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CONTENTS Issue #446
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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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Artificial Gametes: The What, Why and How of creating sperm and eggs in the laboratory
26 February 2008 - by Professor Alison Murdoch
There was a lively audience at this public meeting held at the Centre for Life in Newcastle on 12 February, an evening debate organised by Progress Educational Trust. This is perhaps not surprising given the recent media speculation and the current political debate about the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill... [Read More]
Artificial gametes: the end of infertility?
26 February 2008 - by Dr Anna Smajdor
An article published recently in the New Scientist alerted readers to ongoing developments in the creation of 'female' sperm and 'male' eggs (1). If - and it is a big if - this technological breakthrough ever comes about, it is suggested that such artificial gametes could offer the possibility of genetic reproduction... [Read More]
Single embryo transfer increases pregnancy rates, reduces risks
26 February 2008 - by Dr Rebecca Robey
Scientists at a UK fertility clinic have reported that a new IVF technique may increase the rate of pregnancy whilst decreasing the risk of multiple births. The study, published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, involved nearly 2500 women over a three-year period and found... [Read More]
Embryonic stem cells used to create insulin-producing cells
26 February 2008 - by Dr Charlotte Maden
Scientists in the US have derived insulin-producing cells from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), and have successfully implanted them into mice. The achievement, reported last week in the journal Nature Biotechnology, could help push forward research into therapies for diabetes. Type 1 diabetes, and some forms of... [Read More]
Sperm damage can be passed to children
26 February 2008 - by Katy Sinclair
By Katy Sinclair: A US study presented to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has found that sperm defects caused by exposure to toxins can be passed down through generations. The research team tested rats that had been exposed to garden chemicals, and found that damage to... [Read More]
More British soldiers freezing sperm before deployment abroad
26 February 2008 - by MacKenna Roberts
An increasing number of wives and partners of British soldiers are requesting to have their husbands' sperm frozen before they are deployed abroad to Iraq and Afghanistan, as an 'insurance policy' that will allow them to still have their children even if they are killed or injured... [Read More]
Canadian baby born using 22-year-old frozen sperm
26 February 2008 - by MacKenna Roberts
A Canadian couple successfully conceived a baby boy after using sperm that had been stored 22 years, two months and two weeks - a likely record for Canadian fertility treatment. The longest-known storage period for sperm resulting in a live birth is 28 years, according to a 2005... [Read More]
UK Catholics asked to oppose fertility bill
26 February 2008 - by Antony Starza-Allen
The Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, has sent a pastoral message urging Catholics to write to MPs in opposition to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, which will be debated in the House of Commons in the coming weeks. In his message, the cardinal wrote that... [Read More]

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