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Report – Legal treatment of embryos created through IVF

In Custodia Legis: “In vitro fertilization (IVF) is an assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedure that involves the “joining of a woman’s egg and a man’s sperm in a laboratory dish.” The MedicinePlus website explains that “[i]n vitro means outside the body. Fertilization means the sperm has attached to and entered the egg.” The procedure can result in “excess” or “surplus” embryos that are not transferred to a person’s uterus as part of the initial treatment cycle. A decision then needs to be made as to what to do with such embryos, which involves both personal and legal considerations. Initially, the embryos could be frozen and stored for a period of time – a process called cryopreservation. Then, depending on what is legally permitted, those embryos could later be thawed and transferred to the uterus of the person who underwent the initial treatment cycle, they could be “donated” to another person to attempt to achieve pregnancy, they could be used for training or research purposes, or they could be discarded or destroyed. Possibly, they could even be stored indefinitely. The Law Library of Congress recently published a report on the options for, and restrictions on, the use of excess embryos created through IVF in nine jurisdictions: Australia, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Although this was a relatively small selection of countries, we noted large differences between the approaches in this area of law.

  • The report, titled Legal Treatment of Embryos Created Through IVF, examines whether there are any restrictions on the number of embryos that can be created in a single IVF treatment cycle; whether there are legal limits on the number of embryos that can be transferred to a person’s uterus at one time; whether preimplantation genetic testing is permitted, and if embryos can be selected based on their sex; whether embryos can be cryopreserved, and if there are any time limits on the duration of storage; and whether embryos can be donated, used for scientific research purposes, or destroyed. A table at the start of the report summarizes our findings for some of these aspects.”

Police Shootings of Residents Across the United States, 2015–20: A Comparison of States

Rockefeller Institute: “Broader public, media, and scholarly interest in police shootings of residents in the United States has been a constant since 2014. This interest followed a number of high-profile deadly force incidents, including those leading to the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, and Tamir Rice in Cleveland, OH. In the decade since,… Continue Reading

96% of US hospital websites share visitor info with Meta, Google, data brokers

The Register: “Hospitals – despite being places where people implicitly expect to have their personal details kept private – frequently use tracking technologies on their websites to share user information with Google, Meta, data brokers, and other third parties, according to research published today. Academics at the University of Pennsylvania analyzed a nationally representative sample… Continue Reading

New bill would try to make tools like Zoom and Teams work together securely

The Verge: “A new proposal from Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) would require videoconferencing and messaging tools used by the federal government to be able to communicate with each other, even if made by different companies. It would also enforce high security standards for government collaboration tools, including end-to-end encryption. The Secure and Interoperable Government Collaboration… Continue Reading

80 Percent of Global CO2 Emissions Come From Just 57 Companies

Smithsonian Magazine: “A new analysis released last week by the international non-profit InfluenceMap reveals an overwhelmingly unequal share of fossil fuel pollution worldwide. From 2016 to 2022, 80 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions were produced by just 57 companies. Shared in the think tank’s Carbon Majors Database, which is authored by some of the… Continue Reading

Tracking AI-enabled Misinformation

“To date, NewsGuard’s team has identified 794 Unreliable AI-Generated News and information websites, labeled “UAINS,” spanning 16 languages: Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, and Turkish. These websites typically have generic names, such as iBusiness Day, Ireland Top News, and Daily Time Update, which to a… Continue Reading

Colleges are Failing to Fight Antisemitism on Their Campuses

Campus Antisemitism Report Card™ – ADL’s Campus Antisemitism Report Card is a tool for students, parents, alumni, college faculty, guidance counselors, admissions consultants and other stakeholders. Our goal is to serve students and their families looking for information about the current state of antisemitism on campus and how particular universities and colleges are responding. ADL… Continue Reading

The 12 Companies That Together Own 500+ Consumer Brands

Quartr: “Warren Buffett famously popularized the term “moat,” stating that “a truly great business must have an enduring moat that protects excellent returns on invested capital.” This can take shape in various forms, and according to Buffett, one of them is “possessing a powerful world-wide brand (Coca-Cola, Gillette, American Express).” The consumer goods sector is… Continue Reading

Mapping America’s access to nature, neighborhood by neighborhood

Washington Post – “A city is a science experiment. What happens when we separate human beings from the environment in which they evolved? Can people be healthy without nature? The results have been bleak. Countless studies have shown that people who spend less time in nature die younger and suffer higher rates of mental and… Continue Reading

5 Tips For Creating A Professional Email Signature

Forbes: “Email signatures are an important element of professional communication. Think of them as digital business cards. Within a short space, you get to tell potential customers/clients who you are and the services you provide. A well-crafted email signature enhances your brand, reinforces your identity and streamlines your communication, making it easier for recipients to… Continue Reading

AP Study – AI is already reshaping newsrooms

“A new study from AP – Generative AI in Journalism: The Evolution of Newswork and Ethics in a Generative Information Ecosystem reveals that generative artificial intelligence is already reshaping newsroom roles and workflow. Nearly 70% of newsroom staffers from a variety of backgrounds and organizations surveyed in December say they’re using the technology for crafting… Continue Reading

How to Stop Your Data From Being Used to Train AI

Wired: “If you’ve ever posted something to the internet—a pithy tweet, a 2009 blog post, a scornful review, or a selfie on Instagram—it has most likely been slurped up and used to help train the current wave of generative AI. Large language models, like ChatGPT, and image creators are powered by vast reams of our… Continue Reading