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CONTENTS Issue #311 (6 June 2005)
COMMENT
The Italian law on medically assisted reproduction: one year on
NEWS DIGEST
REVIEWS
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The Italian law on medically assisted reproduction: one year on
5 June 2005 - by Dr Mauro Costa
The new Italian law regulating assisted reproduction technology restricts the provision of fertility treatments to 'stable heterosexual couples' who are shown to be clinically infertile. The law, passed in 2004, states that no more than three oocytes (eggs) can be fertilised in an IVF cycle, and that all embryos obtained... [Read More]
Gene clue to heroin addiction
3 June 2005 - by BioNews
US researchers have discovered a key gene involved in heroin addiction in rats. The team, based at the firm CV Therapeutics in California, has found that medicines designed to block the protein made by the AGS3 gene can stop heroin-addicted rats craving the drug. The scientists say their findings, published... [Read More]
Italy's fertility referendum due this weekend
6 June 2005 - by BioNews
A number of Italian scientists have gone on hunger strike in the hope of influencing a referendum that will take place at the weekend on Italy's controversial fertility laws. The referendum, which will take place on 12 and 13 June, asks whether a number of the key provisions in the... [Read More]
Safety fears over ES cells allayed
6 June 2005 - by BioNews
Human embryonic stem (ES) cells do not show signs of genetic instability when grown for extended periods in the laboratory, UK researchers say. The results, published in the journal Nature Genetics, are 'not only surprising but good news for potential therapeutic use', says study leader Roger Pederson. The scientists, based... [Read More]
Two US states depart from President on ES cell research
6 June 2005 - by BioNews
The state legislature of Massachusetts, US, has overruled a veto of legislation on human embryonic stem (ES) cell research. The legislation, which was sponsored by Senate President Robert Travaglini, allows embryos to be cloned for medical research purposes, but prohibits human reproductive cloning. The Massachusetts House of Representatives passed the... [Read More]
Pollutants may cause long-term male fertility problems
6 June 2005 - by BioNews
Toxic chemicals can affect male fertility over several generations, a new US study carried out on rats suggests. The research, published in Science, shows that a common fungicide and a pesticide cause fertility problems in male rats that are passed on to nearly every male in subsequent generations. The study... [Read More]
Fly gene clue to sexual behaviour
6 June 2005 - by BioNews
Tweaking a single gene alters the courtship behaviour of fruit flies, a new Austrian study shows. By altering a gene called 'fruitless' (fru), the researchers, based at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology in Vienna, bred female flies that courted other females. But altering the same gene in male flies produced... [Read More]
UK DonorLink matches ten pairs of biological half-siblings
6 June 2005 - by BioNews
A year after its launch, UK Donorlink, a voluntary register that enables people conceived in the UK using donated eggs, sperm or embryos to contact their donors and biological half-siblings, has reported successful matches of ten adults in their 40s and 50s with their half-siblings. The registry, funded by the... [Read More]
HFEA seeks patients' views
6 June 2005 - by BioNews
British couples who have had fertility problems are being asked to help improve the quality of services provided across the UK. The Human Fertility and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has launched an online consultative panel - called 'Fertility Views' - to gather the views and experiences of people who have had, are undergoing... [Read More]
Cloning pioneer plans stem cell bank
6 June 2005 - by BioNews
Woo Suk Hwang - head of the team that announced the creation of 11 patient-specific embryonic stem (ES) cell-lines recently - is planning to open an international stem cell bank in South Korea. The bank would mean that all existing human ES cell-lines would be in one place, enabling doctors to identify... [Read More]

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