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CONTENTS Issue #512
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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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Registering concern: should anonymous gamete donors be encouraged to reregister and if so how?
15 June 2009 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza
The entitlement to anonymity of UK sperm and egg donors ended in 2005, a development that has been welcomed by those who spent long years campaigning for it, and criticised by those who blame it for a current shortage of donor sperm and eggs. Because this change in law applies only prospectively, it remains difficult - if not impossible - for previous generations of donor-conceived individuals to locate their genetic parents and other genetic relatives. Initiatives such as UK DonorLink and it... [Read More]
Wrong embryo implanted in woman at Cardiff fertility clinic
15 June 2009 - by Ailsa Stevens
An embryo belonging to a couple being treated at a Cardiff fertility clinic was accidentally implanted into the wrong woman and subsequently destroyed. The prospects of Deborah, who is 40, having another child with her partner Paul, 38, are slim and both are said to be devastated that their last hope of conceiving a sibling for their six-year-old son has been lost.... [Read More]
Ten years on - personal genome sequencing for under £50K
15 June 2009 - by Adam Fletcher
The age of affordable genome sequencing is inching ever closer, spurred on last week by the announcement that San Diego biotech firm Illumina is launching its personal sequencing service for under $50,000. Speaking at the Consumer Genetics Show in Boston, Massachusetts, US, Jay Flatley - the president and CEO of Illumina - unveiled a service that represents the first time that an individual's genome can be sequenced so thoroughly, for such a (relatively) low price.... [Read More]
BBC to pay millions to IVF specialist in libel claim
15 June 2009 - by MacKenna Roberts
The BBC will be paying a steep legal bill, estimated between one and six million pounds, after settling a libel case with Dr Mohamed Taranissi, who is considered to be one of Britain's most successful fertility specialists.... [Read More]
Irish parents urged to sue HSE over right to cord blood harvesting
15 June 2009 - by Heidi Colleran
Ireland is being 'left way behind' in providing future sources of stem cells harvested from the umbilical cord blood of newborns, because of insurance-related policies preventing their collection. Professor Colin McGuckin, president of Novus Sanguis, an international research consortium on cord blood and stem cell research has called on Irish parents to sue the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE) when denied the service.... [Read More]
State-of-the-art DNA sequencing technology identifies ovarian cancer gene
15 June 2009 - by Dr Rebecca Robey
Canadian scientists have used highly-advanced new DNA sequencing technology to identify a single tiny genetic mutation that causes nearly all incidences of a rare and deadly type of ovarian cancer. The discovery may lead to new ways to diagnose and treat the cancer, and also raises the possibility that the new approach may be the key to advancing our understanding of the genetic causes of other rare cancers.... [Read More]
Genetic discrimination of people with family history of Huntington's disease
15 June 2009 - by Dr Sarah Spain
A study by researchers at the University of British Columbia in Canada and published in the British Medical Journal has shown that individuals at risk of Huntington's disease (HD) are often discriminated against by insurance companies, and also by their own relatives and friends. They also found that this discrimination was based on family history of the disease rather than any genetic test results.... [Read More]
Healthy diet may improve sperm quality
15 June 2009 - by Dr Sarah Spain
A diet rich in steak and other red meat might hinder a man's chances of conceiving a child, say Spanish researchers. According to their study published in the journal 'Fertility and Sterility', a healthy antioxidant-rich diet might be the key to sperm quality and motility. Men who eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, in particular peppers, spinach and citrus fruits, have higher quality and faster swimming sperm.... [Read More]
Congratulations Clare
15 June 2009 - by Sarah Norcross
Clare Lewis-Jones, Chief Executive of Infertility Network UK (I N UK) and More to Life, the largest national charity providing help, support and information to those suffering the effects of infertility, has been awarded a MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for her services to healthcare.... [Read More]
New Department of Health ministers following cabinet reshuffle
15 June 2009 - by Ailsa Stevens
Last week two new ministers were appointed to the UK's Department of Health as a result of Prime Minister Gordon Brown's recent cabinet reshuffle. Ben Bradshaw and Dawn Primarolo will be replaced by Mike O'Brian, previously minister at the Department for Energy and Climate change, and Gillian Merron, a parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Phil Hope will continue in his role as minister at the department.... [Read More]

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