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Number 21, February 2011
- Hungary and secularism. Following to the open letter sent to the members of the Hungarian Parliament, drawing MPs’ attention on the fact that the draft constitution “if approved in its present version, might restrict citizens’ equality and damage women’s right to health, namely through legal restrictions in access to abortion”, a comment by the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) and a reply by Hon. Endre Spaller, Member of the Hungarian Parliament have been received by Luca Coscioni Association and the Radical Party.
- France to allow embryonic research under new law. French Parliament has passed the first stage of a bioethics bill allowing for more widespread embryonic research. It is still forbidden but exceptions may be admitted. 272 deputies voted for the measure, 216 against and 59 abstained. Green and Socialist party deputies voted against the bill saying it did not go far enough. Read more.
- Academy of science supports embryo genetic tests in Germany. The parliamentary vote on how to regulate preimplantation genetic diagnosis is expected in the next months in Germany. According to Nature, the Leopoldina, Germany's national academy of sciences, has published a report strongly recommending that PGD of early embryos be allowed by law when couples know they carry genes that could cause a serious incurable disease if passed on to their children. The report concludes that there is "no necessity for the state" to interfere with such personal decisions. Read more.
- European Union, single patent co-operation plan gets committee go-ahead. Plans to use the enhanced co-operation procedure to create a unitary patent system in the EU, as requested by 12 Member States (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Lithuania, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden and the UK) last year, were approved by the Legal Affairs Committee on 27 January. Under EU rules, enhanced co-operation can be used to enable some Member States to move forward on new rules when a unanimous agreement cannot be found. Read more.
- The proceedings of the World Congress are available. The proceedings of the Second Meeting of the World Congress for Freedom of Scientific Research (European Parliament, Brussels, 5-7- March 2009) are being sent to members of the scientific and cultural communities, Nobel Laureates, Presidents of Scientific Academies, Ministers and Members of Parliaments. Find on line the full .pdf version in Italian or in English. Check whether you are receiving a copy of the proceedings or order it by donating to Luca Coscioni Association and sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
News in brief:
- “The iPSC-ESC gap. Human cells reprogrammed into multipotent stem cells display fundamental differences from true embryonic stem cells” (The Scientist, http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/57971/)
- “Stanford joins first embryonic-stem-cell therapy clinical trial” (Stanford School of Medicine, http://med.stanford.edu/ism/2011/january/geron.html)
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