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CONTENTS Issue #230 (20 October 2003)
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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. 

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Reporters should put new research in context
20 October 2003 - by Juliet Tizzard
Just like the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) annual meeting this summer, last week's American equivalent, held in San Antonio, Texas, attracted a rash of media coverage. There is something about three or four days of intense science in a pleasant location with a press room that... [Read More]
No more research on 'three-parent embryos'?
16 October 2003 - by BioNews
Researchers from Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, China have succeeded in creating a pregnancy using an embryo containing the genetic material of three different people. An egg cell taken from one woman was fertilised by in vitro fertilisation (IVF), creating a one-cell embryo, or zygote. The nucleus of the zygote... [Read More]
Coffee, cannabis and body weight affect sperm
16 October 2003 - by BioNews
Three new studies presented at the annual conference of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) last week suggest that body weight, caffeine and cannabis can all affect a man's sperm. Caffeine 'perks up' sperm, by making it swim faster, while cannabis, despite its initial effect being similar to that... [Read More]
Embryo freezing safety concerns
16 October 2003 - by BioNews
Scientists in the United States claim that they have established a link between the use of frozen embryos during in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment and ectopic pregnancies. They say that ectopic pregnancies - where the embryo implants in the wall of the Fallopian tube, rather than the lining of the uterus... [Read More]
US Senate passes genetic discrimination bill
17 October 2003 - by BioNews
After seven years of negotiation, US Senators have voted 95-0 in favour of new laws that will prevent employers and insurers from using personal genetic information. The bill will now go to the House of Representatives, where supporters of a similar proposal say they have the backing of 221... [Read More]
Study shows how gene therapy caused leukaemia
17 October 2003 - by BioNews
US and European scientists have published results confirming that a gene therapy technique triggered leukaemia in two boys taking part in a trial at the Necker hospital, Paris. Their findings, which appear in Science, show that the virus used to deliver the therapeutic gene activated a cancer-causing gene. Eleven boys... [Read More]
£100,000 clone claims dismissed
17 October 2003 - by BioNews
Claims by maverick fertility doctor Panayiotis Zavos, who says he will soon offer a baby-cloning service to childless couples, have provoked disbelief and annoyance from other scientists. Zavos, who said a month ago that he has a cloned human embryo ready for implantation, is reported to be offering to clone... [Read More]
More doubts over blood stem cells
20 October 2003 - by BioNews
Adult bone marrow stem cells fuse with existing cells to grow new tissues, rather than transforming into other types of cell, two new studies suggest. Researchers at Stanford University have shown that transplanted bone marrow cells fuse with specialised brain cells involved in controlling movement and balance. A second study... [Read More]
(IVF multiple births cause 'stress and depression'
20 October 2003 - by BioNews
Women who have multiple births following IVF treatment are more likely to be depressed than single-birth mothers, according to a new US study presented at the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) last week. Researchers from Harvard Medical School in Boston interviewed 300 mothers who had a multiple birth (twins... [Read More]

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