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CONTENTS Issue #506
COMMENT
Commissioning and providing pre-implantation genetic diagnosis services
NEWS DIGEST
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Commissioning and providing pre-implantation genetic diagnosis services
5 May 2009 - by Dr Megan Allyse
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has recently consulted on its 8th Code of Practice, which covered the implementation of the new Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 and thus included the classification of 'serious' genetic conditions for which embryo testing should be licensed; however, HFEA approval of individual... [Read More]
Germany introduces new law to control genetic testing
3 May 2009 - by Dr Rebecca Robey
The German parliament has approved legislation severely restricting the use of genetic testing. Under the new laws, which have been debated for more than seven years, genetic tests may only be carried out under specific circumstances, and only then after professional medical consultation and with the consent... [Read More]
South Korea ends moratorium on embryonic stem cell research
3 May 2009 - by Heidi Colleran
South Korea's Presidential Committee on Bioethics has granted the first human embryonic stem (ES) cell research licence since their preeminent research scientist fell spectacularly from grace amidst allegations of scientific fraud and embezzlement, over three years ago. Cha Medical Center in the South Korean capital, Seoul, has... [Read More]
New study provides more genetic clues to autism
3 May 2009 - by Dr Sarah Spain
New research, led by Professor Hakon Hakonarson from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and published in the journal Nature, has identified for the first time common genetic variations that could explain 15 per cent of autism cases. Several genes have been previously linked to autism, but these... [Read More]
Fertility watchdog investigates serious IVF mix-ups at London hospital
3 May 2009 - by Dr Nadeem Shaikh
Three couples undergoing IVF treatment at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital, London, have had to have their embryos destroyed after the clinic used sperm from the wrong donor to fertilise the eggs. A spokesman for the clinic said that 'We identified potential problems with the eggs and... [Read More]
Day-glow dogs for genetic research
5 May 2009 - by Adam Fletcher
Researchers in South Korea have announced the creation of four healthy puppies that glow bright red under UV light. Reported in the journal Genesis, the team from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Seoul National University claim the new model will be of importance in the study... [Read More]
HFEA to debate using embryos as future 'body repair kit'
5 May 2009 - by Sarah Pritchard
The UK Government's fertility watchdog, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), is to debate whether couples should be allowed to store their embryos for future treatment and the creation of new body parts. At present, embryos can be stored for up to five years, during which... [Read More]
Infertile couples in the east of England to receive more IVF cycles
5 May 2009 - by Dr Charlotte Maden
The UK's National Health Service (NHS) announced last week that more state-funded IVF treatments are now available to couples in the east of England than anywhere else in the country. As of 1 May, the region will be the first in the UK to fund up to... [Read More]
'Nursemaid' cell could provide valuable information for IVF egg selection
5 May 2009 - by Rosie Beauchamp
A study has found genetic clues in the specialised cells that care for developing eggs, which could potentially help doctors to identify which would be the best eggs to choose during IVF treatment. Last week Dr Samir Hamamah from the Montpellier University Hospital in France presented the... [Read More]
HFEA rebuked by medical risk expert
5 May 2009 - by Ailsa Stevens
Following an inquiry into a series of IVF mix-ups at a top London hospital, an official has declared the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) - the UK Government's fertility watchdog - 'unfit for purpose' in a letter to chief medical offer Sir Liam Donaldson, according to a report... [Read More]
Biotech firm sells genome sequencing service on eBay
5 May 2009 - by Ailsa Stevens
A US Biotech firm has auctioned its personal genome sequencing service on eBay in a bid to raise money for the X-Prize Foundation - a charitable trust that aims to bring around radical breakthroughs by providing cash prizes to drive innovation. The publicity stunt was launched to raise... [Read More]

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