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CONTENTS Issue #483
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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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Is the embryo sacrosanct? - a Jewish view
9 November 2008 - by Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain
The title of this article is deliberately modest in its claims - 'a Jewish view' - for there is no such thing as 'the Jewish view'. As with Christianity or Islam, there are a wide range of different traditions, ranging from the ultra-conservative to the most liberal, and it is possible to... [Read More]
Islamic perspectives of ARTs: implications of divergences in Shari'a interpretation
10 November 2008 - by Dr Farouk Mahmoud
The desperation of the infertile, the scientific zeal of the physician and scriptural restrictions posed by Shari'ah appear to have different pathways.' Muslims constitute over a fifth of the global population, ninety per cent being Sunnis and the rest Shi'a. Of the 50-80 million infertile world-wide, more than half... [Read More]
Mice cloned from frozen brain cells
9 November 2008 - by Lorna Stewart
A team of scientists from the Riken Centre for Developmental Biology in Kobe, Japan have cloned healthy mice from the cells of animals frozen 16 years ago. The technique they used involved taking the nucleus of a cell from a frozen mouse and injecting it into a... [Read More]
Neuronal gene variant associated with language deficiency
9 November 2008 - by Adam Fletcher
UK scientists have made the first association between a gene variant and a language disorder prevalent in pre-school children. Dr Simon Fisher and his team, of the Wellcome Trust Centre, University of Oxford published their findings last week in the New England Journal of Medicine. The work... [Read More]
Woman in Canada begins lawsuit to find out her genetic identity
10 November 2008 - by Sarah Pritchard
A 26 year old woman in Canada conceived using donor sperm has begun legal action to attempt to make available the identities of anonymous sperm donors, including that of her own father. Olivia Pratten is acting on behalf of all those in British Columbia (BC) conceived using... [Read More]
Scientists map complete genome of cancer patient
10 November 2008 - by Alison Cranage
In a world first, scientists at Washington University, US, have sequenced the entire genome of a woman with acute myelogenous leukaemia (AML). They sequenced DNA from both normal skin cells and malignant tumour cells and found that 10 genes were mutated in the cancerous cells. The findings... [Read More]
Obama victory heralds change in US stem cell policy
10 November 2008 - by Antony Starza-Allen
President-elect Barack Obama's victory in last week's US presidential elections is being celebrated by supporters of embryonic stem (ES) cell research. Senator Obama has been a vocal advocate of removing the current restriction on federal funds for human ES cell research imposed by President Bush in 2001... [Read More]
Brain tissue from stem cells
10 November 2008 - by Stuart Scott
Functioning brain tissue has been produced from stem cells, in a world first experiment, offering insights into a number of neurodegenerative disorders and, ultimately, the possibility of improved treatments. Japanese researchers, based at the government funded research institute Riken in Kobe induced human embryonic stem (ES) cells... [Read More]
Survey shows Australians' lack of fertility knowledge
10 November 2008 - by Katy Sinclair
A study conducted by IVF Australia, the results of which were presented at the National Fertility Conference in Brisbane, has found that many Australian couples seeking IVF are largely ignorant of basic fertility facts. The clinicians conducting the study tested the fertility knowledge of 60 women who... [Read More]
Organ transplants from pigs within a decade?
10 November 2008 - by Dr Charlotte Maden
New organs from 'designer pigs' could be ready to use in humans within a decade. The hope is to transplant the organs into humans who require them to help solve the problem of the shortage of transplant organs. Lord Robert Winston, the fertility expert from Imperial College... [Read More]

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