TORONTO - Lorraine McCallum was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a blood cancer of the plasma cells in the bone marrow, just days after the birth of her third daughter in 2009.

A stem cell recipient, McCallum shared the story of using her own stem cells for treatment at the deVeber Institute for Bioethics and Social Research's Café Scientifique, exploring the realities and ethical questions raised by stem cell research. The event was sponsored by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

"I'm not entirely sure why it works, but it does," she told the audience of about 100 gathered at Toronto's Fox and Fiddle pub July 3. "With multiple myeloma, they don't really know where it starts in the body or what triggers it but stem cell transplants are standard  treatment… and it is effective at least for a while in holding the cancer at bay."

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA

VATICAN CITY - A Vatican-sponsored congress on the ethical use of stem cells in scientific research was canceled because of a lack of funding, organizers said.

The Third International Congress on Responsible Stem Cell Research was to be held April 25-28 at the Vatican and was being organized by the Pontifical Academy for Life with the collaboration of the Vatican-based International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations, the Jerome Lejeune Foundation and the Bioethical Consultative Committee of Monaco.

Published in International

VATICAN CITY - Many readers of the Vatican's official newspaper might have been taken by surprise in mid-January by an article effusively praising a well-known exhibition of "plastinated" human bodies, which was making an extended stop in Rome.

"Body Worlds," which L'Osservatore Romano called a "wonderful ode to respect for the body," is an exhibition of preserved human corpses, displayed in often sporty stances.

Published in Features

PICKERING, ONT. - Believers in every religion and through every century of human history have done something they can’t quite describe, justify or do without. They pray.

They may meditate, contemplate, recite, babble or immerse themselves in silence. They may seek solitude or seek company to pray with others. They may follow the rules of a liturgy, improvise or seek a simple, direct encounter with God.

Prayer can be rote execution of routine, woven into the fabric of daily life. Or it can be a unique, creative leap into transcendence. Prayers may be led by a spiritual master, immersed in custom and culture or reach for an unconstrained, individual expression of the spiritual.

Published in Features
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