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CONTENTS Issue #432
COMMENT
The review of the HFE Act: ethical expertise or moral cowardice?
NEWS DIGEST
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The review of the HFE Act: ethical expertise or moral cowardice?
6 November 2007 - by Dr Anna Smajdor
The development of reproductive technologies has continued apace since the birth of Louise Brown, the first IVF baby, in 1978. The regulatory framework is constantly assailed by new possibilities which may not have been envisaged by those who drew up the original legislation in this area. Do the moral arguments... [Read More]
UK surrogacy case decided in favour of father
6 November 2007 - by Dr Kirsty Horsey
A UK High Court judge ruled earlier this year that the biological father of a child born to a surrogate should be able to keep the baby. The surrogate had been in a court battle over parenthood with the man following the birth of the child... [Read More]
Scientists breed 'mighty mouse'
6 November 2007 - by Ailsa Stevens
Last week the papers were flooded with reports of a so-called 'mighty mouse' - a genetically engineered mouse able to run for up to six hours at a speed of 20 metres per minute before needing a rest - created by researchers based at Case Western Reserve University in... [Read More]
A light touch review of the Human Genetics Commission
6 November 2007 - by BioNews
The Human Genetics Commission (HGC) - the UK Government's advisory body on developments in human genetics and their ethical, legal, social and economic implications - is undergoing an external 'light touch' review. In line with Government policy, all Scientific Advisory Committees are subject to such a review every five years. The Department... [Read More]
Tasmania permits therapeutic cloning in embryo research
6 November 2007 - by Antony Starza-Allen
The Tasmanian Parliament has passed legislation to make therapeutic cloning lawful in the state, mirroring Australian federal legislation to this effect. In both Houses of the Tasmanian parliament the Human Cloning and other Prohibited Practices Amendment Bill 2007 was approved amid much controversy and emotive debate. The... [Read More]
Healthy diet and lifestyle reduces risk of female infertility
6 November 2007 - by Katy Sinclair
A study by the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) has found that women have a reduced risk of infertility due to ovulatory disorders if they adopt a combination of healthy lifestyle and dietary measures. The study, published in Obstetrics and Gynecology, was based on 17,544 women... [Read More]
Draft cat genome sequenced
6 November 2007 - by Ailsa Stevens
Scientists based at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Fredrick, Maryland, have become the first to sequence the cat genome, according to a report published last week in the journal Genome Research. Scientists hope that comparing the new cat genome, belonging to a 4-year-old Abyssinian called... [Read More]
Epilepsy gene pair may be 'seizure-protective'
6 November 2007 - by Ailsa Stevens
Two defective genes, which normally cause epilepsy when inherited individually, have been found to protect against seizures when inherited as a pair, according to a report published in the journal Nature Neuroscience. The researchers, based at Baylor Medical Centre in Texas, found that mice genetically engineered to... [Read More]

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