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CONTENTS Issue #502
COMMENT
Parenthood and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008
NEWS DIGEST
REVIEWS
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Parenthood and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008
6 April 2009 - by Julie McCandless and Professor Sally Sheldon
The new 'status provisions', regulating who shall be treated as the parent of a child conceived via donor insemination and/or IVF, come into effect this week. In this commentary we outline how the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act (2008) has reworked these provisions and raise a number of issues... [Read More]
NHS not supporting cord blood stem cell banking for personal use
6 April 2009 - by Sarah Pritchard
Some UK National Health Service (NHS) hospitals are banning the collection of umbilical cord blood at birth unless it goes into a public blood bank rather than being stored for future use by the individual. King's College hospital in London and Watford General hospital in Hertfordshire have... [Read More]
Sperm protein is new target for a male contraceptive
6 April 2009 - by Adam Fletcher
Researchers from the University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences in Tehran, Iran, have stumbled upon two heritable mutations that lead to infertility in men. The finding, published last week in the American Journal of Human Genetics, has opened up a promising avenue of research for the... [Read More]
Stem cell breast augmentation trials under way
6 April 2009 - by Ailsa Stevens
'Natural' breast implants, using stem cells extracted from a woman's own stomach or thigh tissue, could soon be offered to women in the UK following the announcement of a trial beginning in May this year. Although the experimental treatment has already been successfully trialled on a small... [Read More]
US judge allows product liability claim for defective sperm
6 April 2009 - by Antony Starza-Allen
A US judge has allowed a 13-year old girl from Pennsylvania with a genetic condition known as 'fragile X' to sue in tort and contract law the sperm bank from which the sperm she was conceived with was obtained after it was discovered that it was... [Read More]
World's largest twin database will help us to understand the genetics of rare diseases
6 April 2009 - by Dr Will Fletcher
Plans for a new database of 300,000 pairs of twins have been unveiled by researchers at Kings College London. The £20 million TwinBank project will be ten times larger than the biggest twin samples assembled previously and will allow scientists to investigate the genetic and environmental origins... [Read More]
New breast cancer genes located
6 April 2009 - by Lorna Stewart
Research published last week in Nature Genetics reports the discovery of two new genes which alter a woman's risk of developing breast cancer. The study, led by Cancer Research UK, was a collaboration between more than 100 scientists across 16 countries. It brings the total number of... [Read More]
Stem cells could reverse deafness
6 April 2009 - by Ailsa Stevens
Scientists based at Sheffield University, UK, have successfully created human inner ear cells from fetal stem cells, according to a study published in the journal Stem Cells last week. The ability to replace damaged or abnormal inner ear cells, using ones grown in the lab, could in... [Read More]

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