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CONTENTS Issue #454
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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. 

Visit the BioNews website at where you can subscribe for free to receive BioNews by email in one of three formats, and search the archive of more than 8,000 articles.

Debating deafness and embryo selection: Are we undermining reproductive confidence in the deaf community?
21 April 2008 - by Ailsa Stevens
Clause 14 of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill states that in assisted reproduction, embryos known to be at risk of developing 'serious physical or mental disability' or 'serious illness' must not be preferred to embryos where there is no such risk (1). In the official Explanatory Notes to the... [Read More]
Genetics progress review published
21 April 2008 - by Dr Jess Buxton
The UK Department of Health has published a review of progress made in the development of genetics services in the UK since the publication of its 2003 White Paper, entitled 'Our inheritance, our future - realising the potential of genetics in the NHS'. The document laid out... [Read More]
DNA pioneer's genetic make-up published
21 April 2008 - by Dr Jess Buxton
James Watson, one of the scientists who reported the double helix structure of DNA in 1953, has now had his own genetic make-up completely decoded. A paper published in the journal Nature last week describes the sequencing of Watson's genome to reveal the precise order of... [Read More]
Correction: Internet sperm agency founder convicted of fraud
21 April 2008 - by BioNews
Last week, BioNews published a story about the prosecution and conviction of John Gonzales for fraud, in which we stated that 'Gonzalez's service illustrated a loophole in current UK regulation, which governs frozen gamete storage and use, but not 'fresh' sperm'. It has been pointed out to us that this... [Read More]
Stem cell hope for wounded US soldiers
21 April 2008 - by Dr Jess Buxton
The US Department of Defense has announced a five year program to develop new stem-cell based treatments for service members disfigured from war-time injuries. The new Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine (AFIRM) will explore the use of a patient's own stem cells to grow replacement... [Read More]
Scientists argue for freedom to develop sperm and eggs from stem cells
21 April 2008 - by Evelyn Harvey
An international panel of experts has argued that political 'interference' in scientific research should not be based solely on moral or ethical concerns. The Hinxton Group, a group of 40 scientists, bioethicists, lawyers and regulators formed in 2006 to address reproductive technology and policy concerns, made the... [Read More]
Court denies sperm donor paternal rights in favour of lesbian parents
21 April 2008 - by MacKenna Roberts
Last Wednesday the Dublin High Court, Ireland denied a sperm donor guardianship and court-ordered access rights to his biological child, born to a lesbian couple. The homosexual 41-year-old friend of the lesbian couple, referred to as 'A', signed a written agreement to donate sperm and not... [Read More]

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