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CONTENTS Issue #334
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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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Predictive genetic testing in young people: a reply
7 November 2005 - by Fiona Richards
I would like to challenge a few points raised by Rony Duncan in her commentary 'Holding your breath: Predictive genetic testing in young people' (BioNews 330, 17 October 2005). Based on my 15 years' experience of pre- and post-test counselling of people at risk for Huntington disease (HD) who have... [Read More]
Assurances of past donor anonymity are meaningless
14 November 2005 - by Professor Eric Blyth
The New Scientist recently recounted the story of an American teenager conceived through ostensibly anonymous donor insemination who had been able to identify his donor through DNA testing and an internet genetic database service (also see BioNews issue 333, at In fact, we have known... [Read More]
Donor anonymity and secrecy: Where's the evidence?
14 November 2005 - by Professor Eric Blyth
As his commentary in BioNews 333, 'The HFEA's silence on the need for a father', indicates, Dr Evan Harris MP is a champion of evidence-based practice. During 2004 and the early part of 2005, witnesses to the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee in its review of Human... [Read More]
HFEA seeks views on embryo tests for 'lower penetrance' disorders
10 November 2005 - by BioNews
The UK's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has launched a public debate on testing embryos for 'lower penetrance', late onset genetic disorders. A discussion paper, entitled 'Choices and Boundaries', focuses both on genetic tests currently available, such as that for hereditary breast cancer, and possible future developments, such as... [Read More]
Sharp drop in number of UK sperm donors
11 November 2005 - by BioNews
The number of potential sperm donors applying to one UK clinic fell sharply after 2000, 'almost certainly' due to growing awareness that changes to the law would remove donors' right to anonymity, a new study shows. The researchers, based at the Newcastle Fertility Centre at LIFE, have called for urgent... [Read More]
Schatten quits South Korean ES cell research team
14 November 2005 - by BioNews
A leading American stem cell researcher has abruptly ended his 20 month long collaboration with the team of South Korean scientists famous for creating the world's first human embryonic stem (ES) cell lines from cloned embryos. The same team announced in May that it had managed to derive the world's... [Read More]
Gene variation ups heart attack risk in African Americans
14 November 2005 - by BioNews
A gene variation linked to an increased risk of heart attack has a much greater effect in African Americans than in people of European descent, say researchers based at Icelandic biotech firm deCODE Genetics. The team, who published their findings early online in the journal Nature Genetics, has shown that... [Read More]
Eggs and sperm from stem cells draw closer
14 November 2005 - by BioNews
Human eggs and sperm derived from embryonic stem (ES) cells could become a reality in the next five to ten years, says Professor Harry Moore, of the UK's Sheffield University. Other scientists think it could be even sooner, according to a report in the Observer newspaper. The issues arising from... [Read More]

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