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Issue 902 (30 May 2017)

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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.


Autism and smoking during pregnancy - a mitochondrial inheritance
30 May 2017 - by Professor David Skuse
In recent years, there has been an explosion in the number of children diagnosed with autism. There is seemingly one in every classroom, most of them boys; some are quiet and nerdy, others may be disruptive and aggressive. Most have normal intelligence, and can be educated in mainstream schools. Parents of such children  question why one child is affected... [Read More]
Donor-conceived people do benefit from being told about their conception
30 May 2017 - by Professor Eric Blyth, Dr Marilyn Crawshaw, Iolanda Rodino, and Dr Petra Thorn
Professor Guido Pennings' provocatively entitled BioNews commentary 'Donor children do not benefit from being told about their conception' purports to highlight the shortcomings of existing research supporting a pro-disclosure agenda and castigates counsellors and researchers who advocate parental disclosure... [Read More]

News Digest

Sperm in space produce healthy mouse pups on Earth
30 May 2017 - by Dr Ashley Cartwright
Mouse sperm stored aboard the International Space Station for nine months has been used to produce healthy pups back on Earth... [Read More]
Genome editing used to slow cancer growth
30 May 2017 - by Annabel Slater
US scientists have delayed cancer cell growth by using genome editing to remove a protein... [Read More]
FDA gives go-ahead to first cancer drug based on genetics
30 May 2017 - by Shaoni Bhattacharya
The first cancer drug based on a specific genetic feature has been approved by the US drugs regulator... [Read More]
UK parents lose appeal to take sick son to US for treatment
30 May 2017 - by Jennifer Willows
The UK Court of Appeal has upheld the High Court's decision that an experimental treatment offered by a US doctor will not benefit ill baby Charlie Gard, and could cause significant pain and distress... [Read More]
Forty new genes linked to intelligence in humans
30 May 2017 - by Annabel Slater
A study of almost 80,000 people has identified 40 new genes linked to intelligence... [Read More]
Sperm 'radar' sorts the good from the bad
30 May 2017 - by Shaoni Bhattacharya
A giant scanner has been successfully used to sort 'good' sperm from 'bad'... [Read More]
German Parliament passes the Sperm Donor Registry Act
30 May 2017 - by Dr Lanay Griessner
The German Parliament has passed the Sperm Donor Registry Act, which will allow children born from 2018 onwards to access their donors' information... [Read More]


Event Review: Launch of the Centre for Reproduction Research, De Montfort University
30 May 2017 - by Kriss Fearon
The opening of the The Centre for Reproduction Research at De Montfort University on 24 March 2017 was marked through an afternoon seminar of short lectures by three leading scholars: Emily Jackson, professor of law at London School of Economics, Maureen McNeil, emeritus professor in sociology at Lancaster University, and Guido Pennings, professor of ethics and bioethics at Ghent University... [Read More]
TV Review: Quadruplets and Homeless
30 May 2017 - by Dr Jane Currie
A moving love story, but a missed opportunity to explore ethical issues in IVF... [Read More]



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