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CONTENTS Issue #45
COMMENT
Ethical worries and medical databases
NEWS DIGEST
REVIEWS
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Ethical worries and medical databases
14 February 2000 - by Juliet Tizzard
At the top of the front page of this Sunday's Observer, a headline ran: 'Ethics fear over mass gene bank'. By reading the headline alone, it wasn't at all clear what the article was about - but it didn't sound good. Reading the front page article, however, and the rather better... [Read More]
Clinton seeks ban on genetic discrimination
14 February 2000 - by BioNews
US President Bill Clinton has signed an executive order that bars federal agencies from using genetic information to discriminate against employees. He has also given his backing to pending senate bills that aim to prevent private sector employers and insurers from doing the same. Clinton said it was time to... [Read More]
ACE gene affects muscle power
14 February 2000 - by BioNews
Some people may benefit more from fitness training than others because of their genetic make-up, according to a report published in Nature last week. The gene involved, which comes in two versions (long and short), makes an enzyme known as ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme). The researchers studied a group of 58... [Read More]
Iceland genetics firm to float on stock market
14 February 2000 - by BioNews
deCODE genetics, the controversial Icelandic genetics research firm headed by Kari Stefansson, is to be floated on the stock market. It is likely to become one of the largest biotech firms in Europe. 'deCODE is going to go like a bomb. It would not surprise me to see its value... [Read More]
New laws for US gene therapy experiments
14 February 2000 - by BioNews
Legislation to tighten up the regulation of federally funded human gene therapy trials was introduced into the US house of representatives last week. The move follows concerns that deaths and serious deterioration of patients involved in gene therapy experiments are not being reported adequately. Researchers are supposed to report any... [Read More]
Registry sparks meeting of sperm donor twins
14 February 2000 - by BioNews
Three sets of twin half-siblings who share the same sperm donor 'father' met recently in a playground in California. The encounter was the first of many similar meetings sparked by a sibling registry of children and their anonymous sperm donor fathers. The registry, which was started four years ago by... [Read More]
UK genetic database planned
14 February 2000 - by BioNews
Government, scientists and industrialists are discussing the creation of a national genetic database for the UK. Enthusiasm for the project is mounting following the recommendations made by a panel set up by the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust. The database, called the UK Population and Biomedical collection, would... [Read More]
Genetics and insurance consultation launched
14 February 2000 - by BioNews
The Genetics and Insurance Committee (GAIC) has issued a public consultation on the criteria it will use to evaluate the use of specific genetic tests for insurance purposes, announced the Department of Health last week. The committee has developed an application form for use by the insurance industry, which requires... [Read More]
Infertility survey results
14 February 2000 - by BioNews
The results of the first large public survey on infertility and its treatment were published in the journal Human Reproduction this month. They show that while almost 90 per cent of the people surveyed knew about in vitro fertilisation (IVF), less than a quarter were aware of its success rate... [Read More]

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