Page URL:
CONTENTS Issue #266
When the law protects embryos but harms patients
Insurance, genetics and discrimination
BioNews Appeal: Please donate HERE to keep BioNews independent and FREE to read

You are currently viewing the Alert version of the BioNews email newsletter.

Click the tab above to view the Full Text version

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. 

Visit the BioNews website at where you can subscribe for free to receive BioNews by email in one of three formats, and search the archive of more than 8,000 articles.

When the law protects embryos but harms patients
13 July 2004 - by Juliet Tizzard
Just four months after a draconian IVF law came into force in Italy, Italian politicians are already coming under pressure to amend the legislation. The new Medically Assisted Reproduction Law, which came onto the Italian statute book in March, prohibits the destruction of embryos created outside the body. This means... [Read More]
Insurance, genetics and discrimination
19 July 2004 - by Simon Cox
In October 2001, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) put in place a moratorium preventing the use of genetic tests results by insurance companies. The ban was recommended by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee and the Human Genetics Commission (HGC), and came after a MORI poll revealed... [Read More]
Gene therapy prevents brain disease symptoms in mice
7 July 2004 - by BioNews
Performing gene therapy on mice can prevent the symptoms of a hereditary brain disease called spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA). This discovery, made by a research team from the University of Iowa, US, has prompted hopes of similar treatments for related brain disorders such as Huntington's and Alzheimer's. Unlike other gene therapy... [Read More]
Young girls seek IVF
7 July 2004 - by BioNews
Teenage girls in the UK are asking for infertility treatment on the NHS because they have not become pregnant after up to two years of sexual activity without using contraceptives, a doctor says. Dr Jo Heaton, a fertility specialist working at a reproductive health clinic for the under-19s in... [Read More]
US stem cell news
7 July 2004 - by BioNews
Last week, in its monthly magazine, the Texas Medical Association (TMA) announced its support for human embryonic stem (ES) cell research and called for federal funding to be restored for new studies to fight disease. This may add to the 'pressure' on President Bush to relax his policy on such... [Read More]
Cancer patients travel to China for gene therapy
7 July 2004 - by BioNews
Terminally ill cancer patients from Europe and America are travelling to China to receive a new gene-based drug, the world's first commercially available gene therapy treatment. Chinese biotech firm SiBiono Genetech launched the drug in January, initially for the treatment of head and neck squamous cancers (a type of skin... [Read More]
Gene clue to mood disorders
9 July 2004 - by BioNews
US researchers have identified a genetic variation in mice that affects levels of the 'feel-good' brain chemical serotonin. The study, published in the journal Science, could shed light on why some people are prone to depression and other mood disorders. The findings could also help explain why some patients respond... [Read More]
Swiss law 'could lead to genetic underclass'
9 July 2004 - by BioNews
A pressure group based in Switzerland says that a new national law could lead to discrimination against people with genetic disorders, the British Medical Journal reports. In June 2004, the Swiss parliament approved legislation that would allow insurance companies limited access to genetic test results. The new measures were designed... [Read More]
Hashmis fail in 'saviour sibling' attempt
9 July 2004 - by BioNews
Raj and Shahana Hashmi, the couple who fought for the right to have a tissue-matched IVF baby to save the life of their son Zain, are stopping treatment after six unsuccessful attempts. The couple's doctors are now reluctant to continue because of Shahana's age (40), and because of the stressful... [Read More]
France votes on cloning and embryo research
9 July 2004 - by BioNews
The French Assemblee Nationale (parliament) has finally voted on new bioethics legislation, after more than two years of debate. The bill, designed to amend a previous law passed in July 1994, was first presented to France's Council of Ministers in June 2001, and was adopted by parliament after a first... [Read More]
Cash injection for genetic testing labs
9 July 2004 - by BioNews
Genetics services in six areas of the UK are set to receive £18 million of government funding to upgrade their laboratories, Health Minister Lord Warner has announced. The investment is part of a £50 million government initiative to incorporate new genetic technologies into healthcare, outlined in the Genetics White Paper... [Read More]
Stem cells improve heart treatment
9 July 2004 - by BioNews
Stem cells boost the recovery of damaged hearts, German researchers have found. A report, published in the journal The Lancet, reveals that stem cells taken from the bone marrow increase the efficiency of hearts that have been damaged by heart attacks. The way in which this works still remains unclear... [Read More]
Flawed Italian law endangers women
9 July 2004 - by BioNews
Restrictive Italian fertility laws, passed in February this year, have been shown to be 'mediaeval' and are again under debate, reports the British Medical Journal (BMJ). The law on IVF procedures requires that no more than three eggs can be fertilised at once, and that all eggs fertilised must be... [Read More]
Skin to brain: the promise of adult stem cells
12 July 2004 - by BioNews
British researchers revealed last week that skin cells can be made to turn into neurones (nerve cells). The research, published in the July 10th edition of The Lancet, adds to the growing list of adult stem cell abilities and may lead to therapies for neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and... [Read More]

Advertising in BioNews

BioNews is read by around 18,000 people every week. Our readership is predominantly in the UK, but we have subscribers in 44 countries. That is a lot of people with an interest in assisted conception, genetics, embryo/stem cell research and related areas.

Advertisements (up to 300 words in length) start from as little as £75, making BioNews a very cost effective way to reach your target audience.

The Progress Educational Trust can personally vouch for the service, as the charity has itself successfully engaged members of staff via BioNews. Why not save money by recruiting through BioNews, and help keep BioNews FREE at the same time?

If you would like further information about advertising a job or opportunity in BioNews, please contact Sarah Norcross on +44 (0)20 7278 7870 or at

Sarah Norcross
Director, Progress Educational Trust
140 Gray's Inn Road
London, WC1X 8AX