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CONTENTS Issue #289
COMMENT
Embryos, the law and medical advances in 2004
NEWS DIGEST
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Embryos, the law and medical advances in 2004
20 December 2004 - by Dr Jess Buxton
Scientists, mindful of raising false hopes, usually hesitate to use the word 'breakthrough' in medical research. But the beginning of this year saw the publication of work that was truly ground-breaking. The achievement of a team of South Korean scientists, who managed to create cloned human embryo stem (ES) cells... [Read More]
Stem cell hope for liver damage
16 December 2004 - by BioNews
A clinical trial using bone marrow stem cells to treat irreversible liver damage has started in Japan, New Scientist magazine reports. Scientists at Yamaguchi University began the trial after showing that bone marrow stem cell transplants can partly reverse serious liver damage in mice. A similar trial using bone marrow... [Read More]
Gene clue in treatment of depression
17 December 2004 - by BioNews
US researchers have identified a genetic variation that affects levels of the 'feel-good' brain chemical serotonin. The study, published in the journal Neuron, could shed light on why some people are prone to depression and other mood disorders. The findings could also explain why some patients respond well to anti-depressants... [Read More]
More successes for gene therapy treatment
17 December 2004 - by BioNews
Four children who received gene therapy for a severe inherited immune disorder are now all at home living normal lives, UK scientists report. The boys, who were affected by severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), received the pioneering treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. In a commentary accompanying the study... [Read More]
'HapMap' genetic data now freely available
17 December 2004 - by BioNews
An international consortium that aims to catalogue patterns of human genetic variation has dropped restrictions on the use of its data. The 'HapMap' project, launched in October 2002, is looking at DNA samples from 270 people from around the world, to help uncover the genetic differences linked to illnesses such... [Read More]
US stem cell news
20 December 2004 - by BioNews
The first chairman has been appointed to oversee the newly created Californian Institute for Regenerative Medicine, it was reported last week. Robert N Klein, a real estate developer, was also one of the brains behind Proposition 71, the bill passed on 2 November that allowed California to break away from... [Read More]
HFEA creates international panel to help with policy
20 December 2004 - by BioNews
The UK's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has created an international panel of experts in the field of assisted reproduction and human embryo research. The new HFEA Horizon Scanning Expert Panel (HHSEP) is charged with keeping the HFEA 'ahead of the fast pace of scientific change'. According to an... [Read More]
Ukraine bans human reproductive cloning
20 December 2004 - by BioNews
Human reproductive cloning has been banned by the Ukrainian parliament. However, the new bill does not mention the use of cloning for medical research purposes, so this will remain legal. The bill, which will become law if it is signed and published by the new Ukrainian president, also bans the... [Read More]

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