Bladders by Cell
CNN, April 5 — A new procedure pioneered at Wake Forest University in North Carolina offers new hope for spina bifida patients and others who suffer kidney damage and loss of urinary control as a result of a poorly functioning bladder.
In the new procedure, doctors extract muscle and bladder cells from a small piece of the patient’s own bladder. The cells are grown in a Petri dish, then layered onto a three-dimensional mold shaped like a bladder.
In a matter of weeks, the cells produce a new bladder, which is implanted into the patient. Within a few more weeks, the new bladder has grown to normal size and has started functioning.
The procedure has so far worked in seven teenagers and young children.
India Cracks Down
MEDICAL NEWS TODAY, March 29 — The Indian government has enacted a new law to discourage the use of ultrasound technology to identify the gender of unborn babies in order to eliminate baby girls through abortion.
Dr. Anil Sabhani is the first physician to be convicted of violating the law, which is an attempt to stop sex-selection abortions and infanticides of female babies.
Dr. Sabhani and his assistant, Kartar Singh, in the northern state of Haryana, will face two years in prison for violating the law.
India banned the use of ultrasound to reveal the gender of an unborn baby for non-medical purposes after officials saw the extent of its use to foster abortions and infanticides.
Czechs Check Abortion
CTK, March 30 — The number of abortions in the Czech Republic is on the decline and dropped by 4% last year compared with 2005 numbers, reported the Czech News Agency.
The number of abortions is at its lowest level since the practice was legalized in 1958 and the figure is five times lower than its peak during the 1980s. Some 27,574 abortions were performed in 2004.
Media reports from the Czech Republic cited the increased use of contraception as a large reason for the decline, but pro-life groups say their educational efforts have played a part as well.
CTK reported that 200 members of the pro-life group Movement for Life recently held a public rally in Prague.
Picture This, Michigan
ASSOCIATED PRESS, March 21 — Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat, has signed legislation that requires health professionals who give ultrasounds to women seeking abortion an opportunity to see the ultrasound images of their unborn children before undergoing the procedure, the wire service reported.
Previous state law required that women seeking abortion be given the opportunity to view diagrams and descriptions of a developing child, but did not give them the opportunity to see the development of their own child.
The legislation is an extension of Michigan’s informed consent law, which requires physicians to offer women certain information 24 hours prior to performing an abortion. The law does not require that women be given an ultrasound before undergoing an abortion.