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CONTENTS Issue #463
COMMENT
Cousin marriages in the UK: what are the genetic risks?
NEWS DIGEST
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Cousin marriages in the UK: what are the genetic risks?
22 June 2008 - by Dr Alison Shaw
Marriage between relatives such as first cousins increases the risk in children not of general birth defects and genetic problems of all kinds but of what geneticists call 'recessive' conditions: those caused by inheriting two copies of a gene each of which carries a mutation. It seems we may each... [Read More]
Stem cell researchers warn of egg shortage in the US
22 June 2008 - by Antony Starza-Allen
US stem cell researchers have called for prohibitions on the payment of compensation to egg donors to be removed if an egg shortage crisis is to be avoided. In an article published in Nature last week, Kevin Eggan and Douglas Melton from Harvard University's Stem Cell Institute... [Read More]
Access to IVF in UK barred to smokers
23 June 2008 - by Dr Kirsty Horsey
A British MP has raised more concerns about access to National Heath Service-funded IVF in the UK. It transpires that a number of IVF clinics in the UK are denying free treatment to women who smoke. Labour MP Sally Keeble identified the latest barrier to accessing... [Read More]
Gene clues to cholesterol levels
23 June 2008 - by Dr Jess Buxton
A third of people have genetic variations that cut their risk of heart disease, perhaps by increasing the level of 'good' (HDL) cholesterol in their blood, say UK and Dutch scientists. A new study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, shows that individuals... [Read More]
New study indicates safety of freezing eggs
23 June 2008 - by Alison Cranage
Research published last month in the journal Reproductive BioMedicine Online indicates that a new freezing technique to store human eggs is safe. The study, led by Dr Ri-Cheng Chian, of McGill University, Montreal, Canada, looked at children conceived using eggs frozen by vitrification, and showed that the... [Read More]
Human/animal hybrid embryos are 'easy' to make
23 June 2008 - by Dr Charlotte Maden
The creation of human/animal admixed or 'hybrid' embryos is happening at a rapid rate, according to the experts developing them at Newcastle University, who say that the process is easier than they initially thought. Speaking at the BIO biotechnology conference in San Diego last week, Dr... [Read More]
NZ government offers advice on pre-birth testing
23 June 2008 - by Katy Sinclair
After a consultation procedure, the New Zealand Bioethics Council (Toi Te Taiao), has released advice to the government on pre-birth testing, in a paper entitled 'Who Gets Born?' The year long consultation process polled more than 700 New Zealanders to gauge their opinions on pre-implantation genetic diagnosis... [Read More]

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