Courts in New Zealand and India have granted legal personhood status to three rivers. The strange status is meant to protect the waters from pollution, but the measure could lead to unintended consequences, while undermining efforts to grant personhood status to living beings who actually deserve it.
As journalists and government watchdogs scramble to hold the Trump administration accountable for a long list of potential conflicts of interest—including White House advisor Kellyanne Conway’s recent recommendation to “go buy Ivanka [Trump’s] stuff”—the US Office of Government Ethics (OGE) website has been…
Humanity would understand very little about cancer, and be hard-pressed to find cures, without scientific research. But what if, when teams recreated each other’s research, they didn’t arrive at the same result?
Donald Trump made some pretty scary threats during the election about cracking down on abortion. Here’s a quick refresher on his campaign promises—and why women have every right to be very worried.
There is inequality everywhere. But in San Francisco, it seems to be drawn by a cartoonist with an unrefined taste for absurdity.
To address the burgeoning “loneliness epidemic” and the demands of an aging population, some think that we should deploy robotic caregivers. A new ad titled “B.E.N. (Biologically Engineered Nursing),” however, suggests that this is a dreadful idea.
Regulators in the state of Illinois have suspended a Chicago doctor who allegedly gave patients vaccinations containing cat saliva and vodka.
A new reproductive technique in which a baby is produced with the genetic material from three distinct parents has yielded its first human.
A terminally ill 17-year-old has become the first minor to be helped to die in Belgium since age restrictions on euthanasia requests were eliminated two years ago. It’s a historic precedent that could influence suicide laws elsewhere.
For the first time ever, scientists have produced live mice without a fertilized egg cell. The potentially revolutionary technique could one day allow gay men to produce biological offspring, or—even more radically—allow both men and women to self-fertilize.
Dozens of brains and brain parts belonging to victims of the Nazi eugenics campaign—and possibly the Holocaust—have been uncovered during renovations at the Max Planck Psychiatric Institute in Munich, Germany.
There’s been a lot of discussion over the ethics of posting violent livestreams on Facebook, and the social media site has decided to release subjective guidelines: if a person posts violent content to “raise awareness,” the video can stay. If someone shared the same video to mock the victim, it will be removed.
The hammer has finally dropped on blood-testing startup Theranos and its beleaguered CEO Elizabeth Holmes. US federal health regulators have announced their decision to ban Holmes from operating a lab for two years, while withdrawing regulatory approval for its California lab.
In an effort to learn more about the dreaded disease, the National Institutes of Health is funding a study in which a group of US athletes, coaches, and staff will be monitored for exposure to the Zika virus while attending the 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Brazil.
A recent survey shows that people want self-driving cars to be programmed to minimize casualties during a crash, even if it causes the death of the rider. Trouble is, the same survey shows that people don’t actually want to ride in cars that are programmed this way. That’s obviously a problem—and we’re going to have…
Here we go again: A jaguar that was brought out during an Olympic torch event earlier this week was shot and killed shortly afterward when it escaped its handlers. The local Games organizing committee is now investigating the incident, but animal welfare advocates say the big cat should never have been there in the…
Six months after researchers in China bioengineered monkeys to have autism, a Japanese team of scientists has used the same technology to create monkeys with Parkinson’s. It’s a scientific first, and it could lead to effective treatments—but do the ends justify the means?
In an extraordinary article entitled “The Voyeur’s Motel,” published in the April 11, 2016 issue of The New Yorker, Gay Talese told the story of how he became involved with a serial voyeur named Gerald Foos. Foos, in the late 1960s, had purchased the 21-room Manor House Motel in Aurora, Colorado with the express…
A former Pentagon official is warning that autonomous weapons would likely be uncontrollable in real-world situations thanks to design failures, hacking, and external manipulation. The answer, he says, is to always keep humans “in the loop.”
Researchers in China have genetically engineered monkeys to exhibit autistic-like behaviors, including impaired social skills and increased anxiety. This research is poised to improve our understanding of brain disorders, but ethicists say the harm endured by these monkeys is simply not worth it.