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CONTENTS Issue #223
COMMENT
Time to review 'saviour siblings' law?
NEWS DIGEST
REVIEWS
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Time to review 'saviour siblings' law?
1 September 2003 - by Juliet Tizzard
A recent interview in the Times newspaper revealed that Suzi Leather, chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), thinks that the time has come for a change to the UK's embryology laws. The interview with Ms Leather referred to a number of procedures which might need to come... [Read More]
Estonia gene bank project gets underway
1 September 2003 - by BioNews
Estonian scientists developing a 'gene bank' have begun a pilot project using samples from 2,500 of the country's 1.4 million inhabitants, according to a report in the Times newspaper last week. The researchers eventually hope to collect blood samples and a detailed medical history from one million Estonians, in order... [Read More]
Gene clue to athletic ability
1 September 2003 - by BioNews
Whether you are good at sprinting or are better at long-distance running is partly down to which version of a gene called ACTN3 you inherit, Australian scientists reported last week. They found that world class sprinters are more likely to have at least one copy of the 'R' version of... [Read More]
Gene involved in dyslexia identified
1 September 2003 - by BioNews
Researchers at the University of Helsinki in Finland have identified a gene which, when it is faulty, could be responsible for some cases of dyslexia. Characterised by a difficulty in recognising and reading words, dyslexia is thought to affect 3-10 per cent of the population. The team first looked... [Read More]
New cancer risk gene uncovered
1 September 2003 - by BioNews
A new US study has revealed that a gene called TGFBR1-6A could be involved in up to 16 per cent of all cases of cancer. Scientists at the Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago have pooled the results of seven previous studies, and found that people who inherit a shortened... [Read More]
Call for overhaul of UK fertility laws
1 September 2003 - by BioNews
The head of the UK's fertility watchdog, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), has said the legislation governing fertility treatment and embryo research needs updating, according to a newspaper report last week. In an interview for the Times, Suzi Leather said that although the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act... [Read More]
Cloned pigs die suddenly
1 September 2003 - by BioNews
The health and viability of cloned mammals was again in the spotlight last week, after the sudden death of three cloned pigs was reported. A joint venture between teams based in Connecticut, US and Taiwan produced four live-born cloned transgenic piglets from three surrogate pigs. Of the four piglets, one... [Read More]
Supermarket to give staff 'IVF leave'
1 September 2003 - by BioNews
The UK supermarket chain Asda has announced it will give paid leave to female staff undergoing fertility treatment and their partners. The company says women will be entitled to take up to five days off to cover time spent in hospital, and for recovery. It also says that male employees... [Read More]

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