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CONTENTS Issue #474
The medium is the message: assisted conception and the role of the media
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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. 

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The medium is the message: assisted conception and the role of the media
8 September 2008 - by Professor Marcus Pembrey
The Medium is the Message' - a phrase coined by Marshal McLuhan in 1964 - implies that the type of presentation as much as the content of the message determines what gets incorporated into personal and societal views. This 'spin' element has and continues to be a significant component in the media... [Read More]
Heated car seats may reduce male fertility
8 September 2008 - by Katy Sinclair
Scientists from the University of Giessen in Germany, reporting in the New Scientist, have warned that heated car seats could damage sperm production. The optimal temperature for healthy sperm production is between 35 and 36 degrees centigrade , which is 1 to 2 degrees centigrade lower than core... [Read More]
Fertility regulators issue guidelines for single embryo transfer in IVF
8 September 2008 - by Antony Starza-Allen
The British Fertility Society (BFS) and the Association of Clinical Embryologists (ACE) have introduced new guidelines aimed at reducing the number of multiple births amongst IVF patients in the UK. The guidelines, published in the journal Human Fertility, recommend that a single embryo transfer (SET) policy should... [Read More]
Early genetic events in Down's syndrome revealed
8 September 2008 - by Dr Rebecca Robey
Scientists have discovered the earliest genetic changes that occur in Down's syndrome, resulting in the abnormal development of the foetus and eventually leading to the host of medical complications associated with the disorder. The findings, published in the American Journal of Human Genetics, are a step forward... [Read More]
Gene links fertility and appetite
8 September 2008 - by Dr Rachael Panizzo
By Rachael Dobson: Researchers at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, US have found that the TORC1 gene in the brain controls both appetite and fertility. TORC1 acts as a 'master switch' that, when turned on, reduces food intake and allows pregnancy to occur, they report in the journal... [Read More]
Give us your Jobs!
8 September 2008 - by Sarah Norcross
The Progress Educational Trust (PET) is delighted to announce a new service from BioNews: a 'jobs' section. Today's issue of BioNews contains PET's first job advertisement, placed and paid for by the Human Genetics Commission. Why has PET decided to do this? Like many small charities, PET struggles to find... [Read More]
Leading stem cell experts say embryonic stem cell research must continue
8 September 2008 - by MacKenna Roberts
Leading stem cell experts from the International Society of Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) and the US National Academy of Sciences have cautioned that it would be detrimentally premature to abandon embryonic stem (ES) cell research in favour of recent breakthrough techniques that have succeeded in being able... [Read More]
Gene change triples chances of living to 100
8 September 2008 - by Ailsa Stevens
Men who carry a particular gene variant may be up to three times more likely to live to the age of 100, according to a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Although other gene variants have been previously linked to longevity... [Read More]
UK's HFEA appoints new members
8 September 2008 - by Ben Jones
In a press release on Friday, 7 September, the UK's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) announced that its appointments committee had selected six new members to appoint to the Authority. The appointments are for three years, lasting until 31 August 2011. The new appointments to the... [Read More]
Perfume may decrease future fertility of unborn males
8 September 2008 - by Sarah Pritchard
A principal investigator for the Human Reproductive Sciences Unit of the UK's Medical Research Council (MRC) has revealed that using certain cosmetics during the early stages of pregnancy could affect fertility in males in later life. Professor Richard Sharpe undertook research on rats, which showed that after... [Read More]
Research bodies remove personal genetic data from web
8 September 2008 - by Alison Cranage
Scientists in the US have developed a new way of identifying an individual's DNA from a mixed sample. An individual can be picked out in a sample that contains up to 1000 people's DNA and where it makes up just 0.1 per cent of the total. The... [Read More]

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