and director of Stanford's Medicine and the Muse program, discusses art and medicine and shares a poem she authored.  

March

Scope, 03/13/17
--The future of baby-making: Stanford’s Russ Altman hosts a discussion
In a recent segment on Stanford Radio, Russ Altman discussed the future of conceiving children with Hank Greely. Altman is the Kenneth Fong Professor and professor of bioengineering, of genetics and of medicine; Greely, with the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, is the author of The End of Sex and the Future of Reproduction.

New York Times, 03/21/17
--A new form of stem-cell engineering raises ethical questions
Hank Greely, with the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, provides comment in this story on the ethics of synthetic human embryos. 

San Francisco Chronicle, 03/27/17
--I am a refugee, an immigrant and an American
In this opinion piece, Bela Fishbeyn writes about her experiences as an American, an immigrant, and a refugee. Fishbeyn is executive managing editor of the American Journal of Bioethics at the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics.

February

The Economist (U.K.), 02/18/17
--Hello again, Dolly
This piece examines the ongoing ramifications of the ability to create clones, such as the sheep called Dolly in 1996. Hank Greely, with the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, provides comment.

Stanford Medicine press release, 02/21/17
--Stanford Medicine magazine looks at what arts, humanities bring to medicine
The winter issue of Stanford Medicine magazine, which focuses on arts and humanities in medicine, is now available. The magazine features an article on Dance for PD, a program that offers dance classes to people with Parkinson’s disease. It also includes an essay by Audrey Shafer, professor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine, on including arts and humanities in medical education, and a Q&A with a world-class photographer with a medical degree.
http://stanmed.stanford.edu/2017winter.html

Scope, 02/23/17
--Stanford doctor urges the medical humanities are a "must-have"
This blog post highlights a first-person piece in the winter issue of Stanford Medicine magazine, in which anesthesiologist and poet Audrey Shafer argues that the medical humanities are a necessary discipline of modern medicine. Shafer is a professor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine and founder and director of Stanford's Medicine and the Muse program.
http://stanmed.stanford.edu/2017winter/medical-humanities-and-the-arts-stanfords-medicine-and-the-muse-founder-audrey-shafer.html

Scope, 02/27/17
--“It renewed my energy”: A look at medical students using art to contribute to medicine
This post highlights an article in the winter issue of Stanford Medicine magazine about medical students who use art to heal others and channel their creative energies. The article references Audrey Shafer, professor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine and founder and director of Stanford's Medicine and the Muse program; Nick Love, medical student; Amrapali Maitra, medical student; Ben Robison, medical student; Matthew Wetschler, resident in emergency medicine; and Michael Nedelman, medical student.
http://stanmed.stanford.edu/2017winter/why-stanfords-medical-students-dance-draw-write-play-music-and-make-films.html

January

STAT News, 01/10/17
--A supplement maker tried to silence this Harvard doctor – and put academic freedom on trial
Hank Greely, with the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, provides comment in this story about lawsuits towards academics for research that brings attention to public health and scrutinizes pharmaceutical companies.

Sacramento Bee, 01/17/17
--California’s stem cell agency will run out of money in three years. Should voters OK spending more?
Hank Greely, with the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, provides comment in this article about the future of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the state's stem-cell research program.

Science, 01/18/17
--Update: U.S. abandons controversial consent proposal on using human research samples
The Department of Health and Human Services has dropped a controversial plan that would impose new rules on the use of unidentified specimen samples in research. Hank Greely, with the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, provides comment here.

STAT News, 01/26/17
--First human-pig chimeras created, sparking hopes for transplantable organs – and debate
According to a new study, pig embryos that were injected with human stem cells began to grow organs containing human cells. Sean Wu, associate professor of medicine, and Hank Greely, with the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, who were not involved in the study, provide comment in this article.

Vox, 01/31/17
--Peter Thiel vs. the FDA
Hank Greely, with the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, is quoted in this article about innovative development and FDA approval of pharmaceutical drugs.