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CONTENTS Issue #501
COMMENT
A toast to BioNews and Zoe, the world's first frozen embryo baby
NEWS DIGEST
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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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A toast to BioNews and Zoe, the world's first frozen embryo baby
30 March 2009 - by Sarah Norcross
The very fact that the 500th edition of BioNews went out last Monday demonstrates the dedication of the BioNews team. On Friday 20 March I received a letter from the landlord of our office stating that we would have to leave at 4pm on Monday as they would be starting... [Read More]
Gene link to melanoma in younger women
30 March 2009 - by Dr Rebecca Robey
US scientists have found a link between a variant in the gene MDM2, called MDM2 SNP309, and the occurrence of melanoma in younger women. The study, published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, found that MDM2 SNP309 was significantly more common in women who were diagnosed with... [Read More]
US sperm bank has 'frequent donor' sale
30 March 2009 - by Ben Jones
One of the United States' oldest sperm banks, Xytex International, has reduced prices on many samples from its large inventory as a result of the current economic situation. The company, founded in 1975 in Augusta, has cut prices in the face of the financial downturn and as... [Read More]
Genetic variations contribute to heart rate and risk of sudden cardiac death
30 March 2009 - by Alison Cranage
A study published in Nature Genetics last week has identified gene variants that affect a person's heart rate, and risk of sudden cardiac death. The team led by Christopher Newton-Cheh at Massachusetts General Hospital (US), found 14 variants in ten gene regions that are associated with differences... [Read More]
Studies reveal higher pregnancy and birth rate with single embryo transfer
30 March 2009 - by Antony Starza-Allen
By Antony Blackburn-Starza: Two recent studies, published in the journal Human Reproduction last week, have revealed that implanting a single embryo during IVF procedures may result in improved pregnancy rates and could also be cheaper than when implanting two embryos. Although implanting two or more embryos can improve chances of... [Read More]
Genetic tests could reduce premiums, says insurer
30 March 2009 - by Ailsa Stevens
Customers who undergo genetic testing to discover their risk of developing certain diseases may be offered lower premiums regardless of whether they disclose the results, a leading UK insurance company has said. The company believes that individuals who discover they are at increased risk of a disease... [Read More]
Extra funds for fertility services in Northern Ireland
30 March 2009 - by Ailsa Stevens
The UK government has announced an extra £1.5 million to help improve access to fertility services in Northern Ireland. It is estimated that 600 people join waiting lists for fertility treatment in Northern Ireland every year. It is hoped the extra funding will help reduce waiting times... [Read More]

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Sarah Norcross
Director, Progress Educational Trust
140 Gray's Inn Road
London, WC1X 8AX