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CONTENTS Issue #394
COMMENT
IVF funding in the UK: three years on and the waiting continues
NEWS DIGEST
REVIEWS
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IVF funding in the UK: three years on and the waiting continues
5 February 2007 - by Clare Lewis-Jones MBE
It is now been an incredibly long three years since the UK's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) published the clinical guideline on fertility. It is also an incredibly long two years since all Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) should have made at least one cycle of in vitro... [Read More]
Family balancing unethical, say US doctors
4 February 2007 - by Zulehkha Waheed
The Ethics Committee of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (ACOG) has said that helping patients to choose the sex of their offspring to avoid serious sex-linked genetic disorders is considered ethical for doctors, but gender testing simply for 'family balancing' is ethically untenable. The opinion... [Read More]
Sir Richard Branson launches Virgin stem cell bank
5 February 2007 - by Khadija Ibrahim
Sir Richard Branson has launched a new company under his Virgin brand which will offer umbilical cord blood banking facilities to parents of newborn babies. Cord blood transfusions are already used for the treatment of blood related disorders but some believe that umbilical cord blood, which is... [Read More]
US stem cell policy news
5 February 2007 - by Antony Starza-Allen
Florida's State Representative, Democrat Franklin Sands, has proposed legislation that would dedicate $20 million of state funds over the next ten years to stem cell research on cell lines derived from adults, umbilical cord blood and those obtained from amniotic fluid donated by pregnant women. The proposed... [Read More]
International stem cell guidance published
5 February 2007 - by Heidi Nicholl
The International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) has released a set of guidelines for scientists working in this field. The 15-page report drafted by researchers, ethicists and legal experts from fourteen countries is intended to provide guidance for scientists working on stem cells but will... [Read More]
Growth of international fertility treatment 'tourism'
5 February 2007 - by MacKenna Roberts
An AP/Washington Times report has revealed that the market for fertility treatment tourism is booming as a solution to egg donor shortages, high private clinic costs and restrictive donor anonymity laws. More permissive nations are taking a cottage industry approach to promote fertility services that are... [Read More]
US patients debate future of frozen embryos
5 February 2007 - by Katy Sinclair
US patients using fertility services are facing a dilemma over the future of their spare embryos. Legally only the patients themselves are entitled to make the decision concerning the future use of their embryos, which currently comprises of four choices: to have them destroyed, donate them to... [Read More]
Non-invasive pregnancy test shows promise
6 February 2007 - by Dr Jess Buxton
A new study offers 'proof of principle' for a non-invasive pregnancy test that can detect conditions such as Down syndrome using samples of the mother's blood. The findings, published online in the Lancet journal, show that the technique correctly diagnosed 58 out of 60 samples, with... [Read More]

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