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CONTENTS Issue #303
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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.

'Postcode Prescribing' is still alive and well in NHS-funded infertility treatment
5 April 2005 - by Clare Lewis-Jones MBE
1 April 2005 has been a long time coming for thousands of couples in England. They read the same headlines we all did, back in February 2004 when John Reid MP, Secretary of State for Health announced that 'by April next year I want all PCTs (Primary Care Trusts) including... [Read More]
Gender selection and the 'Human Reproductive Technologies and the Law' report: a personal view.
7 April 2005 - by Alan E Masterton
As a father who has fought to use gender selection, we of course always knew that what we sought for our family was the right thing for our particular circumstances. We never tried to suggest our moral standards were right for everyone. We certainly never tried to impose our moral... [Read More]
A 'social compensation tax' for social sexing
11 April 2005 - by Professor Guido Pennings
The recommendations of the recent report by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee in the UK have stirred up the discussion on social sex selection. Over the years, the discussion on sex selection has been seriously hampered by the high emotional engagement of the participants. As a consequence... [Read More]
Smoking cuts chances of IVF success
8 April 2005 - by BioNews
Women undergoing IVF treatment who smoke are much less likely to have a baby than non-smokers, Dutch researchers say. The study, carried out by a team based at the University Medical Centre in Nijmegen, showed that smoking more than one cigarette a day cuts the chances of success by 28... [Read More]
Gene 'editing' technique shows promise
8 April 2005 - by BioNews
A gene therapy technique that repairs faulty genes by 'editing' their DNA could lead to new treatments for inherited blood disorders and HIV, say US researchers. The approach could help address safety concerns over current gene therapy methods, many of which rely on specially adapted viruses to deliver working genes... [Read More]
Gene clue to pre-eclampsia
8 April 2005 - by BioNews
Dutch researchers have identified a faulty gene that causes pre-eclampsia in some families affected by the disease. Scientists at the VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam say the identification of the gene, dubbed STOX1, could lead to new tests for the condition. Women at risk could then be given preventative... [Read More]
Lesbian granted equal rights over donor conceived children
11 April 2005 - by BioNews
The UK's Court of Appeal has ruled that a lesbian woman should have joint access rights to the biological children of her former partner. The children, aged three and six, were conceived, using donor sperm, while the women were still a couple. The judges said that same-sex partners should have... [Read More]
Washington state delays vote on stem cell research
11 April 2005 - by BioNews
The Senate of the state of Washington, US, has delayed for a second time a vote on a bill (House Bill 1268) that would allow embryonic stem (ES) cell research to take place on human embryos left over from fertility treatments and donated for research. The delay, the second in... [Read More]
Chromosomes 2 and 4 completed
11 April 2005 - by BioNews
US researchers have unveiled the 'gold-standard' versions of the DNA sequence of human chromosomes two and four. Together, these two bundles of genetic material make up five per cent of the entire human genome. The analysis of chromosome four has revealed the largest 'gene deserts' identified so far - vast stretches... [Read More]
Date set for Italy's fertility law referendum
11 April 2005 - by BioNews
A public referendum on Italy's controversial assisted reproduction laws will be held on 12 June, Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu announced last week. The ballot was approved by Italy's highest court last year after the country's Radical Party collected the 500,000 signatures necessary to call for a referendum. However, the public... [Read More]
NIH directors criticise Bush's stem cell policy
11 April 2005 - by BioNews
Several directors of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) publicly announced last week that they do not support President Bush's policy on human embryonic stem (ES) cell research. In a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labour, Health and Human Services and Education, they broke away from 'a... [Read More]

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