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CONTENTS Issue #369
COMMENT
Where to next for stem cell research?
NEWS DIGEST
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Where to next for stem cell research?
31 July 2006 - by Sarah Chan
Embryonic stem cell research around the world has suffered some political setbacks in recent weeks. First, Australian Prime Minister John Howard rejected the recommendations of the Lockhart Review that the current law should be amended to permit research into therapeutic cloning; a few weeks later, President Bush overruled the votes... [Read More]
Reaction to EU stem cell funding decision
31 July 2006 - by Dr Jess Buxton
UK physicist Stephen Hawking, who has motor neuron disease, has described the recent decision on European Union (EU) funding for human embryonic stem (ES) cell research as a 'fudge'. Last week, European Ministers agreed the latest draft of Europe's 54.5 billion Euro (£38 billion) 2007-2013... [Read More]
Warning over DIY genetic tests
31 July 2006 - by Letitia Hughes
Consumers should be wary of home DNA testing kits that claim to test whether the customer carries genes for certain diseases, according to an investigation by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO). The Senate Special Committee on aging, requested the year long investigation as part of the... [Read More]
More UK sperm donors urgently needed
31 July 2006 - by Letitia Hughes
By Letitia Hughes: Thousands of women seeking fertility treatment face remaining childless because of an acute shortage of sperm donors in Britain, according to a report published yesterday in the Independent. In Scotland, there is now only one active sperm donor, while only one man donates sperm to the whole... [Read More]
Clinical grade embryonic stem cells produced commercially
31 July 2006 - by Heidi Nicholl
A biotech company based in Singapore has produced the first human embryonic stem (ES) cell lines specifically designed for clinical use. The cell lines have been developed using the principles of 'Good Manufacturing Practice', which describe how pharmaceutical products ought to be manufactured to minimise contamination under... [Read More]
Fat cells transformed into smooth muscle
31 July 2006 - by Heidi Nicholl
Researchers from the University of California Medical School have discovered a way of changing adult fat cells into smooth muscle that could one day be used to help repair or replace damaged tissue. The technique uses multipotent stem cells derived from adipose (fat) cells - smooth muscle cells... [Read More]
'Egg-sharing' for research given go ahead in UK
31 July 2006 - by Heidi Nicholl
A controversial scheme to extend the practise of 'egg sharing' has been approved by the UK's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) to provide greater numbers of eggs for embryonic stem (ES) cell research. The practise of egg-sharing is currently allowed where a woman may receive discounted... [Read More]
UK to court US stem cell research firms
31 July 2006 - by Dr Jess Buxton
UK prime minister Tony Blair is expected to propose a joint conference for UK and Californian stem cell researchers during his current visit to the US. The move follows US President Bush's recent vetoing of a bill that would have expanded federal funds for embryonic stem... [Read More]

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