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CONTENTS Issue #503 (14 April 2009)
COMMENT
Screening for Alzheimer's Disease?
NEWS DIGEST
REVIEWS
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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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Screening for Alzheimer's Disease?
14 April 2009 - by Alison Cranage
This week BioNews reports a study that shows a gene variant (APOEe4) known to increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease is involved in the way our brains function (1). Some headlines stated that 'people could be screened for Alzheimer's disease risk', but at the moment it is not easy to... [Read More]
Same sex couples to have equal recognition on birth certificates
14 April 2009 - by Sarah Pritchard
New legislation has came into force in the UK which will help to create a 'level playing field' for same-sex couples undergoing IVF treatment. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008, which received Royal Assent in November last year, makes provision for both women in a civil... [Read More]
Recession threatens UK stem cell progress
14 April 2009 - by Ben Jones
Two studies co-ordinated by researchers at the University of Nottingham have warned that the development of stem cell therapies is coming under threat as a result of the recession. The research, published by the University's Institute of Science and Society, also warns that without urgent changes in... [Read More]
UK team identifies genetic flaw that triggers skin cancer
14 April 2009 - by Dr Will Fletcher
Up to 70 per cent of cases of malignant melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, may be triggered by a mutation in the BRAF gene caused by ageing and over-exposure to the sun. Details of the new findings were published in the journal Cancer Cell... [Read More]
'Bone patching' stem cell treatments developed
14 April 2009 - by Rose Palmer
A team of scientists at Keele University are working on an injectable stem cell shot that will repair joints and bones anywhere in the body. The research was presented at the UK National Stem Cell Network annual conference in Oxford. Professor Alicia El Haj and Professor John... [Read More]
Possible setback for genetic medicine as deCODE Genetics faces bankruptcy
14 April 2009 - by MacKenna Roberts
The impending financial demise of leading human genetics biotechnology company deCODE Genetics is seen as a direct blow to genetic medicine and ultimately signalling wider ramifications for the impact of the global financial crisis on the genomics industry as a whole. Chief executive Kari Stefansson announced, on... [Read More]
Texan judge permits post-mortem sperm collection
14 April 2009 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza
The mother of a 21-year old Texan man who died following a fight outside a bar has obtained a court ruling in her favour allowing her to collect sperm from her son's body post-mortem. Nikolas Colton Evans died last March but although his mother had already... [Read More]
Discovery of gene defect in mice will help allergy research
14 April 2009 - by Dr Charlotte Maden
Scientists in Scotland, Ireland and Japan have found a genetic defect in mice that mimics inflammation seen in allergic diseases such as eczema. The defect in the filaggrin gene could be used in research to further understand these diseases. Eczema is inflammation of the skin, which causes... [Read More]
Brain over-activity may help predict Alzheimer's disease in later life
14 April 2009 - by Ailsa Stevens
Scientists from the UK's Oxford University and Imperial College London have shown that carriers of a gene variant which increases Alzheimer's risk by up to ten times may have increased brain activity in a key area of the brain, long before symptoms of the disease develop. The... [Read More]

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