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CONTENTS Issue #507
The future of stem cell therapy: let's get real
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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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The future of stem cell therapy: let's get real
12 May 2009 - by Paul Martin and Emma Rowley
Regenerative medicine, including stem cells and tissue engineering, holds great hope for the future in terms of addressing the unmet health needs of patients. In particular, much attention has been paid to the potential of novel stem cell based therapies following a series of major scientific breakthroughs and media reports... [Read More]
Africa is most genetically diverse continent, DNA study shows
10 May 2009 - by Dr Sarah Spain
In the most comprehensive study of African genetic diversity to date, a team of international scientists, led by Dr Sarah Tishkoff from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, US, has revealed Africa to be the most genetically diverse continent on Earth. The findings could be used as... [Read More]
Largest ever trial brings male contraceptive jab a step closer
10 May 2009 - by Heidi Colleran
By Heidi Colleran: Scientists in China have completed the largest ever trial to assess the effectiveness of a male hormonal contraceptive, which showed it achieved a 99 per cent success rate over the two and a half years of the study. Researchers at the National Research Institute for Family Planning... [Read More]
Genes identified that influence gambling patterns and anger management
10 May 2009 - by Dr Rebecca Robey
Your inclination towards taking a gamble and whether or not you can keep your cool if you lose are both partly influenced by your genes, according to two new studies. The two research teams, from the UK and Germany respectively, each identified a gene variant that affects... [Read More]
Memories restored in mice
12 May 2009 - by Alison Cranage
Research published last week in Nature shows that decreasing the effects of a gene called HDAC can boost thinking skills and memory in mice. The researchers, led by Dr Ji-Song Guan at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), US, hope that with further research the drug used... [Read More]
Narcolepsy is an autoimmune disorder
12 May 2009 - by Dr Will Fletcher
Genetic evidence has been uncovered suggesting that narcolepsy is an autoimmune disease, confirming the long-held suspicions of many experts. A team from Stanford University School of Medicine, US, led by Dr Emmanuel Mignot, recently showed that a specific type of immune cell known as a 'T-cell' is... [Read More]
New insights into how cancer spreads to the brain
12 May 2009 - by Dr Charlotte Maden
Scientists in the US have identified a gene that could allow cancer cells to enter the brain. The work, published in Nature, sheds new light on the spread of cancer, and could provide new therapeutic targets in the future. The most deadly aspect of cancer is metastasis... [Read More]
Setback for Down syndrome prenatal blood test
12 May 2009 - by Ben Jones
The effectiveness of a prenatal test for Down syndrome has been thrown into doubt after its developers, Sequenom, admitted that study data had been 'mishandled' by its employees. The company, which had been producing apparently strong results in house for its DNA and RNA blood testing products... [Read More]
Controversial children's book explains IVF, donor conception and gay surrogacy
12 May 2009 - by Nisha Satkunarajah
A controversial new publication has been released in Australia providing young children with detailed explanations of sexual intercourse, assisted conception and adoption. Entitled 'Where Do I Come From?', the book aims to provide simple, non-judgmental descriptions of conception and birth, and includes topics such as donor insemination... [Read More]
Correction: Commissioning and providing pre-implantation genetic diagnosis services
12 May 2000 - by BioNews
Last week BioNews published a commentary reporting that the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) is currently consulting on Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD). In fact the consultation closed on Wednesday 18 February and formed part of a wider consultation into the HFEA's 8th Code of Practice and consent forms. The... [Read More]
Clarification: HFEA rebuked by medical risk expert
12 May 2009 - by BioNews
Last week BioNews reported on a letter published in The Sunday Times newspaper in which Brian Toft, professor of patient safety at Coventry University, declared the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) - the UK Government's fertility watchdog - 'unfit for purpose'. BioNews would like to clarify that Professor Toft is not... [Read More]
Correction: Fertility watchdog investigates serious IVF mix-ups at London hospital
12 May 2009 - by BioNews
Last week BioNews reported that, speaking to The Sunday Times, an HFEA spokesperson said that mistakes due to human error only occur in 0.5 per cent of cases. BioNews has since been informed by the HFEA that this figure was misquoted in the newspaper, and that the true figure for... [Read More]

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