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CONTENTS Issue #337
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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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First cousin marriages: a public health issue?
1 December 2005 - by Ann Cryer MP
In 2002, 42.2 per cent of all births in Bradford were to families of Pakistani origin, and a further 5.8 per cent were to others from the Indian subcontinent. The incidence of deafness amongst Asian children in Bradford is 4.60/1000 (compared with 1.38/1000 amongst non-Asian children). For cerebral... [Read More]
Consanguineous marriage in context: Delivering equitable services
5 December 2005 - by Dr Aamra Darr
The recent Newsnight programme (broadcast on BBC2, on 16 November) on cousin marriage attempted to deal with a complex health issue, involving the marriage preference of a minority ethnic group, genetic risk, lay and professional understanding of this risk and the attempts to deal with it. Genetics is a relatively... [Read More]
US government urged to increase genetic test regulation
2 December 2005 - by BioNews
The US Genetics and Public Policy Center has called for stronger federal oversight of genetic testing in the country. The move stems from concerns over the quality of some of the increasing number of genetic tests available to consumers. The centre, based at Johns Hopkins University, has written to the... [Read More]
Progress towards embryo stem cell therapies
2 December 2005 - by BioNews
One of the key obstacles to getting human embryonic stem (ES) cell therapies 'from the bench to the bedside' has been overcome, according to UK researcher Roger Pedersen of the University of Cambridge. Speaking at the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA)'s annual research conference, Professor Pederson said that... [Read More]
Clone failures may not be caused by 'reprogramming errors'
2 December 2005 - by BioNews
The high failure rate of animal cloning may not be caused by faulty 'reprogramming' of the cell's genetic material as previously suspected, an international team of scientists reports. Although 13 different species of mammal - including sheep, cows, cats and dogs - have so far been successfully cloned, only 1-5 per... [Read More]
More cash needed for UK stem cell research
2 December 2005 - by BioNews
The UK is a currently a 'world leader' in stem cell research and development, but more investment is needed to maintain its position, according to a new report by a government advisory body. The UK Stem Cell Initiative (UKSCI), set up by Chancellor Gordon Brown in this year's budget, has... [Read More]
Nose stem cell hope for spinal injuries
2 December 2005 - by BioNews
Professor Geoffrey Raisman, chairman of a committee on neurological regeneration at the Institute of Neurology and director of the Spinal Repair Unit, both at University College London, has announced the first British attempt to treat paralysed spinal cord injury patients with their own stem cells. His method involves taking cells... [Read More]
California stem cell challenges suffer setback
5 December 2005 - by BioNews
Lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the US state of California's stem cell programme have been knocked back by a judge at Almeda County Superior Court. Judge Bonnie Lewman Sabraw has ruled that the legal arguments relied upon by opponents of the stem cell programme do not stand up, meaning that... [Read More]
New Zealand proposes research on imported embryo stem cells
5 December 2005 - by BioNews
The New Zealand Ministry of Health is consulting on proposed guidelines for research using human embryonic stem (ES) cell-lines. The guidance, published on 30 November, would allow scientists to work on human ES cell-lines imported from abroad, but would not allow the derivation of ES cells from surplus IVF embryos... [Read More]

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