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Issue 663 (02 July 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. 

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The IVF postcode lottery must stop
02 July 2012 - by Louisa Ghevaert
The inconsistent and inadequate provision of IVF treatment on the NHS is an unacceptable way to treat the one in seven UK couples (3.5 million people) currently affected by infertility... [Read More]
Consultation on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and the Human Tissue Authority
02 July 2012 - by Earl Howe
Standards should never come into question, but it's clear to this Government that NHS administrative costs can be streamlined. That is why I set out proposals to change responsibility for regulating fertility treatment and human tissue last week... [Read More]

News Digest

Insurance will continue to be unaffected by predictive genetic tests, says Government
02 July 2012 - by George Frodsham
People who undergo genetic testing to establish their future risk of developing a genetic condition, such as Alzheimer's or breast cancer, will continue to have the right to take out health insurance without disclosing the test results to their insurer.... [Read More]
Government launches consultation on future of UK human fertilisation and tissue regulators
02 July 2012 - by Ayesha Ahmad
The UK Government has launched a consultation on the future of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) and Human Tissue Authority (HTA) amid proposals to transfer the regulators' functions elsewhere.... [Read More]
Gene therapy 'immunisation' against nicotine successful in mice
02 July 2012 - by Dr Linda Wijlaars
A gene that codes for nicotine antibodies has been successful in immunising mice against the drug's effects. But although the treatment appears to work in mice, any 'smoking vaccine' is still a long way off... [Read More]
Five million IVF babies born to date, study says
02 July 2012 - by Suzanne Elvidge
A study estimates that five million people worldwide have been born thanks to assisted reproductive technologies... [Read More]
US embryonic stem cell bank to close after only four years
02 July 2012 - by Ruth Retassie
The University of Massachusetts (UMass) Stem Cell Bank, opened in response to restrictions on the funding of human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research in the USA, will close after just four years in existence when it runs out of public funding later this year.... [Read More]
Under right conditions, IVF approaches birth rates of natural conception
02 July 2012 - by Dr Sarah Spain
For the first time, researchers in the USA have calculated cumulative success rates of infertility treatments that use IVF or assisted reproductive technologies (ART), and have showed that overall success rates come close to that of natural conception.... [Read More]
Gene test may reduce unnecessary thyroid surgeries
02 July 2012 - by Dr Zara Mahmoud
A test which screens for levels of gene expression may help reduce the number of patients with benign thyroid cancer who are put forward for unnecessary surgery... [Read More]
Male contraceptive lotion in early tests
02 July 2012 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza
Researchers in the USA have claimed to have created a male contraceptive gel applied directly to the skin that can effectively reduce a man's sperm count with few side effects... [Read More]


Book Review: Future Human Evolution - Eugenics in the 21st Century
02 July 2012 - by Dr Iain Brassington
Back in my bar-tending days, we had as regular customers a small group of men who would spend the evening huddled around a table talking at volume about current affairs. We used to eavesdrop on their conversations: it was hard not to. For the most part, what they tended to say was robustly weird, with essays into the profoundly bizarre. Reading John Glad's 'Future Human Evolution', I couldn't help but think of them... [Read More]
Book Review: The Geek Manifesto - Why Science Matters
02 July 2012 - by Fiona Fox
This book is explicitly a call to arms and sets out to 'explore how geeks can turn our irrepressible energy and analytical rigour into a movement with real clout'... [Read More]



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