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Issue 823 (12 October 2015)

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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.


UNESCO's statement on CRISPR/Cas9 highlights the need for public engagement
12 October 2015 - by Dr Silvia Camporesi and Dr Lara Marks
The UNESCO International Bioethics Committee has released a statement reaffirming an earlier moratorium called by a group of US scientists on the use of CRISPR/Cas9 in human embryos. We argue that the current framing of the debate in terms of dystopic or imagined futures is too narrow and constrains the boundaries of the debate to germline applications... [Read More]

News Digest

Womb transplants approved for ten UK women
12 October 2015 - by Nina Chohan
Ethical approval has been given for clinical trials involving ten womb transplants in the UK to go ahead.... [Read More]
'Epigenetic signature' of male homosexuality
12 October 2015 - by Dr Ashley Cartwright
Researchers in the USA have developed an epigenetic test which they claim can predict whether a man is gay or straight with 67 percent accuracy... [Read More]
Nobel Prize for DNA repair scientists
12 October 2015 - by Dr James Heather
The 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to scientists who discovered the cellular mechanisms for repairing damaged DNA... [Read More]
BRCA gene cannot be patented, says Australia's High Court
12 October 2015 - by Cait McDonagh
An isolated gene sequence cannot be patented, Australia's highest court has unanimously ruled. It is the latest and final decision in litigation that has lasted over five years... [Read More]
Miniature kidneys grown from human skin cells
12 October 2015 - by Rhys Baker
Australian scientists have successfully grown 'mini kidneys' from stem cells derived from skin tissue... [Read More]
Freezing ovaries preserves fertility for cancer patients
12 October 2015 - by Dr Rachel Brown
A Danish study has reported that ovarian tissue transplants appear to be safe and can restore fertility in women who have undergone treatment for cancer, with around one in three procedures in young women leading to live births.... [Read More]


Video Review: Talking Biopolitics - A Conversation with George Annas and Lisa Ikemoto
12 October 2015 - by Dr Rebecca Dimond
Genomic medicine has advanced rapidly in recent years and, with our increasing capacity to collect and store genetic information, it holds not only great promise but also pitfalls, for individuals and communities. This was the topic under discussion in a live video conversation on 7 October, organised by the Center for Genetics and Society... [Read More]



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