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Synthetic human embryo raises ethical issues

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Scientists have created synthetic human embryos – using no eggs or sperm – provoking deep ethical questions, according to reports.

The synthetic embryos – only days or weeks old – could help researchers study the earliest stages of human development and explain pregnancy loss.

Nobody is currently suggesting growing them into a baby.

But the rapid progress has outpaced discussions on how they should be dealt with ethically and legally.

Prof James Briscoe, from the Francis Crick Institute, said the field needed to “proceed cautiously, carefully and transparently” to avoid a “chilling effect” on the public.

The development of human synthetic embryos was announced at the annual meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research.

Synthetic embryos are also known as “embryo models”, as they resemble embryos, for the purposes of research, rather than being identical to them.

The work comes from the laboratories of Prof Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz, from the University of Cambridge and the California Institute of Technology.

The full details have yet to be published and made available for scientific scrutiny, leading many researchers to feel unable to comment on the significance of the reports.

But the principle is the synthetic embryos are made from a stem cell rather than a fusion of egg and sperm.

(BBC News)

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This week’s Cabinet decisions

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A number of decisions have been taken at the Cabinet meeting held yesterday (June 24).

The decisions taken by the Cabinet of Ministers are as follows :

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GoSL pledges to support upcoming Bora Conference

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The Sri Lankan government has pledged full support for the Bora community’s upcoming spiritual conference and annual convention.

Senior Advisor to the President on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff, Sagala Ratnayaka, directed officials to ensure the event’s success during a meeting at the Presidential Secretariat.

The conference will be held at the Bambalapitiya Bora Mosque and the Sri Lanka Convention and Exhibition Centre from July 07 – 16.

This event will coincide with the Bora community’s spiritual conference in Karachi, Pakistan, and is expected to attract around fifteen thousand participants from various countries, including India.

The meeting highlighted the need for necessary infrastructure and facilities, particularly at the airport, to accommodate the large influx of attendees.

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8,000 UDA flat dwellers to get title deeds

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Urban Development and Housing Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said yesterday that arrangements have been made to provide title deeds to 8,000 residents of the apartments owned by the Urban Development Authority (UDA) next month, under the Government’s programme to provide title deeds to dwellers in such apartments in Colombo.

In addition, the National Housing Development Authority (NHDA) has also planned to give 1,070 title deeds to dwellers living in apartments in Colombo.

He said that this programme will be implemented according to the pledge given by President Ranil Wickremesinghe in the last Budget that 50,000 Colombo flat owners will be given their title deeds.

According to the UDA, 14,559 units of the 22 housing complexes have been given to low-income people.

Accordingly, the granting of title deeds will be made focusing on UDA housing projects of Mihindu Senpura, Sirisara Garden, Methsara Garden, Lakmuthu Sewana, and Sirimuthu Garden under the first phase.

In addition, title deeds of Laksandha Sevana, Randiya Uyana, Lakmuthu Uyana, Muwadora Uyana, Siyapath Sevana, Puradora Sevana, Jayamaga Sevana, Mihijaya Sevana, Helamuthu Sevana, Laksetha Sevana and Lakhiru Sevana housing projects are to be given to its dwellers before the end of this year.

The NHDA will first issue the title deeds for the apartments that have been built in the Colombo Municipal Council areas.

Transferring of ownerships of these houses to dwellers has been delayed due to the problematic situation arising from certain related rules and regulations. The Minister emphasised that he has already discussed with the Attorney General and obtained the necessary advice in this regard.

Minister Ranatunga further stated that all Colombo flat owners will be given their title deeds before the end of this year.

After giving the deeds to the owners of these houses, it is expected to carry out maintenance and management of these houses by a joint management corporation which will be established with the representation of the resident population.

An amount of Rs. 2 billion has been allocated in the 2024 Budget for providing ‘Urumaya’ freehold deeds to all who are eligible to receive and confirm landownership in the next two months.

(dailynews.lk)

 (This story, originally published by dailynews.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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