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King's College London - Health: More than a medical matter


Issue 652 (16 April 2012)

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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. 

Visit the BioNews website at where you can subscribe for free to receive BioNews by email in one of three formats, and search the archive of more than 6,000 articles.


Emerging science and established problems – governing biomedical innovation in the UK
11 April 2012 - by Dr Stuart Hogarth and Professor Brian Salter
The Department of Health (DH) has announced the formation of a new body to advise on emerging healthcare scientific developments and their ethical, legal, social and economic implications. The new body, the Emerging Science and Bioethics Advisory Committee (ESBAC), will rise phoenix-like from the ashes of the Human Genetics Commission (HGC), which was incinerated in the government's recent bonfire of the quangos. It is a telling illustration of the continued governance challeng... [Read More]

Nuffield Council on Bioethics Call for Evidence: Disclosure and Donor Conception
16 April 2012 - by John B. Appleby and Dr Lucy Blake
The Nuffield Council on Bioethics has launched an inquiry on the ethics of disclosure in families with children conceived using donated reproductive tissue (i.e. eggs, sperm, or embryos). In spring 2013 the Council will publish a report on its findings, making policy recommendations where appropriate. This call for evidence is part of a long history of debate on the topic of disclosure in the UK and runs parallel to international debates in the USA, Canada, Australia and Europe... [Read More]

News Digest

Boost to egg and sperm donations needed, says HFEA
16 April 2012 - by Dr Rosie Morley
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has launched a new strategy to increase awareness of egg and sperm donation and to improve the care of donors. It aims to address perceived obstacles to donor recruitment aired during its consultation on gamete donation last year.... [Read More]

Rome hospital criticised for destruction of 94 embryos
16 April 2012 - by Dr Daniel Grimes
Italian Health Minister Renato Balduzzi has ordered an investigation of a fertility clinic at the San Filippo Neri hospital in Rome after a mechanical failure led to the destruction of 94 frozen embryos, 130 eggs, and five sperm samples.... [Read More]

Scientist allegedly fathered 600 children at own sperm clinic
16 April 2012 - by Cait McDonagh
A British scientist who ran a fertility clinic in London from the mid-1940s to the mid-1960s, used his own sperm and may have fathered hundreds of children, it has been claimed... [Read More]

IVF can't beat biological clock, warns Yale fertility expert
16 April 2012 - by Cathy Holding
A leading fertility expert in the USA has warned of young women's have serious misconceptions about their own fertility... [Read More]

British lab working with controversial stem cell doctor
16 April 2012 - by Ana Pallesen
A commercial London laboratory is working with a clinic in Lebanon that uses medical techniques that are not verified by the medical community, and fall outside most countries' legal parameters... [Read More]

Gene therapy shows early success in Parkinson's trial
16 April 2012 - by Kimberley Bryon-Dodd
A woman with Parkinson's disease is reportedly able to write again for the first time in 15 years after receiving pioneering gene therapy at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge. Mrs Shelia Roy took part in an early stage clinical trial of ProSavin - a treatment developed by biopharmaceutical company, Oxford BioMedica.... [Read More]

Gene variants linked to childhood obesity discovered
16 April 2012 - by Oliver Timmis
Two new genetic variants that could increase the risk of childhood obesity have been identified in the largest ever genome-wide study of the disease... [Read More]

Lab-grown egg cells could be fertilised 'within the year' if licence is granted
16 April 2012 - by Rosemary Paxman
The first human egg cells grown in the laboratory from stem cells could be fertilised later this year, scientists report... [Read More]

Genetic mutations in older fathers' sperm linked to autism
16 April 2012 - by James Brooks
Genetic mutations that occur spontaneously in sperm and egg cells may increase a child's risk of autism, say scientists... [Read More]


Exhibition Review: Palaces
16 April 2012 - by George Frodsham
A palace made out of children's teeth? It sounds like an idea taken straight from a horror story, and yet this is how Liverpool-based artist Gina Czarnecki hopes to raise awareness about stem cell research.... [Read More]

TV Review: Health Explained - Epigenetics
16 April 2012 - by Dr Rachael Panizzo
Epigenetics is a complex subject, so explaining it in just two minutes is a big ask. But that's what the short video clip, 'Health explained: epigenetics', on the BBC website attempts to do. Aimed at a general audience, the video succeeds in giving us a very basic introduction, but doesn't manage to capture what is new and exciting about this field of research... [Read More]


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