Pope Francis has made comments on the Shroud of Turin, the much-discussed and analyzed burial cloth that some believe shows the face of Jesus Christ, saying that it "speaks to the heart," though he stopped short of declaring the piece an official relic.
"This image, impressed upon the cloth, speaks to our heart," the Roman Catholic Church leader said in an Italian TV Easter Saturday special.
"This disfigured face resembles all those faces of men and women marred by a life which does not respect their dignity, by war and violence which afflict the weakest … And yet, at the same time, the face in the shroud conveys a great peace; this tortured body expresses a sovereign majesty," he added. more >>
As the world hears about the latest evidence that the Shroud of Turin may have been the burial cloth of Jesus, some have expressed uncertainty about the latest claim.
Giulio Fanti, a professor from the University of Padua, and Saverio Gaeta, an Italian journalist, have recently published a book arguing that the shroud did indeed exist during the time frame of the life of Jesus.
Dan Porter, who oversees a news blog about the shroud, told The Christian Post that from what he knew the research was based on "new methods that have not been peer-reviewed yet for publication in a reputable and ethical scientific journal." more >>
As the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments this week in two cases involving gay marriage, some "friend of the court" briefs are asking the court to consider social science studies that supposedly confirm there is no difference in the well-being of children raised by gay couples and children raised by a mother and a father. Those studies, though, may be deeply flawed in their methodology and the conclusions drawn from their data.
"I think ... that there's substance to the point that sociological information is new. We have five years of information to weigh against 2,000 years of history or more," Justice Anthony Kennedy said during Tuesday's oral arguments for the case questioning the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8, which denied same-sex couples the right to marry.
Kennedy could have been thinking about an amicus brief filed by Professor's Leon Kass and Harvey Mansfield. There is no scientific basis to make any conclusions about what gay marriage would do for children raised by gay parents or do for society at large, Kass and Mansfield argued. They, therefore, urged the justices to rule based upon the law, not science. more >>
Just over a month ago, physicians at Weill Cornell Medical College and biomedical engineers at Cornell University announced in New York that with the help of living cells, they had successfully created an exact copy of the human ear that looks and behaves like the natural one.
In three years, according to a release from the University, doctors are hoping they can try the first human implant of their bioengineered ear in a bid to help thousands of children born each year with a congenital ear deformity.
Current solutions, according to doctors, are built from materials with a Styrofoam-like quality or the rib of a young patient. "This surgical option is very challenging and painful for children, and the ears rarely look totally natural or perform well," notes Dr. Jason Spector, director of the Laboratory for Bioregenerative Medicine and Surgery (LBMS) at Weill Cornell, in the release. And he is not alone in seeking more seamless, less painful solutions to repairing the human body. more >>
After an announcement last year that a series of experiments in the United States had resulted in the birth of 30 healthy genetically modified babies, genetics experts are now debating whether or not further development of designer offspring should be banned.
Just 16 years ago, the concept of genetic perfection was the stuff of Hollywood movies like "Gattaca." Fast forward to just over a month ago, however, and experts were busy debating over whether genetically engineered babies should be prohibited in a session hosted in New York City by Intelligence Squared U.S.
Arguing for prohibition were Professor Sheldon Krimsky of Tufts University and chair of the Council for Responsible Genetics, and Lord Robert Winston, professor of Science and Society and emeritus professor of Fertility Studies at Imperial College. more >>
Scientists announced Thursday that they believe a subatomic particle discovered last year is indeed the Higgs boson, or "God particle," they have been searching for.
"The preliminary results with the full 2012 data set are magnificent and to me it is clear that we are dealing with a Higgs boson though we still have a long way to go to know what kind of Higgs boson it is," said Joe Incandela, spokesperson for the CMS physics team, in a statement.
The findings were announced during the Moriond Conference, a gathering of physicists in the Italian Alps. more >>