Ethics in the News: Academic Publishing, The Ethics of Genetic Enhancement, Ethical and Medical Questions About the Zika Virus, & More – February 5, 2016

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UnitedHealth Medicare plan must cover U.S. sex reassignment surgery
A U.S. government panel has ruled that a privately run Medicare plan must cover sex reassignment surgery for a Texas transgender woman, a decision her attorney says was the first of its kind.

New wearable sensor can collect data from sweat
For the first time, a flexible, wearable sensor can collect data about multiple chemicals in body sweat.

Drug shortages forcing hard decisions on rationing treatments
Such shortages are the new normal in American medicine. But the rationing that results has been largely hidden from patients and the public.

Academics want you to read their work for free
Publishing an open-access paper in a journal can be prohibitively expensive. Some researchers are drumming up support for a movement to change that.

“Internet of things” security is hilariously broken and getting worse
Shodan search engine is only the latest reminder of why we need to fix IoT security.


New rules on genetic modification in Britain:

A controversial experiment in Britain is reopening the debate over genetic enhancement
Britain just gave a team of scientists the all-clear to proceed with research that involves genetically modifying human embryos.

Early gene editing on human embryos to treat disease, not create “designer babies”
David Warmflash describes the science behind the recent British decision to enable genetic modification of embryos.


Zika epidemic:

Short answers to hard questions about Zika virus
A basic primer on what Zika is and the dangers it poses.

With Zika, ethical and medical questions – and few answers
The foundation of modern bioethics mandates a duty to protect, and in this case, it’s unborn children who need help. Are we doing enough to protect them?

Zika sparks Brazil debate over abortion, access to contraception
Supreme Court with consider proposals aimed at protecting mothers whose babies have microencephaly.

Zika outbreak means it is now time to cancel Rio Olympics
It may be time to call off the 2016 Olympic Games scheduled for Rio de Janeiro because of the Zika virus.

Zika infection transmitted by sex reported in Texas
A case of Zika virus infection transmitted by sex, rather than mosquito bite, was discovered in Texas on Tuesday, a development sure to complicate plans to contain a global epidemic.

What Zika and the Flint water crisis have in common
Two studies in environmental racism.

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