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CONTENTS Issue #550
Radio Review: Moral Maze
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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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Cord blood in the car park: Cord blood stem cells, contamination and DIY collection exposed
16 March 2010 - by Dr Karen Devine
Back in 2002, I recall a story in Red magazine about a father who had allegedly collected the stem cells from his newborn baby's umbilical cord in the delivering hospital's car park. It said he had been handed the placenta - wrapped in newspaper - by the midwife and told that if he wanted to save the cord blood, it would have to be done outside. You might say that this is rather a strange place to procure such precious cells that have the ability to treat a range of blood cancers and disorder... [Read More]
Dialogue around cousin marriage is a positive step, but it must be based on fact not fiction
22 March 2010 - by Professor Marcus Pembrey
A report and analysis promoting Baroness Ruth Deech's views on cousin marriage, published in the Times newspaper on Saturday, makes some serious errors and does nothing to either clarify the true health impact of cousin marriage or help couples at risk of recessive genetic conditions... [Read More]
Problems with legislating against 'reproductive tourism'
22 March 2010 - by Dr Zeynep Gurtin
Earlier this month, the Turkish Ministry of Health revised its regulations pertaining to assisted reproduction technologies (ARTs). The new regulatory structure considerably extends the specifications and requirements for the practice of ARTs in Turkey, and introduces a range of additional prohibitions. Two new developments are particularly striking. The first stipulates that all women in their first cycle of IVF can only have a single embryo transferred, with a maximum of two embryos for wom... [Read More]
Genetic switch could accelerate wound healing
22 March 2010 - by Dr Marianne Kennedy
The ability for mammals to regenerate damaged tissue without scarring has been demonstrated for the first time by a research team based at the Wistar Insitute, Philadelphia... [Read More]
Canada turns a blind eye to egg 'donor' grey market
22 March 2010 - by MacKenna Roberts
The Canadian ban against women selling their eggs as a source of eggs for fertility treatments is reported to be systemically flawed in practice, according to an expose article published in the April 2010 edition of the Canadian magazine The Walrus. Journalist Alison Motluk interviewed egg 'donors' and recipients, fertility experts and regulators, revealing that the Canadian ban is as farcical as its loose interpretation of the word 'donor'. The article attributed the discrepan... [Read More]
New genetic test 'three times better' at detecting autism
22 March 2010 - by Dr Charlotte Maden
New research into diagnostic genetic tests for autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) has revealed the effectiveness of a new test that is currently not used in the first line of diagnosis. The findings were published online last week in the journal Paediatrics.... [Read More]
Overseas artificial insemination outlawed in Turkey
22 March 2010 - by Gozde Zorlu
Turkish women who go abroad to get pregnant via insemination by donor sperm face up to three years in prison after new regulations were passed by the country's Ministry of Health earlier this month.... [Read More]
Genetic information doesn't improve breast cancer risk prediction, large study finds
22 March 2010 - by Dr Rachael Panizzo
Breast cancer risk prediction does not improve significantly when genetic information is included in the risk prediction model, a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine has found.... [Read More]
Glowing fruit fly sperm may aid fertility research
22 March 2010 - by Seil Collins
By genetically engineering fruit flies, researchers from Syracuse University in the US have been able to track the fate of live sperm cells between insemination and fertilisation.... [Read More]
EXCLUSIVE: 'Rafflegate' doctor says Brits travelling to US for IVF
21 March 2010 - by Dr Vivienne Raper
'More and more' Brits are travelling to the US for donor egg IVF, according to a physician at the heart of last week's egg raffle controversy. The Genetics & IVF Institute (GIVF) near Washington DC has already treated around 10 British women and a further 15 - 20 are interested, Dr Laurence Udoff told reporters at a news briefing on Wednesday.... [Read More]
Porridge for your oats
22 March 2010 - by Dr Vivienne Raper
A Scottish fertility clinic is offering men free porridge if they donate sperm, in an attempt to tackle a sperm donor shortage... [Read More]
Stem cells used for pioneering windpipe transplant
22 March 2010 - by Dr Vivienne Raper
A UK child has become the world's first to receive a full windpipe transplant using an organ built from his own stem cells... [Read More]
Leading bioethicist to reignite debate on cousin marriages
22 March 2010 - by Dr Vivienne Raper
A leading bioethics professor and crossbench peer is to reignite the debate on the genetic risks of marriage between first cousins... [Read More]
Multiple births threaten marriages, study finds
22 March 2010 - by Dr Vivienne Raper
Parents of twins, triplets or more are more likely to divorce or separate than other couples with children, according to a report commissioned by a multiple birth charity.... [Read More]
Radio Review: Moral Maze
22 March 2010 - by Dr Gabrielle Samuel
'IVF doctors to raffle human egg' ran the Sunday Times headline on 14 March 2010. A seminar sponsored by an American clinic took place in London at which a human egg and a cycle of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment was awarded to one couple who attended... [Read More]

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