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CONTENTS Issue #480
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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. 

Visit the BioNews website at where you can subscribe for free to receive BioNews by email in one of three formats, and search the archive of more than 8,000 articles.

The ethics of stem cell research: a Hindu view
17 October 2008 - by Anil Bhanot
What does it mean to protect 'the sanctity of life?' This is the question that for Hindus, as for those in other religious traditions, lies at the heart of debate on whether embryonic stem (ES) cell research is ethical. It could be argued that embryos in the early process of... [Read More]
Strict research licence requirements are too prohibitive
20 October 2008 - by Nancy Lee
On the eve of the final debate in the House of Commons on the UK's Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFE) Bill, many people are hoping that the it will pass through the House without further delay so that it can be approved by the House of Lords and gain royal... [Read More]
Novel genetic variation increases chances of baldness
20 October 2008 - by Adam Fletcher
Two independent studies have uncovered a genetic variation that increases a man's chances of developing baldness. Professor Tim Spector at Kings College London, UK, and Professor Axel Hillmer at the University of Bonn, Germany, are the first to use a gene-hunting technique in order to identify traits... [Read More]
Study shows links between genes and long-term weight gain
20 October 2008 - by Lorna Stewart
Research published in the journal Science last week shows links between a common genetic variation, brain activity, BMI and long-term weight gain. Other recent studies have suggested that obese people may experience less pleasure when eating and eat more to compensate, but this is the first study... [Read More]
Potential fall in success for IVF patients under 'single-embryo' initiative.
20 October 2008 - by Sarah Pritchard
A study into the potential effects of transferring a single embryo (SET) into the womb during IVF treatment has revealed that success rates are likely to drop as a result. The study, published in the journal Human Reproduction, was undertaken by Dr Daniel Brison and his colleagues... [Read More]
Spanish 'saviour sibling' attracts pro-life opposition
20 October 2008 - by Ailsa Stevens
Last week saw the birth of Spain's first so-called 'saviour sibling' - a term used to describe babies conceived following embryo testing to ensure their umbilical cord blood will provide tissue-matched stem cells for an existing sick child. It is hoped that stem cells from baby 'Janvier's' cord... [Read More]
Genetic variations linked to schizophrenia
20 October 2008 - by Stuart Scott
A study of almost 500 individuals with schizophrenia has revealed 12 genetic variants thought to increase risk for the disease. Writing in Nature Genetics, the researchers, based at Cardiff University, Wales, UK, revealed that one variant, on chromosome 2, held particular significance. The researchers scanned the genomes... [Read More]
Test for breast cancer risk criticised
20 October 2008 - by Sarah Pritchard
Icelandic biotech company, DeCODE Genetics, last week launched a controversial genetic test to assess a woman's risk of the most common forms of breast cancer. The 1,625 dollar test, which has attracted criticism, comes at a time when new standards of best practice are being drawn up... [Read More]

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