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CONTENTS Issue #496
ESHRE response to 'How good a solution is single embryo transfer (SET) for fertility patients?'
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ESHRE response to 'How good a solution is single embryo transfer (SET) for fertility patients?'
23 February 2009 - by Professor Joep Geraedts
Whilst reading the Commentary by Norbert Gleicher recently published in BioNews (1), we were surprised and saddened that the same arguments given at the ESHRE annual meeting (2) last summer in Barcelona, were repeated without a clinical counterpart. ESHRE wishes to reaffirm its response to Gleicher last July; the complications... [Read More]
Fetal stem cell injections have caused benign brain tumours
23 February 2009 - by Dr Will Fletcher
Neural fetal stem cell injections, administered to a boy in Russia in an attempt to treat a rare genetic condition, have caused benign brain tumours to grow. This is the first documented example of such a complication in a human, although there have been reports of tumours... [Read More]
New study on genetic risks of IVF
23 February 2009 - by Sarah Pritchard
A large study has investigated the potential genetic risks to children conceived by in vitro fertilisation (IVF). It confirms earlier research indicating that babies born following assisted conception have a small increased risk of certain genetic health problems. The New York Times reports that in November last... [Read More]
Single HIV gene therapy may replace lifetime of drug therapy
23 February 2009 - by Ben Jones
A phase 2 trial for a radical new, 'one shot' treatment for HIV has shown small but promising results. The research at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), was published in the journal Nature Medicine and was described by the study leader Professor Mitsuyasu as a... [Read More]
Advance in gene therapy for cystic fibrosis
23 February 2009 - by Rosie Beauchamp
The results of a study carried out at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Iowa, US have reported significant development in the field of gene therapy. Published this week in the online journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the research documents the... [Read More]
Pharmacogenetic technique improves warfarin dosage setting
23 February 2009 - by Antony Starza-Allen
A new method of calculating the correct amount of warfarin - an anti-blood clotting medicine given to patients at risk of heart attacks or strokes - is believed to be more accurate that the current practice of adjusting the standard dosage through trial and error. The right amount of... [Read More]
A new target for brain tumour treatments
23 February 2009 - by Dr Charlotte Maden
A team of scientists in the US have identified genetic changes in specific types of brain tumours. The results, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, may shed light on the mechanism by which the deadly tumours grow. Each year 200,000 brain tumours are diagnosed in... [Read More]
UK government considers allowing gametes to be frozen for up to 55 years
23 February 2009 - by Katy Sinclair
Draft regulations proposed by the UK government would allow men and women at risk from infertility to freeze their sperm and eggs for a maximum of 55 years, as opposed to the current ten year limit. The purpose of the changes to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology... [Read More]
Having a parent with dementia could affect memory in midlife
23 February 2009 - by Alison Cranage
A study shows that people who have a parent with Alzheimer's disease or dementia may be more likely to have poor memory in middle age, if they also carry a gene called ApoEe4. The findings were presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 61st Annual Meeting in... [Read More]
HFEA letter calls on PCTs to follow new single embryo transfer policy
23 February 2009 - by Ailsa Stevens
Last week the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which oversees all UK fertility services, wrote to the NHS Directors of Public Health to outline the importance of ensuring that commissioning strategies are consistent with the HFEA's new multiple births policy. The policy aims to 'more than... [Read More]

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