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BioNews Comment articles written by Dr Calum MacKellar:

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The Nuffield report on genome editing and the equality of persons
30 July 2018 - by Dr Calum MacKellar
A lot of hard work was invested into the UK's Nuffield Council on Bioethics' new, pioneering, report entitled 'Genome Editing and Human Reproduction: Social and ethical issues'. But a lot more work is still necessary to gain an appropriate overview of inheritable genome editing since a number of ethical arguments are missing from the report... [Read More]
Why germline genome editing may be discriminatory
13 November 2017 - by Dr Calum MacKellar
On the 20th anniversary of the of the 1997 European Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine (Oviedo Convention), the Council of Europe Committee on Bioethics organised an international conference entitled ‘Relevance and Challenges’ last month in Strasbourg, France... [Read More]
The 14-day rule for human embryonic research in the UK
23 May 2016 - by Dr Calum MacKellar
Prohibiting what is useless and legalising what becomes useful in embryonic research without any in-depth ethical consideration may be pragmatic, but such an approach is ultimately just as irrational and meaningless as the concept of the human embryo's 'special status'... [Read More]
Gene editing of human embryos – more ethical questions to answer
11 May 2015 - by Dr Calum MacKellar
The short article by Robin Lovell-Badge entitled 'Editing human embryos' addressing the work of Junjiu Huang and colleagues in China on gene editing in human embryos - such as the use of the CRISPR/Cas9 system - raises a number of ethical questions.... [Read More]
Questions relating to 'mitochondrial replacement'
10 February 2014 - by Dr Calum MacKellar
Those who are concerned about mitochondrial replacement techniques do not have any less compassion than those who believe that such procedures should be introduced: they just remain to be convinced that all the biological risks have been sufficiently addressed... [Read More]
Should persons affected by mitochondrial disorders not be brought into existence?
6 January 2014 - by Dr Calum MacKellar
Mitochondrial replacement techniques are not a form of therapy in which a person is being treated or cured for a disorder, but instead make sure that that certain persons are not brought into existence. This is a crucial difference since it then questions the equality in value and worth of every possible future person... [Read More]
Is preconception genetic testing and screening eugenic?
18 April 2011 - by Dr Calum MacKellar
Genetic testing and screening of prospective parents before conception to examine the inheritance of a genetic condition is a new area for discussion. The Human Genetics Commission's (HGC) report 'Increasing options, informing choice: A report on preconception genetic testing and screening', published last week, is thus timely and raises several serious ethical issues... [Read More]
Who are the real creators of a living being?
19 April 2010 - by Dr Calum MacKellar
The announcement that scientists at the University of Newcastle have developed a new procedure that could eventually help women with dysfunctional mitochondria (the energy source of the cell), made headline news across the world... [Read More]