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CONTENTS Issue #377
Egg donation for research
Sperm donation: time to look forward, not back
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Egg donation for research
21 September 2006 - by Veronica English
The British Medical Association (BMA)'s Medical Ethics Committee (MEC) recently had a long and fascinating debate about egg donation for research. The debate was much broader than the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA)'s consultation document, looking also at related issues such as payment for donation of other... [Read More]
Sperm donation: time to look forward, not back
25 September 2006 - by Professor Eric Blyth
Sir Colin Campbell, founder chair of the HFEA, his successor, Baroness Deech, and Professor Lord Winston, have now joined the debate on the UK's donor 'crisis'. All three regard the 'crisis' as emanating from the government's 2005 decision to abandon donor anonymity. Sir Colin and Baroness Deech have unequivocally demanded... [Read More]
Stem cells rescue vision in rat model of macular degeneration
25 September 2006 - by Heidi Nicholl
Scientists from Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) working in collaboration with eye specialists from the University of Utah, have used human embryonic stem (ES) cells to partly restore vision in rats suffering from a form of degenerative blindness used to mimic macular degeneration. According to Robert Lanza of... [Read More]
Progress in non-invasive pregnancy tests
25 September 2006 - by Dr Jess Buxton
Non-invasive prenatal tests to identify fetuses at risk of genetic disorders as early as the sixth week of pregnancy are now a reality, say British scientists. A team based at the Institute of Child Health in London and Bristol has successfully carried out simple blood tests... [Read More]
Heart attack stem cell trials inconclusive
25 September 2006 - by Dr Jess Buxton
Three new studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) reveal contradictory results following the use of bone marrow-derived stem cells to treat heart attack patients. Two of reports found that injections of a patient's own bone marrow cells can improve heart function after... [Read More]
Single embryo transfer likely to be recommended in UK
25 September 2006 - by Dr Kirsty Horsey
The UK's fertility treatment regulator, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), is likely to recommend that women undergoing IVF treatment should only be allowed to have one embryo transferred at a time. The HFEA last reviewed its guidelines on how many embryos can be implanted... [Read More]
IVF embryos that have ceased developing can yield new stem cells
25 September 2006 - by Laura Goodall
British researchers have established a new method of creating stem cells from naturally arrested, or 'dead', IVF embryos. In the journal Stem Cells, the scientists from Newcastle University demonstrated that they used five IVF embryos, that had arrested six to seven days after conception, to create embryonic... [Read More]
Free fertility treatment offered in trial
25 September 2006 - by Dr Kirsty Horsey
A UK fertility clinic has offered fifty couples the chance to take part in a trial of a 'modified form of IVF'. Following strict assessments, eligible patients will receive the treatment - including all drugs and 'the unique embryology and genetic testing' - for free. CARE Fertility centre... [Read More]
New genetic findings for cleft lip and palate development
25 September 2006 - by Laura Goodall
A developmental gene has been found to provide a connection between several genes involved in the formation of a cleft lip and palate. Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Massachusetts, US found that when the gene SUMO1 is under-expressed and does not... [Read More]
Increase in US couples using PGD for social sex-selection
25 September 2006 - by Antony Starza-Allen
A survey conducted for the Centre for Genetics and Public Policy, at the Johns Hopkins University, Washington DC, has revealed that an increasing number of couples in the US are choosing the sex of their baby for non-medical reasons through preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) offered by IVF... [Read More]
Man's sperm used to inseminate the wrong woman
25 September 2006 - by Antony Starza-Allen
A man is suing Oregon Health and Sciences University, in the US, after doctors used his sperm to inseminate the wrong woman. The man, anonymised for legal reasons, donated his sperm so that his fiance could be inseminated. He is seeking $2 million in compensation and has... [Read More]

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