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CONTENTS Issue #487
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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.

Fathers or donors? The legal position of friends who act as informal sperm donors
8 December 2008 - by Natalie Gamble
I read with interest the article in BioNews and reply commentary from Berenice Golding about the recent Vitabiotics survey finding that over half of women would consider asking a friend to father their child. As a solicitor who has represented many single women and lesbian couples conceiving with 'friends' as... [Read More]
University College Cork becomes the first Irish university to regulate stem cell research
8 December 2008 - by Claire McDermott
University College Cork (UCC), one of the biggest universities in Ireland, recently released a press statement to the effect that they had passed a new code of practice which should be followed in the event of any researcher at the university wishing to carry out research on imported embryonic stem... [Read More]
Fertility patients' indecision about fate of stored embryos
7 December 2008 - by Sarah Pritchard
A study undertaken in the US has revealed that fertility patients with frozen embryos in storage are unhappy with the options available in relation to embryo disposal. Anne Drapkin Lyerly MD, an obstetrician/gynaecologist and bioethicist at Duke University was lead investigator of the study published online... [Read More]
Controversial test to 'determine sporting fate' is released in US market
8 December 2008 - by Adam Fletcher
A simple genetic screen will help you decide which sport your child is most suited to. That is the claim made by Atlas Sports Genetics (ASG), of Colorado, US, in the launch last week of their new genetic test. Although previously marketed in several other countries, this... [Read More]
Study shows passive smoking causes fertility problems
8 December 2008 - by Katy Sinclair
Research published by scientists at the US University of Rochester Medical Centre in the Journal of Tobacco Control reveals that women exposed to second-hand smoke as children or young adults have an increased likelihood of experiencing miscarriages or trouble conceiving. The research team studied 4,800 women treated... [Read More]
New guidelines drawn up in fight against rogue stem cell clinics
8 December 2008 - by Ben Jones
The International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) has this week warned patients against unproven stem cell treatments being offered by rogue clinicians. The calls were made to governments to tighten their regulatory regimes to crack down on those exploiting the vulnerable with claims of revolutionary stem... [Read More]
Gene linked to the placebo effect
8 December 2008 - by Dr Charlotte Maden
The susceptibility of patients to the placebo effect has been linked to a gene by researchers in Sweden. The findings, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, provide clues as to how some patients can respond to taking a placebo, usually a sugar pill, instead of the real... [Read More]
New blood test for fetal genetic disease shows promise
8 December 2008 - by Evelyn Harvey
By Evelyn Harvey: A new method for early detection of genetic diseases in unborn babies using a simple blood test can detect the inherited condition beta-thalassemia, according to a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Although the technique, which analyses cell free fetal DNA (cffDNA) present... [Read More]
Victorian upper house passes fertility bill
8 December 2008 - by Antony Starza-Allen
The Upper House of Victoria's Parliament has passed the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Bill by 20 votes to 18. The legislation will mean Victorian laws meet federal discrimination legislation by ensuring all women have equal access to fertility treatment. At present, lesbians and single parents have to travel... [Read More]

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