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CONTENTS Issue #462
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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.

Advances in non-invasive prenatal diagnosis and care: free fetal DNA
16 June 2008 - by Dr Philippa Brice
Antenatal care in the UK includes various forms of screening intended to assess the health of the mother and fetus; at present this includes the use of ultrasound imaging to check on physical development of the fetus, and serum screening using maternal blood to determine blood group, identify the presence... [Read More]
Free fetal DNA for non-invasive prenatal diagnosis (NIPD): ethical aspects
16 June 2008 - by Dr Zuzana Deans and Dr Ainsley Newson
Dr Phillipa Brice's accompanying commentary highlights how non-invasive testing of free fetal DNA (ffDNA) in pregnancy could transform women's experiences of antenatal screening and prenatal diagnosis. NIPD is already available for foetal sex, rhesus D blood type and some Mendelian conditions such as achondroplasia, with tests for aneuploidy detection and... [Read More]
BFS issues new guidelines recommending limited use of PGS
16 June 2008 - by Alison Cranage
The British Fertility Society (BFS) has issued new guidelines for the use of pre-implantation genetic screening (PGS) in patients undergoing fertility treatment. The new guidelines, published in the journal Human Fertility, state that there is no evidence that PGS improves pregnancy rates or decreases miscarriage rates for... [Read More]
Progress Educational Trust commends biosciences OBE winner
16 June 2008 - by Sarah Norcross
Progress Educational Trust would like to congratulate Dr Simon Best, who has been awarded an OBE for his services to the bioscience industry. Simon Best is founder and Chairman of Ardana Bioscience, based in Edinburgh, specialising in human reproductive biology and is a... [Read More]
Gene links high IQ to longer life
16 June 2008 - by Stuart Scott
Italian researchers, based at the University of Calabri, have found that a gene variant previously linked to high IQ also increases the likelihood of carriers surviving to an old age. The findings, published in New Scientist magazine, suggest that carriers of the SSADH gene variant may live... [Read More]
International guidelines aim to discourage 'stem cell tourism' for unproven therapies
16 June 2008 - by MacKenna Roberts
By MacKenna Roberts: The increasing problem of 'stem-cell tourism' - patients travelling to developing countries seeking costly and unproven stem cell treatments - have prompted leading experts to join in an international effort to establish standards for the development of stem cell treatments. The 30-member committee, comprised of scientists and ethicists... [Read More]
Release of human egg captured on camera
16 June 2008 - by Katy Sinclair
A doctor about to perform a partial hysterectomy on a patient has inadvertently caught the moment of ovulation on camera. The pictures have been published in the New Scientist magazine, and will also be reproduced in Fertility and Sterility. Observing ovulation in humans is very difficult, and... [Read More]
UK insurance moratorium on use of genetic data extended until 2014
16 June 2008 - by Antony Starza-Allen
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) announced last Friday that a moratorium on the use of genetic test results by UK insurance companies has been extended until 2014. The agreement prevents insurance companies from requesting predicative genetic test results from customers which could be used to deny... [Read More]
Lord Winston warns against complacency over IVF success rates
16 June 2008 - by Ailsa Stevens
This week Britain's leading fertility expert, Lord Robert Winston, spoke out at Cheltenham Science Festival to express his disappointment that IVF success rates have plateaued over recent decades, a trend which he believes is partly due to complacency. New technologies for selecting both viable eggs and healthy... [Read More]

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