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CONTENTS Issue #401
Recruiting sperm donors: why it's time for a new approach
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Recruiting sperm donors: why it's time for a new approach
4 April 2007 - by Laura Witjens
The National Gamete Donation Trust (NGDT) has never believed that removal of anonymity in the UK caused the decline in sperm donor numbers. As we said in a previous BioNews commentary: 'It is important to remember that, with or without the removal of anonymity, there have never been enough gamete... [Read More]
High beef consumption during pregnancy may affect son's sperm count
2 April 2007 - by Dr Laura Bell
Recent research published in the journal Human Reproduction found that men whose mothers had eaten a lot of beef during pregnancy were three times more likely to have a sperm count so low that they could be classed as sub-fertile. The study, carried out at the... [Read More]
Bill preventing genetic discrimination approved by US committees
2 April 2007 - by Katy Sinclair
The US House Energy and Commerce Committee has voted in favour of legislation to prevent insurers and employers from using genetic information to discriminate against individuals. Both the Ways and Means Committee and the Education and Labour Committee have also voted in favour of the legislation, which... [Read More]
US stem cell policy news
2 April 2007 - by Antony Starza-Allen
Delaware has moved a step closer to allowing human embryonic stem (ES) cell research. The Delaware Regenerative Medicine Act would permit ES cell research under the approval of an advisory council and would allow couples to donate 'spare' embryos for research after undergoing IVF. Reproductive cloning and... [Read More]
Fertility doctor wins right to challenge HFEA over clinic raids
2 April 2007 - by Antony Starza-Allen
The UK fertility doctor, Mohammed Taranissi, has been given permission to seek a judicial review of the decision made by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) to raid his London clinics last January, on the grounds that is was unjustified, disproportionate and unlawful. In the preliminary... [Read More]
First case of 'semi-identical' twins reported
2 April 2007 - by Heidi Nicholl
A previously unreported form of twinning in humans has been discovered in America. The twins - dubbed 'semi-identical' - are thought to be the result of a single egg being fertilised with two sperm, and then splitting. Double fertilisations are thought to account for around one per cent of... [Read More]
Iron 'overload' disorder gene link to stroke risk
2 April 2007 - by Dr Jess Buxton
Common gene mutations responsible for a condition that affects iron absorption are also linked to a three-fold increased risk of stroke, a new Danish study shows. Researchers at the Herlev University Hospital in Copenhagen found that people with two copies of a particular HFE gene mutation... [Read More]
UK couple request Alzheimer's embryo test
4 April 2007 - by Dr Jess Buxton
According to the Sunday Times newspaper, a UK clinic is requesting permission to test embryos in order to select those free from early onset Alzheimer's disease. Charl and Danielle de Beer are planning undergo IVF treatment in conjunction with preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) at the Bridge... [Read More]
UK Biobank project gets underway
4 April 2007 - by Zulehkha Waheed
The UK Biobank project, which aims to collect biological samples and medical information from half a million Britons, has finally got underway in Manchester, after eight years of preparation and planning. The scheme aims to recruit volunteers between the ages of 40-69, who will give up... [Read More]

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