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Issue 847 (18 April 2016)

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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.


Abnormal fetuses are highly unlikely to heal themselves
18 April 2016 - by Professor Caroline Ogilvie
Press coverage of a recent study on mouse embryos speculates that termination of human pregnancies diagnosed with aneuploidy (a family of conditions including Down's syndrome) at prenatal diagnosis could be unnecessary, due to the ability of the fetus to 'heal itself'. In fact, the paper's findings are not relevant to aneuploidy detected at prenatal diagnosis... [Read More]
Womb transplants – are they worth the risk?
18 April 2016 - by Dr Natasha Hammond-Browning
The first US uterus transplant was carried out in February, but before we continue down this route we need to ask whether the risks outweigh the benefits of these procedures... [Read More]

News Digest

Scientists create functioning beta cells that could treat diabetes
18 April 2016 - by Paul Waldron
Two new studies report the creation of functioning human beta cells, which can release insulin in response to changes in blood sugar, holding promise for the treatment of diabetes... [Read More]
Judge: 'Baby Gammy' was not abandoned and sister can stay with parents
18 April 2016 - by Julianna Photopoulos
A court in Western Australia has ruled that the twin sister of Baby Gammy, who was born to a Thai surrogate in 2013, should remain with her parents in Australia... [Read More]
Bedfordshire CCG considers removing all funding for IVF
18 April 2016 - by Dr Mary Yarwood
Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group is consulting the public on whether to remove all funding for IVF treatment, apart from for special medical exceptions... [Read More]
Individuals identified who appear 'resistant' to genetic disease
18 April 2016 - by Elie Diner
Scientists searching through nearly 600,000 genome sequences have found 13 'superhumans' who are symptom-free despite carrying mutations for severe childhood diseases... [Read More]
Donor lied about mental illness and criminal history, say US sperm bank clients
18 April 2016 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza
Three families are suing a US sperm bank and its Canadian distributor for allegedly misleading them about the health and criminal history of their sperm donor... [Read More]
Judge criticises clinic's 'seriously deficient' care of couple after clerical blunder
18 April 2016 - by Cait McDonagh
A clerical mistake at a Sheffield IVF clinic meant that a father's status as his child's legal parent was put in doubt... [Read More]
Start sex education early, fertility experts argue
18 April 2016 - by James Brooks
Primary school children should be given sex and fertility education to help them make informed family-planning choices in later life, fertility specialists in the UK have said... [Read More]


Book Review: The Society of Genes
18 April 2016 - by Simon Hazelwood-Smith
This book is clearly, if not beautifully, written, and remarkably concise. If you're looking for a 'what's hot in genetics in 2016', it isn't a bad place to start... [Read More]



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