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CONTENTS Issue #312
COMMENT
Italian referendum result undermines choice, safety and progress
NEWS DIGEST
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Italian referendum result undermines choice, safety and progress
13 June 2005 - by Dr Kirsty Horsey
The outcome of Italy's referendum on its fertility law means that Italy retains its position as one of the world's most restrictive nations on fertility treatments and related research. It is - and will now continue to be - wholly out of line with most of the rest of Europe on these... [Read More]
Gene therapy hope for arthritis
9 June 2005 - by BioNews
Gene therapy could be a safe and effective way of treating rheumatoid arthritis, say US researchers. In a small study, published early online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, nine women received injections of genetically modified cells. The research, carried out at the University of Pittsburgh School... [Read More]
New gene therapy treatment for cystic fibrosis?
9 June 2005 - by BioNews
The inherited lung disorder cystic fibrosis (CF) could be treated using parts of two viruses to deliver a therapeutic gene, US researchers say. A team based at the University of Pennsylvania says that it has successfully used a 'hybrid' of the viruses that cause HIV and Ebola to deliver test... [Read More]
Twins shed light on female orgasm
9 June 2005 - by BioNews
The ability of a woman to have orgasms during sex is partly influenced by her genetic make-up, say UK researchers. A study of twins, published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters, estimates that an inability to achieve orgasm during masturbation is even more strongly controlled by genes. The team... [Read More]
Baby for ovary transplant twin
12 June 2005 - by BioNews
A US woman who became pregnant following an ovary tissue transplant from her twin sister has given birth to a baby girl. Stephanie Yarber, who went through the menopause in her teens, received part of an ovary from her identical twin sister Melanie in April 2004. Doctors removed tissue from... [Read More]
Canada develops embryo stem cell lines
12 June 2005 - by BioNews
Scientists at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto have developed Canada's first two human embryonic stem (ES) cell lines. The researchers, led by Andras Nagy, say they will share the cell lines with other stem cell scientists in Canada and abroad. Nagy said he hoped the work would 'ultimately bring Canada... [Read More]
Genes determine response to blood-clotting drug
12 June 2005 - by BioNews
The dose of the anti-blood clotting drug warfarin required by a patient is partly down to their genetic make-up, US researchers say. A team of scientists based at the University of Washington have shown that variations in a gene known as VKORC1 affect a person's response to warfarin. The scientists... [Read More]
Voles shed light on genetics of fidelity and shyness
12 June 2005 - by BioNews
Research on voles could help explain some human behaviour and disorders such as autism, US scientists say. The researchers, based at Emory University in Atlanta, have shown that differences in the length of a piece of 'junk' DNA found in a vole gene affect the animals' behaviour. The study, published... [Read More]
Poor turnout for Italy's fertility referendum
13 June 2005 - by BioNews
The results are in on the Italian referendum on its fertility laws. A low turnout of voters on Sunday 12 June - fewer than 19 per cent - made it doubtful that the 50 per cent turnout rate necessary would be reached, even though the polls were opened for a second day... [Read More]
Louisiana and Delaware cloning and stem cell bills
13 June 2005 - by BioNews
The Senate Judiciary Committee of the US state of Louisiana has voted against putting forward a bill (called HB 492) that would ban human reproductive cloning and cloning for research purposes in the state. Anyone in contravention of the provisions on reproductive cloning would face a fine of up to... [Read More]

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