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CONTENTS Issue #498
COMMENT
Disclosing donor information: A new code of silence?
NEWS DIGEST
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Disclosing donor information: A new code of silence?
9 March 2009 - by Professor Eric Blyth
One of the first publicly-recorded actions of the HFEA's apparently ironically-named 'Opening the Register' (OTR) Working Group has in fact been to recommend reversal of the HFEA's current policy of disclosing gamete donor codes to patients and to 'strongly advise' centres to follow its lead (1). Neither of the Human... [Read More]
Parents denied use of dead son's sperm to father grandchild
8 March 2009 - by Dr Will Fletcher
A New York State appeals court has ruled that the parents of a man who died from cancer over a decade ago cannot use his frozen sperm to conceive a grandchild. Mark Speranza deposited his sperm in a tissue bank six months before his death in the... [Read More]
Could diabetes be prevented by vaccination against a common virus?
8 March 2009 - by Sarah Pritchard
Research funded by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation has indicated that the onset of diabetes might be triggered by a common virus, especially in children who develop the type 1 diabetes. Dr Alan Foulis, a pathologist in Glasgow, collected data from 72 children who died less than... [Read More]
US IVF clinic reverses decision to offer embryo tests for eye and hair colour
8 March 2009 - by Dr Nadeem Shaikh
A US clinic, which offered to help prospective parents choose their IVF offspring on the basis of certain traits of physical appearance, has suspended its planned introduction of this service due to the criticism it recieved. A statement on the centre's website said: 'we remain sensitive to... [Read More]
Stem cell breakthrough gives hope to those affected by muscle wasting diseases
9 March 2009 - by Rosie Beauchamp
It was reported this week in the journal Stem Cell that a group of researchers from the University of New South Wales, Australia, have made a major breakthrough in the success of regrowing damaged muscle tissue using adult stem cells. Previous research carried out at the University... [Read More]
New research may offer fresh hope to people affected by Parkinson's disease
9 March 2009 - by Rose Palmer
Scientists at the Whitehead institute for Biomedical Research in Massachusetts have successfully transformed human skins cells into stem cells that could be used to study and find treatments for Parkinson's disease. At the same time they removed the viruses usually used in the process, thereby minimising the... [Read More]
Obama to lift ban on ES cell research
9 March 2009 - by Ailsa Stevens
US President Barack Obama has announced plans to lift the ban on the federal funding of embryonic stem (ES) cell research, put in place by his predecessor George W Bush more than eight years ago. Obama is expected to sign an executive order legalising the use of... [Read More]
HFEA issues new guidance on who can be legal parent
9 March 2009 - by Ben Jones
The UK's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has released guidance that so long as an individual is willing to take on the legal rights and responsibilities of parenthood, they may be named on the birth certificate of a child born through fertility treatment. In addition the... [Read More]
'Octomom' backlash causes US states to propose new laws on fertility clinics
9 March 2009 - by MacKenna Roberts
Public outrage over the IVF-conceived octuplets born in January to Nadya Suleman in California has led US legislators in Missouri and Georgia to propose laws that would limit the number of embryos a woman may have implanted when receiving a single fertility treatment. Georgia Senator Ralph Hudgens... [Read More]

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