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CONTENTS Issue #455
COMMENT
Scientists, hybrid embryos and the media
Why UK surrogacy law needs an urgent review
NEWS DIGEST
REVIEWS
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Scientists, hybrid embryos and the media
28 April 2008 - by Fiona Fox
Should scientists enter the media fray on the most controversial aspects of stem cell research when the row is clearly about much more than the science? This is a question that many in the scientific community have raised over the past year in relation to the furore over human-animal hybrid... [Read More]
Why UK surrogacy law needs an urgent review
28 April 2008 - by Natalie Gamble
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFE) Bill is currently wending its way through Parliament amidst a storm of controversy and debate. An issue which has provoked very little attention is surrogacy, and yet this is where the law most desperately needs reforming. Surrogacy arrangements currently get the raw end of... [Read More]
'Capsule' could cut costs and time of IVF
28 April 2008 - by Dr Rebecca Robey
A new study presented to the International Society for Mild Approaches in Assisted Reproduction (ISMAAR) at their Second World Congress held in London earlier this month raises the possibility of a new 'lunch hour' IVF treatment. The Invocell capsule, manufactured by the Massachusetts-based company, BioXcell, is designed... [Read More]
Equal rights for lesbian parents in New South Wales
28 April 2008 - by Antony Starza-Allen
Lesbian couples with children should be given equal rights to those in heterosexual relationships, the state government of New South Wales, Australia, has announced. Under sweeping proposed reforms of a number of state laws, 'parental presumption' will be extended to cover the non-biological mother in lesbian relationships... [Read More]
Heart tissue engineered using embryonic stem cells
28 April 2008 - by Dr Rachael Panizzo
Researchers have created beating heart tissue which has been derived from human embryonic stem (ES) cells. By culturing the cells in a combination of factors that push them towards heart cell development, scientists at the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine in Toronto, Canada, have induced the ES... [Read More]
First heart attack patients in UK trial of stem cell therapy
28 April 2008 - by Evelyn Harvey
Two men were the first subjects of a groundbreaking clinical research trial to establish the efficacy of treating patients with stem cells from their own bone marrow hours after a heart attack. The randomised controlled trial, the first to be supported by the UK Stem Cell Foundation... [Read More]
US Senate approves genetic anti-discrimination legislation
28 April 2008 - by MacKenna Roberts
The US Senate has unanimously (95-0) approved legislation to prohibit genetic discrimination by employers, insurers and unions. Following thirteen years of effort, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act ('GINA') is finally expected early next week, to breeze through approval in the House of Representatives, which supported the... [Read More]
Irish ethics council backs stem cell research
28 April 2008 - by Katy Sinclair
By Katy Sinclair: The Irish Council for Bioethics (ICB) has backed human embryo research for the first time following a year of public consultation, and has called for a state authority to be formed to oversee the practice. In a report into stem cell therapies the governmental advisory body has... [Read More]
Gene therapy success reverses childhood blindness
28 April 2008 - by Ailsa Stevens
Four people with a rare inherited condition which leads to blindness in childhood have reportedly experienced improved vision after taking part in the world's first trials of an experimental gene therapy, according to two independent studies published online in the New England Journal of Medicine. Professor Robin... [Read More]

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