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CONTENTS Issue #330
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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. 


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Holding your breath: Predictive genetic testing in young people
17 October 2005 - by Rony Duncan
When it comes to genetic tests, young people are treated differently from adults. If adults want to know if they will develop the genetic condition that runs in their family, they can have a predictive test to find out. However, if young people want to learn the same information about... [Read More]
Gene patenting distorts the medical research agenda
17 October 2005 - by Dr Sue Mayer
It is in patenting gene sequences that the divide between research to address health needs and research for profit is most clear. The extent of US patents granted on human genes is revealed in the 10 October edition of the journal Science. According to Jensen and Murray of the Massachusetts... [Read More]
Gene clue to a good night's sleep
13 October 2005 - by BioNews
Variations in a gene that affects levels of a key brain chemical could influence how soundly people sleep, Swiss researchers say. The scientists, based at the University of Zurich, found that people with a particular version of the adenosine deaminase gene sleep more deeply. The team, who published their findings... [Read More]
Pollutants linked to sperm damage
13 October 2005 - by BioNews
Synthetic chemicals known as PCBs can damage sperm, but they have no dramatic effects on male fertility, an international team of scientists reports. The study, published in the journal Human Reproduction, looked at the effect of polychlorinated biphenyls on the sperm of men living in four different countries. The researchers... [Read More]
UK couple have frozen egg twins
13 October 2005 - by BioNews
A British woman has given birth to the country's first 'frozen egg' twins, it has been revealed. Margaret McNamee gave birth to twin girls Anna and Isabelle Fahey last month, following fertility treatment at the Midland Fertility Services (MFS) clinic in Walsall. The couple originally had IVF treatment to conceive... [Read More]
UK trial to test stem cell heart treatment
13 October 2005 - by BioNews
Doctors based at Barts and the London NHS Trust have launched a trial to test if heart damage can be effectively treated using stem cells taken from a patient's own bone marrow. The study will involve 700 patients, and will look at three different types of heart damage. The trial... [Read More]
One fifth of all human genes now patented
14 October 2005 - by BioNews
Nearly a fifth of all known human genes have been patented in the US, the majority by private companies, a new study reveals. The research, published in the journal Science, matched patented genes to their locations in the human genome. It showed that almost 4382 of the 23,688 genes present... [Read More]
Gene sheds light on Tourette's syndrome
14 October 2005 - by BioNews
US scientists have identified gene mutations linked to Tourette's syndrome, a disorder characterised by involuntary tics and outbursts. The team, based at Yale University in Connecticut, found that some people with the condition have a mutated version of a gene called SLITRK1. The discovery should pave the way for a... [Read More]
Call to end EU funding of embryo research
17 October 2005 - by BioNews
A group of 73 members of the European Parliament (MEPs) has sent a letter to the commission president Manuel Barroso, calling for an end to EU funding of research using human embryonic stem (ES) cells. The call followed the commission's unveiling of its draft priorities for the next round of... [Read More]
Alternative methods for obtaining ES cells developed
17 October 2005 - by BioNews
New techniques could make it possible for scientists to obtain embryonic stem (ES) cells without destroying a viable human embryo, two studies published online in Nature suggest. In the first, researchers based at US company Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) derived ES cells from a single cell taken from early mouse... [Read More]
'Fertility clock' test to be launched in UK
17 October 2005 - by BioNews
A new test that can predict how many viable eggs a woman has left is set to be launched in the UK, the company Biofusion has announced. The kit, developed by Professor Bill Ledger of Sheffield University, will go on sale in January. It will measure the levels of three... [Read More]

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