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CONTENTS Issue #546
TV Review: Having a Baby to Save My Child
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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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Keeping libel laws out of science - fighting for our right to debate
22 February 2010 - by Dr Jay Stone
During my endeavours to explore science communication, I came across a UK charity called 'Sense about Science' (SAS), a non-profit charity trust that work with over 2000 scientists and civic groups to respond to misrepresentations of science in the public domain. SAS believes in good science communication and in promoting public understanding of science to prevent panic and confusion. The topical publications it produces - such as 'Making sense of GM' - are easy to read and appeal to all leve... [Read More]
Licensing 'saviour siblings': Why the HFEA is right
22 February 2010 - by Dr Malcolm Smith
Two recent Bionews commentaries have considered the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority's (HFEA) review of the case-case approach to licensing PGD (preimplantation genetic diagnosis) for late-onset disorders and the use of pre-implantation tissue-typing (PITT) for the creation of 'saviour siblings'. This article considers further, some of the underlying reasons why the HFEA approach to case-by-case licensing of PITT is justified.... [Read More]
Fresh fears over the promise of iPS cells
22 February 2010 - by Dr Sophie Pryor
A new study has cast doubt over how useful human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells could be for research and the treatment of degenerative disease... [Read More]
Genetic variants linked to early-onset dementia
22 February 2010 - by Ruth Pidsley
An international team of scientists have identified two genetic variants associated with fronto-temporal dementia (FTD), a common form of early onset dementia. The study, published in Nature Genetics, could help in the search for new treatments to tackle the disease.... [Read More]
Low-cost DNA test could be available soon
22 February 2010 - by Maren Urner
A fast, low cost DNA test that can reveal a person's chances of developing certain inherited diseases could soon be a reality, scientists in Scotland have said. The test involves testing a patient's saliva to identify disease-related variations in their genetic code and is faster and cheaper than conventional methods, according to the study published in the journal Angewandte Chemie.... [Read More]
Scientists create 'designer' genetic code
22 February 2010 - by Sarah Pritchard
Scientists have created a new way of using the human genetic code, by adding 'designer' amino acids to the proteins in DNA to alter its biochemical behaviour. The research could pave the way to the development of what lead researcher Jason Chin is calling 'a parallel genetic code'.... [Read More]
Cut-price DNA test could prove costly, experts warn
22 February 2010 - by Ben Jones
An Australian insurance firm has become the subject of criticism after offering customers reduced price genetic tests while providing in the small print that the results are to be made available for consideration by life insurance providers should they desire them.... [Read More]
Bushmen neighbours are genetically continents apart
22 February 2010 - by Dr Rachael Panizzo
Comparing the genomes of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and !Gubi, a Khoisan elder from the Kalahari, reveals that, although they are geographical neighbours, their genomes are as different from each other as they are from European or Asian individuals. These findings, published in the journal Nature, reflect the extent of human genetic diversity on the African continent.... [Read More]
Ontario couples fight for state-funded IVF
22 February 2010 - by Dr Nadeem Shaikh
Sixty infertile couples protested on Canada's annual Family Day holiday against a lack of provincial government funding for IVF treatment. The February rally was organised by the group Conceivable Dreams, which represents 1,100 infertile couples who say they are suffering because the government refuses to help them.... [Read More]
US single embryo transfers on the rise
22 February 2010 - by Alison Cranage
The percentage of IVF cycles using elective single embryo transfer has increased since 2007, according to a report released last week.... [Read More]
TV Review: Having a Baby to Save My Child
22 February 2010 - by Anoushka Shepherd
I think the producers of this emotive BBC One documentary sought to challenge criticisms of saviour siblings by presenting the heartbreaking, desperate struggle that two couples face in their battle against time to create the miracle baby that will save their child's life... [Read More]

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