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CONTENTS Issue #398
Embryo testing: Why drawing lines risks devaluing the disabled
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Embryo testing: Why drawing lines risks devaluing the disabled
13 March 2007 - by Dr Colin Gavaghan
It isn't uncommon, at international conferences, to hear praise for the UK's approach to regulating reproductive and genetic technologies. The cautious, incremental approach of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) is often contrasted - favourably - with, for example, the rather dramatic oscillation between regulatory extremes seen in Italy, which had... [Read More]
Puberty hormone may help infertile women
13 March 2007 - by Heidi Nicholl
Scientists at Imperial College, London have trialled a potential new treatment for infertility in healthy female volunteers. Kisspeptin is a reproductive hormone discovered in the town of Hershey, Pennsylvania and named after the town's most famous export ('Hershey's Kisses' chocolates). Mutations in the receptor for Kisspeptin result... [Read More]
New tests for panic attacks and addiction?
13 March 2007 - by Khadija Ibrahim
According to researchers from the University of Iowa, blood tests could be developed to detect an individual's predisposition to suffer panic attacks or become addicted to substances such as nicotine or cannabis. The research, published in the American Journal of Medical Genetics, draws its conclusions from the... [Read More]
Delaware activists mobilise for stem cell research debate
13 March 2007 - by MacKenna Roberts
By MacKenna Roberts: Stem cell research supporters in the US State of Delaware have learnt from last year's campaign by opposition group 'A Rose and a Prayer' - a coalition of religious and political conservative factions, which sent roses to all the Delaware House of Representative members. Supporters of this year's... [Read More]
Hot baths may reduce fertility in men
13 March 2007 - by Antony Starza-Allen
A small study conducted at the University of San Francisco has revealed that exposure to 'wet heat' is linked to a decrease in fertility in men. The findings suggest that warm baths can affect a man's ability to conceive, albeit temporarily. In the three year pilot study... [Read More]
Overweight couples have difficulty conceiving
13 March 2007 - by Katy Sinclair
If one or both partners in a couple are overweight they are likely to have difficulty conceiving, a study published in the journal Human Reproduction has found. The research, conducted in Denmark, surveyed 47,835 couples between 1996 and 2002 and found that obese couples were almost three... [Read More]
US hospital-biotechnology partnership to offer stem cell banking
13 March 2007 - by Antony Starza-Allen
A hospital in the US has teamed up with a biotechnology company to allow pregnant women to bank their baby's cord blood and placental stem cells in what is thought to be the first official programme to encourage stem cell banking in the country. The Saint Barnabas... [Read More]
Stem cell treatment successful in mice with brain disorder
13 March 2007 - by Antony Starza-Allen
Scientists from the Burnham Institute for Medical Research in California, US, have shown that stem cells taken from embryos and fetuses can delay the progression of a fatal brain and nerve disease in mice, by repairing damaged neurons in the brain. The study, published in Nature Medicine... [Read More]

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