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CONTENTS Issue #234
COMMENT
The politics of stem cells in Europe
NEWS DIGEST
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The politics of stem cells in Europe
20 November 2003 - by Juliet Tizzard
It's been nearly five years since James Thomson and John Gearhart announced, in two separate studies, that they had successfully derived human embryonic stem cells. The breakthrough made possible what had only been a vague hope until then: that scientists would be able to grow stem cells in the laboratory... [Read More]
Panel criticises US stem cell policy
13 November 2003 - by BioNews
A panel of experts meeting at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, US, have said that it would be unethical and risky to use embryonic stem (ES) cell lines currently eligible for use by federally-funded researchers in the US for transplantation into human patients. At a meeting held last week... [Read More]
Blind woman sues US clinic for discrimination
13 November 2003 - by BioNews
A fertility clinic in Colorado, US, is being sued by a blind woman who alleges that it discriminated against her. Kijuana Chambers says that the Rocky Mountain Women's Health Care Centre stopped treating her in 1999 because she was blind. Ms Chambers says that she underwent three attempts of artificial... [Read More]
Confusion over pharmacogenetic test regulation
17 November 2003 - by BioNews
A 'gene chip' that aims to predict how well patients will respond to particular medicines has been withdrawn from sale in the US, after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested more supporting data for its claims. The AmpliChip CYP450, launched earlier this year by Swiss firm Roche Diagnostics, is... [Read More]
Regulating posthumous conception
17 November 2003 - by BioNews
Women in Israel will be able to harvest the sperm of their dead husbands, even if the men had not given their prior consent. But the new guidelines, released last week, also say that a widow will not be able to claim the sperm if the husband had clearly indicated... [Read More]
Gene clue in autoimmune disease research
17 November 2003 - by BioNews
Scientists have identified a common genetic defect underlying psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), all of which are autoimmune disorders. Three different genes, all of which are controlled by the same protein 'switch', called Runx1, appear to be involved. The findings, reported in the journal Nature Genetics last... [Read More]
Call for oversight of 'reprogenetics' in US
19 November 2003 - by BioNews
The US needs broader regulation of 'reprogenetics': medical technologies that involve the creation, use and storage of human egg, sperm or embryos, according to a US bioethics centre report on the subject. Co-author Lori Knowles told the Scientist magazine last week that 'the really important thing is for some action... [Read More]
European MPs back embryo stem cell research
19 November 2003 - by BioNews
The European Parliament has voted in Strasbourg today in favour of allowing European funds to be used for scientific research using stem cells derived from human embryos. Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) also rejected proposed amendments from the European Commission that would have prevented research on embryonic stem (ES... [Read More]

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