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CONTENTS Issue #288
COMMENT
Regulating fertility treatment: more public debate is needed
NEWS DIGEST
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Regulating fertility treatment: more public debate is needed
13 December 2004 - by Dr Jess Buxton
Robert Winston, Britain's best known fertility doctor, stirred up a hornet's nest last week when he called for the abolition of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA). His tirade against the UK's regulatory body, launched in an interview for the 'Today' programme on BBC Radio Four, included the accusations... [Read More]
Monkeys cloned using 'more gentle' technique
8 December 2004 - by BioNews
A US scientist who suggested that attempts to clone primates might never succeed using current technology has created cloned monkey embryos using a newer 'gentle squeeze' technique. Gerald Schatten and his colleagues transferred the embryos into female monkeys, but none of the resulting pregnancies lasted more than a month. The... [Read More]
How do eggs protect themselves?
8 December 2004 - by BioNews
Scientists have discovered how an egg is able to be fertilised by a single sperm only, thereby protecting itself against abnormal development. At the point of fertilisation, the egg may be surrounded by 'countless' sperm, but only one must be able to break through the egg's outer membrane. Polyspermy - the... [Read More]
Use of laptops may affect male fertility
9 December 2004 - by BioNews
Fertility experts from the US have warned that men who tend to use their laptop computers on their laps may find their fertility decreased. The researchers, from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, looked at what effect laptop use might have, given that a warm temperature around... [Read More]
Chicken genetic code cracked
9 December 2004 - by BioNews
Researchers have published the entire DNA sequence of the chicken genome, alongside a detailed comparison with the genetic code of humans, and other animals. The international team first announced the completion of a 'rough draft' of the chicken genome in March, and have now published the final version in the... [Read More]
Genes shed light on body's response to HIV
9 December 2004 - by BioNews
An international team of researchers has identified immune system genes that seem to play a key role in the body's defence against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS. The scientists, who published their results in the journal Nature, say their findings should help efforts to develop an... [Read More]
UK fertility expert blasts HFEA
10 December 2004 - by BioNews
The UK's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) is incompetent, poorly organised, and should be scrapped or replaced with a more flexible body, according to Robert Winston. The fertility doctor and broadcaster made his comments on BBC Radio 4's 'Today' programme, aired on 10 December. In response, HFEA chair... [Read More]
German insurance company offers genetic test
13 December 2004 - by BioNews
A German health insurance company is offering a free test for a genetic blood condition to its two million customers, the British Medical Journal reports. The Kaufmannische Krankenkasse (KKH) has paid for 4000 of its clients to have tests for haemochromatosis, a condition in which the body stores too much... [Read More]

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