News, 2 May 2008

The Catholic church in America has welcomed the re-introduction of a bill which would ban human-animal hybrids. Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia and head of the bishops' pro-life committee, wrote: "Nothing more radically undermines human dignity than a project that can make it impossible to determine what is human and what is not." He pointed out that mouse-human chimeras had already been created in the US, and praised Representative Christopher Smith's initiative and a similar bill proposed last year by Senator Sam Brownback. [CNA on EWTN, 1 May]

The prime minister of Australia opposes euthanasia and is concerned that it could make old and ill people feel they were a burden. Mr. Kevin Rudd supports a conscience vote by parliamentarians but backed his predecessor's suppression of pro-euthanasia laws in the Northern Territory. He mentioned his mother's death from cancer. [Sydney Morning Herald, 2 May]

A Catholic bishop is to offer a funeral Mass for aborted babies. Bishop John Quinn of Detroit, Michigan, will tomorrow dedicate the service to 18 children found in refuse containers at a local abortion clinic. A pro-life activist took the bodies and was charged a fee by the state for their removal from her home. [LifeSiteNews, 1 May]

A survey of women who had IVF in the 1980s suggests that it does not hasten the menopause as had been feared. Larger doses of ovulation stimulants were given in the early years of the treatment. [BBC, 2 May] A blood test for women in their 30s could predict the age at which they will enter the menopause. The procedure, being developed in the Netherlands, would measure the AMH hormone. A number of fertility specialists are critical of the methodology, and suggest that other existing ways of estimating the menopause are more feasible. [Daily Mail, 30 April]

Mouse-skin cells have been made to produce heart tissue by scientists at the Broad Center in California, and it is suggested that there could be an application of the technique in treating heart attacks and atherosclerosis humans. [Irish Sun, 1 May]

Chocolate eaten in pregnancy could prevent pre-eclampsia because of the theobromine it contains, say Yale University, Connecticut, researchers. [Reuters, 28 April] Pregnant women should consume probiotics to reduce allergies in their children, according to a Finnish study on more than 1,200 expectant mothers. [Daily Mail, 26 April]


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