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CONTENTS Issue #515
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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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If the same standards were applied to IVF centres as cardiac surgery, then one in five IVF centres in UK would be closed immediately'. True or False?
6 July 2009 - by Professor Gedis Grudzinskas
Having been Medical Director and Person Responsible of at least two of the largest UK IVF centres in both public and private sectors for twenty years, but now in independent practice, one may experience a very different perspective of quality care in IVF centres. This perspective is arrived at quickly and is inevitable, probably for the reasons listed below. One might argue that IVF does not affect patients' lives in the same way as cardiac surgery does. This is perhaps true. However, given t... [Read More]
Banking crisis - what should be done about the sperm donor shortage?
6 July 2009 - by Antony Starza-Allen
An acute shortage of donor sperm is diminishing the capacity of the UK's public and private health sectors to treat infertility, resulting in growing concern and lengthening waiting lists at clinics. The shortage is widely attributed to the removal, in 2005, of entitlement to donor anonymity. The Progress Educational Trust, with support from the Royal Society of Medicine and the British Fertility Society (BFS) staged a panel discussion on Thursday 25 June 2009 entitled 'Banking Crisis - what ... [Read More]
Restrictive IVF access prompts thousands to travel abroad for treatment
6 July 2009 - by Sarah Pritchard
The results of a new study into cross-border fertility treatment in Europe indicate that every year, thousands of women from Britain are travelling abroad to access treatment which is unavailable to them at home.... [Read More]
UK lags behind the rest of Europe in IVF
6 July 2009 - by Antony Starza-Allen
Britain is languishing behind other European countries in the number of IVF cycles provided for infertile couples and Brits are three times less likely to undergo IVF than those living in Denmark and Belgium, a study reveals.... [Read More]
Possibilities for more ovarian transplants
6 July 2009 - by Alison Cranage
Two studies reported at the annual conference of the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) in Amsterdam last week show advances in ovarian transplant techniques. The advances could make the procedure available to women seeking to avoid fertility problems as they age.... [Read More]
One-Stop Genetic Test For Embryos Unveiled
6 July 2009 - by Dr Will Fletcher
A one-step gene mapping test for identifying genetic and chromosomal abnormalities in embryos may be available in the UK within a year. The technique, known as karyomapping, can screen for almost any inherited disease and is much faster than those currently available as it does not need prior knowledge of the specific gene mutation involved. The method was unveiled last week at the annual conference of the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), in Amsterdam, after res... [Read More]
Possible Test For IVF Success
6 July 2009 - by Dr Charlotte Maden
Scientists in Ireland have discovered a group of genes that could potentially be used to predict the success of IVF treatment. The prospect of a clinical test for IVF success was raised at the annual conference of the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), in Amsterdam, last week.... [Read More]
Lord Winston labels egg freezing an 'expensive confidence trick'
6 July 2009 - by Ben Jones
Lord Winston, emeritus Professor of Fertility Studies at Imperial College London and pioneer of IVF, has criticised fertility clinics for over-hyping egg freezing services. In an interview with the Daily Mail newspaper he accuses providers of creating false optimism in the effectiveness of the procedure particularly where signing up patients for purely 'social' reasons. Before use of egg freezing grows further he calls for more research into both the effects of egg freezing on the ability to ... [Read More]
Daily sex good for your sperm, intense cycling damaging
6 July 2009 - by Dr Rebecca Robey
New research presented at the 25th annual conference of the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), held in Amsterdam last week, points towards factors affecting sperm quality and male fertility. Frequent sex and avoiding extreme levels of cycling training have both been indicated as playing a key role in maintaining healthy sperm.... [Read More]
Genes Provide Clue For Schizophrenia Risk
6 July 2009 - by Dr Will Fletcher
Thousands of tiny genetic variations that could collectively be responsible for more than a third of the inherited risk of schizophrenia have been identified for the first time. Data was pooled from three separate studies and reanalysed to uncover the results. Further, a common genetic basis was found for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, which have previously been considered as separate conditions. The three linked papers describing the research were published together online in the journa... [Read More]
Progenitor cells to fix a broken heart
6 July 2009 - by Adam Fletcher
An effective treatment for heart disease has been brought closer to reality thanks to work published last week in the journal Nature. Dr Kenneth Chien and colleagues at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, US, have identified a specific embryonic stem (ES) cell that gives rise to each of the various tissues that make up the heart. The finding explains how hearts develop.... [Read More]
Mother Sues Over False Negative Cystic Fibrosis Test
6 July 2009 - by Ben Jones
A Scottish woman is suing Lothian Health Board for medical negligence after a cystic fibrosis (CF) test performed on her while pregnant produced a false negative result. The 41 year old woman from Edinburgh provided a mouthwash sample during her pregnancy in 1994, which tested negative for mutations in her CF gene. However, after her son was born in 1995, it was found that he had inherited the condition from her. Though the test was reported as negative, the claimant alleges that it was actua... [Read More]

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