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CONTENTS Issue #548
COMMENT
NEWS DIGEST
REVIEWS
Book Review: Marginalised Reproduction - Ethnicity, Infertility and Reproductive Technologies
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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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Are there 'genes for' traits?
8 March 2010 - by Professor John Dupré
It's hard to avoid press stories about 'the gene for' something, because they appear with monotonous regularity. On the day I wrote this, the media reported the discovery of a 'gene for longevity'. The story clearly implied that lifespan is pretty much fixed at conception - contradicting stories elsewhere in the paper... [Read More]
Are genetic markers helpful in understanding psychological disorders?
8 March 2010 - by Sandy Starr
In their concluding remarks, all three speakers said the answer to the question implicit in the event's title - if you are genetically predisposed to a neurodevelopmental disorder, does this effectively mean you are marked for life? - is an emphatic 'no'. Nonetheless, they had divergent views on the likelihood of successfully applying the fruits of genetic research into mental health... [Read More]
Asda to offer cut-price IVF drugs
8 March 2010 - by Maren Urner
The UK supermarket chain Asda is to become the first to sell IVF drugs without profit, saving patients up to £820 per treatment cycle. The move is part of the retailer's bid to become the most competitive pharmacy in the UK.... [Read More]
Genetic test to improve breast cancer treatment
8 March 2010 - by Dr Sophie Pryor
Scientists have developed a way to identify six key genes which, if faulty, can prevent particular chemotherapy drugs from working in patients with breast cancer. The findings bring cancer therapy one step closer to the promise of targeted treatments for patients, based on the genetic characteristics of their tumours.... [Read More]
Gene therapy could reverse lethal muscle-wasting disease
8 March 2010 - by Ruth Pidsley
A team of researchers based at Ohio State University, USA, have used gene therapy to restore nerve and muscle function and prolong life in mice with a form of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a lethal childhood muscle-wasting disorder. Results from the study, published in the journal Nature Biotechnology, were so encouraging that the researchers hope to progress to human trials within two years... [Read More]
Prison lifer wants fertility treatment
8 March 2010 - by Kyrillos Georgiadis
A drug dealer serving a life sentence is awaiting a Government decision on whether he can have artificial insemination, after being granted permission by prison bosses... [Read More]
Scientists make fat in flower-shaped moulds
7 March 2010 - by Gozde Zorlu
Whether a stem cell develops into bone or fat can be determined by the type of mould it is grown in, scientists at the University of Chicago have found... [Read More]
Genetic markers poor at heart disease prediction
8 March 2010 - by Dr Rachael Panizzo
A genetic risk score based on several genetic markers associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) does not improve the prediction of CVD risk, research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has suggested... [Read More]
US stem-cell therapy gets helping hand from FDA
8 March 2010 - by Harriet Vickers
A US company has been granted beneficial 'orphan drug' status by the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for an embryonic stem cell therapy it's developing to treat a rare form of blindness... [Read More]
Genes linked to babies' first teeth time
8 March 2010 - by Dr Vivienne Raper
Babies with few teeth on their first birthday are more likely to need corrective dental surgery by age 30, a study has found. The UK and Finnish researchers also discovered ten genetic variants influencing tooth development during a baby's first year... [Read More]
Gut bug genomes sequenced
8 March 2010 - by Seil Collins
Scientists have catalogued the genes of microbes living in our gut, information that could be crucial in assessing the impact of microbes on our health. The study, published in Nature, reports the sequencing of 3.3 million microbial genes, a gene set 150 times larger than the human genome.... [Read More]
Book Review: Marginalised Reproduction - Ethnicity, Infertility and Reproductive Technologies
8 March 2010 - by Sarah Norcross
When leading family researcher Professor Susan Golombok says a book is 'important and highly illuminating' and 'it should be read by everyone with a connection to the field', I thought I should add it to my 'to do' list... [Read More]

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