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CONTENTS Issue #299
COMMENT
Recruiting egg donors after the removal of anonymity
NEWS DIGEST
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Recruiting egg donors after the removal of anonymity
14 March 2005 - by Dr Alan Thornhill
From the perspective of a child born from donated gametes, an imminent change in the UK law waiving anonymity for donors may be a dream come true; from a service provider's perspective, it is already a nightmare. Beginning this April, the UK Government has determined that children born from egg... [Read More]
UN adopts non-binding human cloning ban
10 March 2005 - by BioNews
The United Nations (UN) has adopted a non-binding declaration that prohibits 'all forms of human cloning inasmuch as they are incompatible with human dignity and the protection of human life'. The ban was passed by the general assembly on Tuesday, by 84 votes to 34 with 37 abstentions. Many countries... [Read More]
New embryo stem cells are step towards therapies
10 March 2005 - by BioNews
US researchers have reported a new method for growing human embryonic stem (ES) cells, which does not rely on the use of 'feeder' cells. The new system, developed by scientists based at Massachusetts biotech firm Advanced Cell Technology (ACT), brings ES cell therapies a step closer. Many previously-isolated human ES... [Read More]
IVF and ICSI children grow up healthy
10 March 2005 - by BioNews
Children conceived using IVF and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) techniques have the same intellectual and movement abilities as naturally conceived children, a new European study shows. Researchers based at University College Medical School in London tested the developmental skills of around 1000 five-year old children conceived using IVF and ICSI... [Read More]
Second success for UK gene therapy researchers
13 March 2005 - by BioNews
Doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) for Children and the Institute of Child Health have successfully treated a second disease using pioneering gene therapy treatment. The four-year old boy who received the therapy was affected by ada-SCID, a life-threatening immune deficiency condition. He is now attending pre-school and living... [Read More]
Gene clue to age-related blindness
13 March 2005 - by BioNews
Three teams of researchers have identified a gene mutation that increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a common cause of blindness in the elderly. The discovery could help identify people who are vulnerable to the condition. Although the causes of AMD are thought to include many genetic and... [Read More]
UK committee to recommend social sex selection?
14 March 2005 - by BioNews
The UK's House of Commons Science and Technology Committee (STC) is to recommend that couples should be allowed to use sex selection to achieve the families they desire, and that rules on the creation of 'designer babies' should be eased, according to an article in the Mail on Sunday newspaper... [Read More]
UK insurers agree to extend genetic test moratorium
14 March 2005 - by BioNews
The current restrictions on the use of genetic test results by UK insurers will be extended until November 2011, the government has announced. A five-year moratorium imposed by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) was due to expire in November 2006. The new agreement forms part of a binding framework... [Read More]
Protein found in sperm that enables fertilisation
14 March 2005 - by BioNews
Japanese scientists have discovered a protein in mouse sperm that is necessary for the fertilisation of eggs. Reporting in the journal Nature, the scientists, from the Genome Information Research Centre at Osaka University, say the protein is also present in human sperm, so their discovery could lead to new fertility... [Read More]
Conservative group drafts 'bioethics agenda' for Bush
14 March 2005 - by BioNews
A group of conservatives in the US has drafted a 'bioethics agenda' for the President's second term, saying they are frustrated by the failure of Congress to ban human cloning or place 'even modest limits' on human embryo research. The group says the congressional agenda on these issues is 'too... [Read More]
European Parliament calls for egg trade ban
14 March 2005 - by BioNews
The European Parliament (EP) adopted a resolution last week that calls for a ban on trade in human egg cells and for egg donation procedures to be more strictly regulated. Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) were looking at the issue following a number of recent news reports, some of... [Read More]

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