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CONTENTS Issue #486
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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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RNF135 is responsible for a new overgrowth syndrome
1 December 2008 - by Dr Deirdre Cilliers
Dr Deirdre Cilliers has won the inaugural Alan Emery Prize for her paper 'Mutations in RNF135, a gene with in the NFL microdeletion region, cause phenotypic abnormalities including overgrowth' (1). The award is made by the Royal Society of Medicine's Medical Genetics Section. Professor Alan Emery, a distinguished geneticist with... [Read More]
Posthumous retrieval of gametes: a response
1 December 2008 - by David Josiah-Lake
As the solicitor for L, I take issue with the factual and legal inaccuracies in the Bionews article headed 'Posthumous Retrieval of Gametes: A Case of Deja vu?' It was accepted at court by all (the Government, the HFEA and ourselves) that the Blood case had not properly clarified the... [Read More]
Is the embryo sacrosanct? Multi-faith perspectives
1 December 2008 - by Katy Sinclair
The annual conference of the Progress Educational Trust - 'Is the embryo sacrosanct? Multi-faith perspectives' - was expertly chaired by Baroness Haleh Afshar, Founder and Chair of the Muslim Women's Network and Visiting Professor of Islamic Law at the University of Strasbourg. The panel comprised Anil Bhanot, General Secretary of the Hindu... [Read More]
Legal challenge over 'hybrid embryo' research
28 November 2008 - by Dr Megan Allyse
Two independent pressure groups are claiming that licenses allowing research into the creation of human admixed embryos are unlawful and that research should be halted immediately. A UK High Court judge heard arguments in London last Wednesday on whether or not to initiate judicial review of the... [Read More]
Research links genetic variant and poor diabetes control to coronary artery disease
30 January 2008 - by Alison Cranage
A recent study has shown that a common genetic variation which increases the risk of developing coronary artery disease (CAD) in the general population, has a greater effect in those with type two diabetes. The study, led by Dr Alessandro Doria at the Joslin Diabetes Centre, Harvard... [Read More]
Numbers of Down's syndrome births rise in UK and fall in Denmark
30 November 2008 - by Sarah Pritchard
Numbers of babies being born in the UK with Down's syndrome are increasing to higher levels than before prenatal screening was widely available. Births of Down's syndrome babies have risen to a figure of 749 in 2006 compared with 717 in 1989, the year screening was introduced... [Read More]
Cancer patients' compensation claim for lost sperm reaches Court of Appeal
1 December 2008 - by Ben Jones
A group of legal claims over sperm samples lost due to a freezer breakdown in 2003 last week reached the Court of Appeal in London. Five men and the widow of a sixth are seeking compensation in respect of the lost sperm samples, which were taken before... [Read More]
'Moonlighting' protein shown to underpin ageing in mice
1 December 2008 - by Adam Fletcher
A team has uncovered a striking genetic phenomenon in mice that adds depth to our understanding of cellular ageing. The group, led by molecular biologist David Sinclair at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, US, published its study in the journal Cell last week. The research suggests... [Read More]
Genetics of leukaemia relapse revealed
1 December 2008 - by Dr Charlotte Maden
Scientists have uncovered key genetic changes in the cancer-causing cells when childhood leukaemia recurs. It is hoped that the findings can be used to help beat the disease. Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), a cancer of the blood and bone marrow, is the most common form of childhood... [Read More]
Correction: Posthumous retrieval of gametes: a case of deja vu?
1 December 2008 - by BioNews
In BioNews issue 484 we published a commentary on the recent 'L' decision. Since that time, we have been in communication with Diane Blood and also the solicitor acting for 'L' with respect to the article's accuracy. In the light of the comments made by these parties, we have altered... [Read More]

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