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CONTENTS Issue #406
Miracle Cure or Media Hype?
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Welcome to BioNews by email, published by the Progress Educational Trust, providing you with news, comment and reviews on genetics, assisted conception, embryo/stem cell research and related areas. 

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Miracle Cure or Media Hype?
9 May 2007 - by Celine Lewis
Last week's BioNews reported on the development of new drug called PTC124, which offers hope to patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), as well as cystic fibrosis (CF) and perhaps a number of other genetic disorders. The drug is currently at the stage of clinical trials after successful trials on... [Read More]
Gene therapy hope for childhood blindness
9 May 2007 - by Ailsa Stevens
Researchers at University College London are the first in the world to attempt to use gene therapy to treat a rare inherited condition which leads to blindness in childhood. The disease, known as Leber Congenital Syndrome (LCS), is caused by an abnormality in the RPE65 gene, which... [Read More]
First Australian state allows therapeutic cloning
9 May 2007 - by Antony Starza-Allen
The Upper House in Victoria, Australia, has approved an amendment to their Infertility Treatment Act permitting 'therapeutic cloning', to enable the creation of embryos for use in stem cell research. The legislation, passed by 23 votes to 16, brings Victorian laws in line with federal regulation. Therapeutic... [Read More]
Diabetes linked to male infertility
9 May 2007 - by Katy Sinclair
Researchers have found that diabetes may affect sperm quality, after a study comparing the DNA in sperm from diabetic and non-diabetic men found more DNA damage in the sperm cells of the diabetic men. The study, conducted by the research group at Queen's University Belfast, with findings... [Read More]
Slight increase in number of UK sperm donors
9 May 2007 - by Katy Sinclair
The UK's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has reported a 6 per cent rise in the number of men registering as sperm donors in the twelve months from April 2005, when changes in law removed the right to anonymity of sperm, egg and embryo donors. It... [Read More]
South Korean wolf clones declared genuine
9 May 2007 - by Dr Jess Buxton
The cloned grey wolves created by scientists at Seoul National University (SNU) are genuine, independent tests have shown. Questions over the animals were raised following the withdrawal of the scientific paper describing the achievement from the journal Cloning and Stem Cells. SNU launched an investigation of... [Read More]
Early pregnancy gender test sparks controversy
9 May 2007 - by Dr Jess Buxton
A new test that can reveal an embryo's gender as early as the sixth week of pregnancy is being marketed via the Internet. The kit, sold by DNA Worldwide for £189, is non-invasive and only requires a sample of the mother's blood. The company claims the... [Read More]
Genetic clue to heart disease
9 May 2007 - by Dr Jess Buxton
US and Canadian researchers have identified a common genetic variation that can increase the risk of heart disease by up to 40 per cent. The study, published early online in the journal Science, suggests that two genes involved in controlling cell growth, aging and death could... [Read More]

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