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CONTENTS Issue #479
Should the UK have a national ethics committee?
Widow receives judgment in case similar to mine
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Should the UK have a national ethics committee?
13 October 2008 - by Professor Donna Dickenson
The UK is virtually alone in western Europe in not having a national medical ethics committee established by the government. France has had such a committee for nearly twenty-five years, and most of our other neighbours, including Denmark, Ireland and Germany, have long since followed suit. Our nearest equivalent is... [Read More]
Widow receives judgment in case similar to mine
13 October 2008 - by Diane Blood
This past week there have been reports of a case similar to the court case I won against the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) in 1997 (1,2,3). A woman was unexpectedly widowed when her husband underwent a routine minor operation in June 2007. Six days before that the couple... [Read More]
Work on biology's 'Guiding Star' wins Nobel Prize in Chemistry
13 October 2008 - by Adam Fletcher
Three US-based scientists have won the 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work in identifying and manipulating the Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP). Professor Osamu Shimomura, of the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts; Professor Martin Chalfie, of Columbia University, New York; and Professor Roger Tsien, of... [Read More]
Non-invasive prenatal test for Down's syndrome developed
13 October 2008 - by Lorna Stewart
Scientists at Stanford University in California, US have developed a new non-invasive prenatal test for Down's syndrome. Stephen Quake and colleagues successfully identified presence and absence of fetal chromosomal abnormality in 18 pregnant women from maternal blood samples. The work is published this month in the journal... [Read More]
Victorian parliament approves equal access to IVF
13 October 2008 - by Antony Starza-Allen
New laws that grant lesbian couples and single women equal access to IVF have been passed by MPs voting in Victoria's Parliament. The Assisted Reproductive Treatment bill was approved by 47 votes to 34, in a three day debate that lasted in the early hours. It will... [Read More]
Fertility doctor wins libel costs and tops IVF league tables
13 October 2008 - by Ailsa Stevens
New figures release last week by the UK's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) show that two clinics run by fertility expert Mohammad Taranissi - the Assisted Reproduction and Gynaecology Centre (ARGC) and the Reproductive Genetics Institute (RGI) - are the most successful in the country in terms of... [Read More]
Widow claims human right to use dead husband's sperm
13 October 2008 - by MacKenna Roberts
The UK's High Court has ruled that it may have been unlawful for a widow to have removed her dead husband's sperm. Despite UK law requiring valid written consent for the storage and use of sperm, the 42-year-old widow obtained emergency Court permission to have sperm... [Read More]
Scientists extract human stem cells from testicles
13 October 2008 - by Dr Charlotte Maden
Scientists in the UK and Germany have found that cells extracted from human testis can be manipulated to make them act like human embryonic stem (ES) cells, resulting in another approach in the burgeoning stem cell field. ES cells can potentially be used to create 'repair tissue... [Read More]
Study explores lifestyle impact of genetic testing
13 October 2008 - by Ailsa Stevens
In response to widespread criticism over the value of genetics tests aimed at predicting disease susceptibility, the Silicon Valley based biotech company 'Navigenetics Inc.' has teamed up with 'Scripps Translational Science Institute', an organisation which facilitates the translation of discoveries from the lab into the clinic. Advances... [Read More]

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