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CONTENTS Issue #383
COMMENT
The egg and sperm race
NEWS DIGEST
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The egg and sperm race
7 November 2006 - by Dr Anna Smajdor
Recent media reports describe the case of Alexandra Saunders, a 25 year old woman who has been advertising her eggs for sale on the internet in the hopes of paying off her credit card debts . The tone of these reports has largely been incredulous if not overtly condemnatory. But why... [Read More]
Moderate breast cancer risk in women with negative gene tests
5 November 2006 - by Dr Jess Buxton
Women with a family history of breast cancer who do not have mutations in the breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA 2 are still at increased risk of developing the disease, say UK researchers. The scientists say that women who test negative for the mutation carried... [Read More]
Gene variant linked to increased schizophrenia risk
5 November 2006 - by Dr Jess Buxton
UK researchers have identified a genetic variation associated with an increased risk of schizophrenia in people with a strong family history of the condition. The team, based at Edinburgh University, discovered that individuals who inherit a particular version of the neuregulin (NRG1) gene have nearly three... [Read More]
Protective gene variant linked to Crohn's disease
5 November 2006 - by Dr Jess Buxton
US and Canadian scientists have identified a gene involved in Crohn's disease, an inflammatory bowel condition. The team discovered that a version of a gene involved in the body's inflammation response is linked to a decreased risk of Crohn's disease. The researcher say that this means... [Read More]
Optimism over Australian embryo cloning reform
6 November 2006 - by Antony Starza-Allen
By Antony Blackburn-Starza: There is growing optimism in Australia among supporters of proposed new embryonic stem (ES) cell legislation, scheduled to be debated by the Australian Federal Parliament next week. If a bill is passed by Parliament, it will then be debated by the House of Representatives, but analysts have... [Read More]
Missouri will vote on cloning amendment to constitution
6 November 2006 - by Antony Starza-Allen
A vote will take place this week in the US state of Missouri on proposed changes the State's constitution to allow all kinds of stem cell research to take place. The Missouri Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative - also known as Amendment 2 - will permit so-called therapeutic... [Read More]
Couples with fertility problems pass on higher health risks to children?
6 November 2006 - by Antony Starza-Allen
Research presented at the recent annual conference of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) suggests that couples with fertility problems pass on higher health risks to their children than do normally conceiving couples. The findings, given by Professor Mary Croughan from the University of California, US... [Read More]
British woman offers eggs for sale on US website
6 November 2006 - by Heidi Nicholl
A twenty-six year old British woman has advertised her eggs for sale on an American website in order to pay off debts. Alexandra Saunders ran up debts of up to £15,000 on credit cards which she hopes will be cleared if an American couple choose to use... [Read More]
New techniques improve IVF success rates
6 November 2006 - by Heidi Nicholl
Scientists from Yale University, US, have developed a new technique to improve IVF efficiency from a current success rate of around 34 per cent, to more than 80 per cent in a pilot study. Fertility clinics usually study newly fertilised embryos under a microscope to determine if... [Read More]

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