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CONTENTS Issue #451
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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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The conundrum of cousin marriage
31 March 2008 - by Professor Alan Bittles
First cousin marriage is a topic that frequently evokes distaste and even a sense of moral outrage in the UK and other western countries. Given its sound Biblical tradition (Leviticus 18:7-18) and long-standing legal acceptance this is somewhat surprising, the more so since many famous figures of the... [Read More]
The Human Tissue Act 2004 and Genetic Databases: some unanswered questions
31 March 2008 - by Professor Jean McHale
The Human Tissue Act was passed in 2004 as the Government's response to the public concern and subsequent inquiries into the unauthorised retention of human material in numerous hospitals around the country, as highlighted in the Alder Hey inquiry report (Royal Liverpool Children's Hospital 2001) and the Bristol Interim Inquiry... [Read More]
20 year old refused state-funded IVF
31 March 2008 - by Antony Starza-Allen
A 20-year old woman has been refused NHS-funded IVF treatment in the UK because her boyfriend has children from a previous relationship. Catherine Storey is unable to conceive naturally after going through premature menopause when she was just 18 years old. The couple decided to fund... [Read More]
Cord blood stem cell hope for Alzheimer's
31 March 2008 - by Dr Karen Devine
The journal Stem Cells and Development has announced the results of an exciting new research project being carried out by a collaboration of researchers from the University of Florida, Yale University, New Haven, Cedars Sinai Medical Centre, Los Angeles, Saneron CCEL Therapeutics, Incorporated and The Saintama Medical... [Read More]
57-year-old UK woman gives birth to 'surprise' baby
31 March 2008 - by Katy Sinclair
A 57-year-old woman has become one of the oldest first time mothers in the UK, after initially being told that her pregnancy could be ovarian cancer. Eight weeks prior to giving birth, Susan Tollefsen was sent for emergency hospital tests on a growing swelling, suspected to... [Read More]
More gene clues to Type 2 diabetes uncovered
31 March 2008 - by Dr Jess Buxton
US and European scientists have identified six more genes that play a role in Type 2 diabetes, bringing the total number of genetic variations associated with the disease to 16. The research, published in the journal Nature Genetics, combined the results of three earlier studies carried... [Read More]
New findings may transform hunt for schizophrenia genes
31 March 2008 - by Ailsa Stevens
Two independent studies published in the journal Science this week suggest that many rare gene mutations may be responsible for causing schizophrenia, challenging the widely held theory that combinations of several relatively common mutations are to blame. The researchers found that very rare genetic disruptions, often unique... [Read More]
Cardinal agrees to meet embryo scientists to discuss research
31 March 2008 - by MacKenna Roberts
The head of Scotland's Catholic Church, Cardinal Keith O'Brien - who in his Easter Sunday sermon attacked the government's proposal to allow research using inter-species or human 'admixed' embryos, calling it 'government supported experiments of Frankenstein proportions' - said he would be 'only too happy' to attend a meeting... [Read More]

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