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CONTENTS Issue #445
COMMENT
The real impact of the removal of donor anonymity
NEWS DIGEST
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The real impact of the removal of donor anonymity
18 February 2008 - by Peter Wardle
Legislation removing donor anonymity came into force in the UK in April 2005. Transitional arrangements, to allow the opportunity to use up reserves of anonymously donated sperm, were short; only one year. After that, the use of anonymously donated sperm was illegal.Since then, there have been a number of... [Read More]
Clarification: Hope for parents with mitochondrial diseases
15 February 2008 - by BioNews
In last week's BioNews we published an article about research into possible new treatments for mitochondrial disorders, in which we stated that: 'Sperm do not contribute any mitochondria to the embryo (as they are all present within the tail, which falls off after fertilisation) and, consequently, children inherit all their... [Read More]
Cord blood transplant for US boy aged two
18 February 2008 - by Dr Karen Devine
After two months of treatment for a rare form of cancer known as Neuroblastoma, two-year old Caden Ledbetter came home from hospital in Dallas, Texas, this week, cancer-free. Neuroblastoma is a fast-growing cancer, which affects the nervous system. Sporting a surgical mask and clutching a teddy bear... [Read More]
Controversy continues over UK minister's stance on birth defects and inbreeding
18 February 2008 - by Dr Rebecca Robey
A UK government minister sparked a controversial debate last week when he claimed that inbreeding in the British Pakistani community was causing a rise in the number of children born with genetic defects. Speaking in an interview with the Sunday Times newspaper, Phil Woolas, environment minister and... [Read More]
More genetic markers for prostate cancer found
18 February 2008 - by Stuart Scott
Three studies, published in the journal Nature Genetics, have uncovered ten genes that affect a man's risk of developing prostate cancer. The researchers hope that the discoveries will form the basis of a test that will predict men's chances of developing prostate cancer, as well as providing... [Read More]
Scientists call for more research into infertility rates
18 February 2008 - by Dr Charlotte Maden
A report printed in the British Medical Journal this week about the trends in fecundity over time has called for more studies into the environmental factors contributing to reduced fertility rates. Infertility is a common problem in affluent societies, affecting around 15 per cent of couples trying... [Read More]
German parliament postpones stem cell vote until March
18 February 2008 - by Katy Sinclair
After a four hour debate on 14 February 2008, the German Parliament has taken the decision to postpone the vote on whether to amend the country's 2002 stem cell laws, to allow scientists to conduct research on stem cell lines created after 2002, until mid-March. In 2001... [Read More]
Reprogramming adult epithelial cells into embryonic-like stem cells improves therapeutic safety
19 February 2008 - by MacKenna Roberts
Japanese researchers announced last week that they have advanced their understanding and ability to safely 'reprogramme' adult stem cells to resemble embryonic stem (ES) cells without inducing tumours or harmful genetic abnormalities. The Japanese team of researchers, lead by Dr Shinya Yamanaka at Kyoto University, reprogrammed liver... [Read More]

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