17

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What if mini-brains could help us understand dementia?

05-12-2017

Organoids are artificially grown organs that mimic the properties of real organs. What new possibilities for treating diseases, drug development, and personalised and regenerative medicine do organoids provide?

Organoids are artificially grown organs that mimic the properties of real organs. What new possibilities for treating diseases, drug development, and personalised and regenerative medicine do organoids provide?

Precision agriculture in Europe:Legal, social and ethical considerations

13-11-2017

The aim of this study is to illustrate the different ways in which the current EU legislative framework may be affected by the digitisation and automation of farming activities and the respective technological trends. The study analyses the issues that might have to be dealt with, identifying the European Parliament committees concerned and the legislative acts that might need to be revisited, especially in view of the forthcoming Commission communication on the future of the Common Agricultural ...

The aim of this study is to illustrate the different ways in which the current EU legislative framework may be affected by the digitisation and automation of farming activities and the respective technological trends. The study analyses the issues that might have to be dealt with, identifying the European Parliament committees concerned and the legislative acts that might need to be revisited, especially in view of the forthcoming Commission communication on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). It also provides a series of overarching recommendations that EU actors may wish to take into account when dealing with precision agriculture. To do so, an analysis of the multiple ethical and legal challenges associated with precision farming technologies has been performed, along with a scanning of current legislation in a wide range of areas of EU policy-making, including agricultural policy and related fields, such as environment, health, food safety and climate change.

What if we could 3D-print our own body parts

10-11-2017

The 3D-printing sector has proven its commercial viability in recent years, reaching the high street and, indeed, many homes. The technology is already used in some medical domains, such as dentistry and prosthetics, and many scientists are now exploring methods of printing biological materials – even if reports about lifesaving 3D-printed hearts are certainly premature.

The 3D-printing sector has proven its commercial viability in recent years, reaching the high street and, indeed, many homes. The technology is already used in some medical domains, such as dentistry and prosthetics, and many scientists are now exploring methods of printing biological materials – even if reports about lifesaving 3D-printed hearts are certainly premature.

What if manmade biological organisms could help treat cancer?

08-09-2017

Synthetic biology is expected to begin to design, construct and develop artificial (i.e. man-made) biological systems that mimic or even go beyond naturally occurring biological systems. Applications of synthetic biology in the healthcare domain hold great promise, but also raise a number of questions. What are the benefits and challenges of this emerging field? What ethical and social issues arise from this engineering approach to biology?

Synthetic biology is expected to begin to design, construct and develop artificial (i.e. man-made) biological systems that mimic or even go beyond naturally occurring biological systems. Applications of synthetic biology in the healthcare domain hold great promise, but also raise a number of questions. What are the benefits and challenges of this emerging field? What ethical and social issues arise from this engineering approach to biology?

What if others could read your mind?

08-04-2016

Brain-computer interface technology has been advancing rapidly and will continue to do so as our knowledge of how the brain works increases. Could this transform our understanding of life as we know it? A brain-computer interface (BCI) is a direct communication pathway between the brain and an external device. This technology can be used to restore motor and sensory capacities which may have been lost through trauma, disease or congenital conditions. For example, combined with limb-replacement ...

Brain-computer interface technology has been advancing rapidly and will continue to do so as our knowledge of how the brain works increases. Could this transform our understanding of life as we know it? A brain-computer interface (BCI) is a direct communication pathway between the brain and an external device. This technology can be used to restore motor and sensory capacities which may have been lost through trauma, disease or congenital conditions. For example, combined with limb-replacement technology, BCI may allow patients not only to move prosthetic limbs, but also to feel the sensation of touch. The technology can either be implanted (invasive) or used externally (non-invasive). Invasive BCIs, including neuroprosthetics and brain implants, are devices which connect directly to the brain and are placed on its surface or attached to the cortex. A key application area for contemporary brain implant research is the development of biomedical prostheses to circumvent areas of the brain that have become dysfunctional after a stroke or other trauma. With deep brain stimulation, a 'brain pacemaker' sends electrical impulses to specific parts of the brain for the treatment of disorders such as Parkinson's disease, dystonia and major depression. Non-invasive BCIs consist of a range of technological devices which provide a similar interface between the brain and other machines without the need for surgery. There are several technologies capable of measuring and recording brain activity, although the signal quality may be weaker than is possible with implanted devices. Nonetheless, non-invasive BCIs have been used effectively, for example to control prosthetic hands.

Data Saves Lives: The Impact of the Data Protection Regulation on Personal Data Use in Cancer Research

15-01-2016

This report summarises the presentations and discussions of the workshop on data saves lives, held at the European Parliament in Brussels on Thursday 19 November 2015. The aim of the workshop was to provide background information and advice regarding the proposed General Data Protection Regulation and the impact it may have on the use of personal health data in cancer research. During the first part of the workshop the policy context and state of play of the proposed new Regulation were presented ...

This report summarises the presentations and discussions of the workshop on data saves lives, held at the European Parliament in Brussels on Thursday 19 November 2015. The aim of the workshop was to provide background information and advice regarding the proposed General Data Protection Regulation and the impact it may have on the use of personal health data in cancer research. During the first part of the workshop the policy context and state of play of the proposed new Regulation were presented. An update on the Trilogue discussions and latest amendments to the text of the Regulation were given; obstacles and opportunities for harmonisation of cancer data were also discussed. The second part of the workshop focused on the impact of the proposed Regulation on cancer research. Access to data, ethical standards, data storage, and a European project on cancer survival were covered during this session. All presentations highlighted the need for a broad consent (a one-time consent given by data subjects to allow the use of their data for a variety of research studies which are subject to strict criteria) in order to make cancer research possible. Finally, future developments based on the experience of healthcare providers, patients and the industries were discussed. Possible practical solutions were given that could solve the obstacles of the proposed Regulation faced by the cancer research community.

Külső szerző

Paola BANFI, Rachel DEMPSEY, Manon EMONTS and Hana SPANIKOVA

What if injections weren't needed anymore?

26-11-2015

Synthetic biology is expected to design, construct and develop artificial (i.e. man-made) biological systems that mimic or even go beyond naturally-occurring biological systems. What are the benefits of this emerging field? Are there any ethical and social issues arising from this engineering approach to biology?

Synthetic biology is expected to design, construct and develop artificial (i.e. man-made) biological systems that mimic or even go beyond naturally-occurring biological systems. What are the benefits of this emerging field? Are there any ethical and social issues arising from this engineering approach to biology?

In vitro diagnostic medical devices

20-11-2014

In vitro diagnostic medical devices are tests used on biological samples to determine the status of a person's health. The industry employs about 75 000 people in Europe, and generates some €11 billion in revenue per year. In September 2012, the European Commission (EC) published a proposal for a new regulation on in vitro diagnostic medical devices, as part of a larger legislative package on medical devices. The proposed legislation aims at enhancing safety, traceability and transparency without ...

In vitro diagnostic medical devices are tests used on biological samples to determine the status of a person's health. The industry employs about 75 000 people in Europe, and generates some €11 billion in revenue per year. In September 2012, the European Commission (EC) published a proposal for a new regulation on in vitro diagnostic medical devices, as part of a larger legislative package on medical devices. The proposed legislation aims at enhancing safety, traceability and transparency without inhibiting innovation. In April 2014, the European Parliament (EP) amended the legislative proposals to strengthen the rights of patients and consumers and take better into account the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Some stakeholders consider that a provision for mandatory genetic counselling interferes with the practice of medicine in Member States and violates the subsidiarity principle. Device manufacturers warn that the proposed three-year transition period may be too tight.

Upcoming Issues of EU Law

15-09-2014

Upon request by the JURI Committee, five specific topics have been chosen for the workshop "Upcoming issues of EU law" on the afternoon of 24 September 2014 as being representative of different avenues for the future development of the law and aiming at giving Members of the European Parliament an overview of the work of the Legal Affairs Committee in several of its areas of competence. The workshop focuses both on work that has been accomplished in the past and on challenges that may be expected ...

Upon request by the JURI Committee, five specific topics have been chosen for the workshop "Upcoming issues of EU law" on the afternoon of 24 September 2014 as being representative of different avenues for the future development of the law and aiming at giving Members of the European Parliament an overview of the work of the Legal Affairs Committee in several of its areas of competence. The workshop focuses both on work that has been accomplished in the past and on challenges that may be expected to arise in the course of the legislature 2014 -2019.

Külső szerző

Wolfgang Heusel (Academy of European Law - ERA, Germany) ; Contributors: Karine Caunes, Ramin Farinpour, Angelika Fuchs, Florence Hartmann-Vareilles (Academy of European Law - ERA, Germany) ; Marta Ballesteros (Milieu, Belgium) ; Xandra Kramer (Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands) ; Lionel Bently (with thanks to Brad Sherman) (Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law at the University of Cambridge, the UK) ; Alfred Radauer (Technopolis Group, Austria) ; Andrea Bertolini and Erica Palmerini (Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa, Italy)

Making Perfect Life: European Governance Challenges in 21st Century Bio-engineering (Study, Summary and Options Brief)

14-09-2012

The report describes four fields of bio-engineering: engineering of living artefacts (chapter 2), engineering of the body (chapter 3), engineering of the brain (chapter 4), and engineering of intelligent artefacts (chapter 5). Each chapter describes the state of the art of these bio-engineering fields, and whether the concepts “biology becoming technology” and “technology becoming biology” are helpful in describing and understanding, from an engineering perspective, what is going on in each R&D terrain ...

The report describes four fields of bio-engineering: engineering of living artefacts (chapter 2), engineering of the body (chapter 3), engineering of the brain (chapter 4), and engineering of intelligent artefacts (chapter 5). Each chapter describes the state of the art of these bio-engineering fields, and whether the concepts “biology becoming technology” and “technology becoming biology” are helpful in describing and understanding, from an engineering perspective, what is going on in each R&D terrain. Next, every chapter analyses to what extent the various research strands within each field of bio-engineering are stimulated by the European Commission, i.e., are part and parcel of the European Framework program. Finally, each chapter provides an overview of the social, ethical and legal questions that are raised by the various scientific and technological activities involved. The report’s final chapter discusses to what extent the trends “biology becoming technology” and vice versa capture many of the developments that are going on in the four bio-engineering fields we have mapped. The report also reflects on the social, ethical and legal issues that are raised by the two bioengineering megatrends that constitute a new technology wave.

Külső szerző

Rinie van Est (Rathenau Instituut), Dirk Stemerding (Rathenau Instituut), Piret Kukk (Fraunhofer ISI), Bärbel Hüsing (Fraunhofer ISI), Ira van Keulen (Rathenau Instituut), Mirjam Schuijff (Rathenau Instituut), Knud Böhle (ITAS), Christopher Coenen (ITAS), Michael Decker (ITAS), Michael Rader (ITAS), Helge Torgersen (ITAS) and Markus Schmidt (Biofaction)

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