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CONTENTS

Issue 629 (17 October 2011)

COMMENT
NEWS DIGEST
REVIEWS
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Welcome to BioNews by email, published by the Progress Educational Trust, providing you with news, comment and reviews on genetics, assisted conception, embryo/stem cell research and related areas. 

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Comment

Bienvenue Monsieur Brooks and hasta la vista Vivienne
17 October 2011 - by Sarah Norcross
This edition of BioNews sees a new Science Editor, as James Brooks takes over from Dr Vivienne Raper.... [Read More]
Evidence and models of best practice should guide recruitment of gamete donors
17 October 2011 - by Professor Eric Blyth, Jennie Hunt and Professor Olga van den Akker
We welcome much of what Kamal Ahuja wrote in his recent BioNews Commentary 'If it ain't broke don't fix it'. Like him, we believe there is no good evidence to demonstrate that paying 'donors' would increase the supply of donated sperm or oocytes. On the contrary, there is evidence to suggest that properly constructed donor recruitment programmes – such as the one pioneered at the London Women's Clinic – are capable of recruiting a good supply of altruistic donors... [Read More]
Race and genetics in stem cell transplantation
17 October 2011 - by Professor Steven Marsh
Each year around 2,800 people in the UK have a stem cell transplant, without which they would have shortly faced death, usually from a blood cancer or another blood disorder. The race of a patient is a real factor in how likely they are to match with a donor.... [Read More]

News Digest

Cap on gamete donor expenses in the UK should be lifted, report recommends
17 October 2011 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza
A report on the donation of human bodily material for medicine and research has made several recommendations including removing the current cap on egg and sperm donor expenses in the UK... [Read More]
Black Death DNA puzzle no longer plagues scientists
17 October 2011 - by Dr Louisa Petchey
DNA extracted from the teeth of plague victims buried in London over 660 years ago has been used to reconstruct the genome of the bacteria that led to the Black Death. The study, carried out by a team of scientists from Canada and Germany, showed that the genetic make-up of this medieval bacteria has remained remarkably unchanged compared to modern day strains... [Read More]
Female fertility may be improved by breast cancer risk gene
17 October 2011 - by George Frodsham
A genetic mutation known to increase a woman's risk of cancer could also increase their fertility, research suggests. Women with mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, which are associated with a higher risk of breast and ovarian cancer, were found to have larger families when compared to control groups... [Read More]
Gene mutation for liver disease corrected in human stem cells
17 October 2011 - by Luciana Strait
Genetics and stem cell research have been combined for the first time to correct a genetic mutation associated with liver disease. This new approach could lead to people with a genetic disease being treated with their own cells.... [Read More]
Sickle cell disease reversed in mice
17 October 2011 - by Mehmet Fidanboylu
The blood condition sickle cell disease may be reversed by turning off a single gene, according to scientists in the USA. By inactivating a single gene in red blood cells the researchers were able to alleviate symptoms of the disease in mice, offering the hope of a potential new treatment for humans... [Read More]
Nevada doctor pleads not guilty of stem cell scam
17 October 2011 - by Jessica Ware
A US doctor accused of implanting stem cells into chronically ill patients pleaded not guilty at a court hearing on Thursday 13 October. Dr Ralph Conti, of Henderson, Nevada, has been accused of transplanting stem cells harvested from placental tissue into patients, at the direction of Alfred Sapse, who was falsely claiming to be a doctor.... [Read More]
Women as young as 18 searching for sperm donors online
17 October 2011 - by Dr Zara Mahmoud
Increasing numbers of women under the age of 25 are turning to sperm donors online, an investigation by the Sunday Times has shown. Many of these women have stable jobs and good support networks, and see no reason to wait before starting a family... [Read More]
Fruit and veg keeps genetic risk of heart disease at bay
17 October 2011 - by Dr Rebecca Robey
Eating high quantities of fresh fruit and vegetables can counterbalance the effects of having a genetic predisposition to heart disease, an international study has found... [Read More]
House of Commons debates amendments to Public Bodies Bill
14 October 2011 - by Sandy Starr
The future of the UK's fertility regulator has been debated by a House of Commons committee. An amendment to the Public Bodies Bill that, if passed, would have prevented the abolition of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), was proposed but ultimately withdrawn by Labour MP Valerie Vaz... [Read More]

Reviews

TV Review: Mixed Race Britain - How the World Got Mixed Up
17 October 2011 - by Nishat Hyder
'One of the very few universal laws of history is this: whenever and wherever people of different races have been brought together they have always mixed. For most of human history the power of sex managed to undermine the power of race'... [Read More]
TV Review: Me, My Sex and I
17 October 2011 - by Daniel Malynn
'Me, My Sex and I' is a documentary about people who are born neither entirely male nor female. I must state at the outset that this programme is about the sex of the individual, and should not be confused with gender, which is how people identify themselves (something that many other TV reviews have got wrong in describing this programme). As the show makes clear, sex is not an 'either or' for many people; the real buzz word here is 'ambiguous'.... [Read More]

 

 

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