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CONTENTS Issue #470
A growing demand for PGD for cancer predisposition
The future of IVF remains problematic
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A growing demand for PGD for cancer predisposition
12 August 2008 - by Joy Delhanty, Karen Fordham, Joyce Harper, Sioban SenGupta and Paul Serhal
Inherited cancer predisposition is rare, however preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) for this group of disorders is steadily increasing. Unlike other common indications for PGD such as cystic fibrosis, PGD for cancer predisposition avoids the inheritance of a very high susceptibility to developing cancer rather than inheritance of the disease itself... [Read More]
The future of IVF remains problematic
12 August 2008 - by Antony Starza-Allen
Thirty years after the world's first IVF-baby was born commentators and reporters are assessing the gains made by the fertility treatment and the future that lies ahead. Although it seems IVF today has become the established and routine medical procedure its pioneers in 1978 probably hoped it would become, issues... [Read More]
Two infertility treatments found to be no better than nature
12 August 2008 - by Alison Cranage
Two common infertility treatments are no more effective than trying to conceive naturally, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal. The study looked at the effectiveness of taking the drug clomifene citrate (CC) or having intra-uterine insemination (IUI) versus no intervention, and found that... [Read More]
Library of disease-specific stem cell lines developed
12 August 2008 - by Dr Rachael Panizzo
Scientists at Harvard Stem Cell Institute and the University of Washington in the US have generated 10 stem cell lines from the skin of patients with specific genetic disorders, including muscular dystrophy, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, juvenile diabetes and 'bubble boy disease', a rare immunodeficiency disease. The... [Read More]
Ethical concerns over research with stem cell lines in the US
12 August 2008 - by Dr Charlotte Maden
A recent review that revisits the ethical issues surrounding the use of embryonic stem (ES) cell lines in the US has thrown the use of almost a quarter of the lines currently available into question. US President George W Bush in 2001 restricted the federal funding of... [Read More]
Australian experts criticise unregulated direct-to-consumer genetic testing industry
12 August 2008 - by MacKenna Roberts
Government officials in Australia have held a joint public meeting to discuss the dangers of the burgeoning but largely unregulated direct-to-consumer genetic testing market. Chair Professor Ron Trent from the National Health and Medical Research Council, Human Genetics Advisory Committee (HGAC) and Professor David Weisbrot, the president... [Read More]
Canadian Researchers Control Stem Cell Differentiation
12 August 2008 - by Ben Jones
A research group at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada (SickKids), has this week announced that through adding a single gene into stem cells they have managed to control the differentiation of the pluripotent cells, which can form more than 200 different tissues, into early... [Read More]
Dachshunds used by scientists to find genetic mutation in blindness
12 August 2008 - by Dr Charlotte Maden
Scientists have used dogs with a particular form of genetic blindness to discover a clue as to how the disease works. The Norwegian and US researchers reported their findings in the journal Genome Research last week. Cone-rod dystrophies (CRDs) are relatively rare forms of blindness in humans... [Read More]

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