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CONTENTS Issue #259
COMMENT
How good are we at recruiting sperm donors?
NEWS DIGEST
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How good are we at recruiting sperm donors?
20 May 2004 - by Steve Harbottle, Sudipta Paul and Jane Stewart
One in six couples have fertility problems. Male factors are known to be responsible for about 30 per cent of these cases, and are associated with another 30 per cent in combination with female factors. Despite the advent of artificial reproductive techniques - intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) in particular - the demand... [Read More]
World's first stem cell bank opens in the UK
20 May 2004 - by BioNews
The world's first national stem cell bank was opened in the UK yesterday. It is housed at the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control at Potter's Bar, Hertfordshire, 12 miles north of London. The cell bank, which cost 2.6 million pounds, is funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC... [Read More]
Gene linked to increased breast cancer risk
21 May 2004 - by BioNews
A large international study confirms that women who inherit a particular gene alteration have an increased risk of developing breast cancer. The CHEK2 gene mutation appears to double a woman's lifetime risk of the illness, from around 12 to 25 per cent. The researchers, who published their findings in the... [Read More]
Gene affects embryo's need for folic acid
21 May 2004 - by BioNews
A new study confirms the need for women planning a pregnancy to take folic acid supplements, in order to reduce the risk of serious congenital conditions in their babies. A team of Irish and US researchers has found that around half the population inherit a genetic variation linked to an... [Read More]
Sperm link to genetic imprinting disorders
21 May 2004 - by BioNews
Men with low sperm counts have an increased risk of passing on certain rare genetic disorders, say Portuguese researchers. The new study, published in the Lancet, provides another possible explanation for the slightly higher rate of 'imprinting disorders', such as Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS), in children conceived using IVF. Scientists at... [Read More]
Breast cancer gene patent revoked
21 May 2004 - by BioNews
The European Patent Office (EPO) has revoked a patent held by US firm Myriad Genetics, on a genetic test for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. The ruling means that the company can no longer charge European laboratories for performing the test, which detects alterations in the BRCA1 gene. It follows... [Read More]
Woman who sold baby three times is jailed
24 May 2004 - by BioNews
A British woman who deceived three couples into giving her money for her services as a surrogate was sentenced at Leeds Crown Court last week to two years in prison. Moira Greenslade pleaded guilty and was convicted in March on three counts of obtaining money by deception and three offences... [Read More]
genesDog breeds shed light on human disease
24 May 2004 - by BioNews
Pedigree dogs could help scientists identify genes involved in rare genetic disorders, a new US study shows. Researchers at the University of Washington looked at DNA samples from 85 different dog breeds, and found that each has a unique 'genetic signature'. The team, who published their findings in the journal... [Read More]
Gay men stopped from donating sperm
24 May 2004 - by BioNews
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued new guidelines for sperm and tissue donors last week. The guidelines are intended to help prevent the transmission of communicable diseases, such as HIV, when sperm, eggs, embryos, stem cells or other tissues are transplanted, but they appear to make all sexually... [Read More]
Ethics group says Argentina should allow therapeutic cloning
24 May 2004 - by BioNews
The Argentinean Committee of Ethics in Science and Technology has called on the country's government to change its laws on cloning. Currently, all forms of human cloning - whether for reproductive or therapeutic purposes - are banned in Argentina, but the Committee says the government should allow human embryos to be cloned... [Read More]

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