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CONTENTS Issue #442
Should the need for a father be enshrined in law?
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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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Should the need for a father be enshrined in law?
29 January 2008 - by Dr Jess Buxton
Those offering IVF and associated techniques in the UK are currently required, by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990, to consider the welfare of the child who might be born as a result - including the child's 'need for a father'. However, the new Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill currently... [Read More]
Clarification: Twins case reignites 'need for a father' debate
23 January 2008 - by BioNews
Last week, BioNews reported on issues connected to the 'need for a father' debate on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill currently being debated in the House of Lords. Our article included the following: 'the Government is going even further with proposals to consider reintroducing plans to allow lesbian couples... [Read More]
UK doctors say Government holding up crucial stem cell research
27 January 2008 - by Dr Charlotte Maden
Stringent new laws on the use of human embryonic stem (ES) cells in experiments are being planned by the UK Government. This will delay critical research into life-threatening diseases, according to a group of leading scientists. The proposed laws are part of the revised Human Fertilisation and... [Read More]
Stem cell therapy treats muscular dystrophy in mice
27 January 2008 - by Dr Rebecca Robey
Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre have developed a new technique to treat the symptoms of muscular dystrophy using embryonic stem (ES) cells. The group, reporting in the February 2008 issue of Nature Medicine, successfully manipulated mouse ES cells to transform them into muscle-forming... [Read More]
New project aims to read 1000 human genomes
27 January 2008 - by Dr Jess Buxton
An international project to read the entire genetic code of at least 1000 individuals will result in a comprehensive catalogue of human variation that will accelerate efforts to identify genetic factors involved in health and disease, scientists announced last week. The '1000 Genomes Project' will take... [Read More]
US stem cell update
28 January 2008 - by Antony Starza-Allen
Embryonic stem (ES) cell research might be back on the election agenda in Michigan this year. The campaign to collect enough signatures to place a measure on the ballot-box that relaxes Michigan's laws on embryo research is gathering pace. Opponents have started to run counter-campaigns to prevent... [Read More]
'Sleeping Beauty' pancreatic stem cells woken in fight against diabetes
28 January 2008 - by Dr Karen Devine
Researchers this week have reported that the much debated and 'elusive' insulin-producing stem cells really do exist in the pancreas. Despite scepticism over their actual existence, stem cells that can produce beta cells were found within the pancreas of adult mice during a study at the Diabetes... [Read More]
Breakthrough in gene therapy for chronic pain
28 January 2008 - by Katy Sinclair
Gene therapy could ease chronic pain by simulating the pain-killing properties of opiate drugs, researchers from the Departments of Medicine and Neurosciences at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have found, reporting in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The research team designed a cold virus... [Read More]
Australian parents launch 'wrongful birth' claim for negligent genetic testing
28 January 2008 - by MacKenna Roberts
A couple is suing the staff at an IVF clinic in Australia for negligently failing to detect a gene mutation responsible for a type of inherited cancer they had specifically undergone pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) testing to avoid. The legally unprecedented case could result in one of... [Read More]

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