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CONTENTS Issue #477
Cell-free fetal DNA: testing the waters
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Cell-free fetal DNA: testing the waters
29 September 2008 - by Ailsa Stevens
A decade ago, it was found that the blood of pregnant women contains DNA from the fetus. The discovery of this 'free fetal DNA' (ffDNA) has led to the development of non-invasive prenatal diagnosis, where genetic characteristics of the fetus can be analysed a mere few weeks into pregnancy by... [Read More]
Anti-depressants may be linked to male infertility
26 September 2008 - by Antony Starza-Allen
Anti-depressants may be linked to male infertility, say researchers at the Cornell Medical Center in New York. Results of a study reported in the New Scientist this week reveal that males taking anti-depressants - also known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibiters (SSRIs) - could be damaging their sperm. The... [Read More]
Research or sale? US IVF patients are asked what to do with 'spare embryos'
29 September 2008 - by Sarah Pritchard
The results of two related studies undertaken in the US show that a high proportion of infertile couples are in favour of their 'spare' embryos being used for research, whilst over half would advocate theirs being sold to help other couples. Researchers surveyed 1,350 infertile women at... [Read More]
Acupuncture aids IVF success
29 September 2008 - by Katy Sinclair
Researchers at the University of Southampton and Princess Anne Hospital in Southampton, UK, have found that women undergoing acupuncture at the same time as IVF increased their chances of having a baby from one in five to one in three. The research, published on the Cochrane Library's... [Read More]
US scientists create CF pig model
29 September 2008 - by Stuart Scott
US scientists have created pigs with cystic fibrosis (CF), a breakthrough that should open the door to a raft of research into the fatal condition. Initial reports form the study, published in the journal Science, suggest that the pig model is manifesting a number of the early... [Read More]
US presidential candidates lock horns over stem cell policy
29 September 2008 - by MacKenna Roberts
Both candidates in the race for the US presidency - Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama - have released misleading stem cell policy radio advertisements. Although both campaign ads were technically true, Obama misrepresented McCain's current views in support of the research and McCain misrepresented the opposition of... [Read More]
Call for research proposal in 'lowe syndrome'
29 September 2008 - by BioNews
You are invited to apply for ÒseedÓ research funding of £20,000-£40,000 from the Lowe Syndrome Trust.The genetic basis for Lowe Syndrome is a defective gene, OCRL1, that results in the deficiency of an enzyme Phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate-5-phosphatase (OCRL1). LoweÕs oculocerebrorenal syndrome is a disorder affecting the... [Read More]
Cancer risk removed from mouse iPS cells
29 September 2008 - by Ben Jones
Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, US, have developed a new, safer method for creating induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells - adult cells made to behave like stem cells by inserting four key genes. Previously these genes have been delivered into cells using retroviruses, which can potentially trigger... [Read More]
UK's fertility watchdog drops Mohamed Taranissi allegations
29 September 2008 - by Ailsa Stevens
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has dropped all legal allegations against leading UK fertility expert, Mohamed Taranissi. They have removed a ban put in place last year, which prevented the fertility doctor from being the 'person responsible' for his 'Assisted Reproduction and Gynaecology Centre' (ARGC... [Read More]

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