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CONTENTS Issue #556 (4 May 2010)
COMMENT
NEWS DIGEST
REVIEWS
Book Review: Learning to Live with Huntington's Disease - One Family's Story
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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. 


Visit the BioNews website at www.bionews.org.uk where you can subscribe for free to receive BioNews by email in one of three formats, and search the archive of more than 8,000 articles.

traitsBirth certificates: a new era?
30 April 2010 - by Louisa Ghevaert
Birth certificates have been a hot topic in the UK in recent weeks. There has been much controversy, confusion and misunderstanding, aptly shown by Caroline Gammell's article in The Daily Telegraph newspaper and Colin Fernandez's article in the Daily Mail on 19 April incorrectly hailing the advent of the first lesbian couple to both be named as parents on their baby daughter's birth certificate, born 31 March this year. Lesbian couples have not in fact had to wait until the beginning of April... [Read More]
England’s libel laws are unjust, against the public interest and internationally criticised - there is an urgent need for reform
30 April 2010 - by Sile Lane
On 15 April the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) dropped its libel action against the science writer Simon Singh, bringing to an end a case that had cost 200,000 and taken two years of Simon's life. The BCA had sued Simon following an article he wrote in the Guardian newspaper criticising chiropracty for children... [Read More]
Michigan Senate passes stem cell regulation bill
4 May 2010 - by Nisha Satkunarajah
The Michigan State Senate (US) has passed legislation which would lead to tight monitoring and regulation of research using stem cells derived from human embryos. The legislation prohibits the sale or purchase of human eggs and would also require research facilities, including universities, to file annual reports listing how many human embryos they have stored and other data... [Read More]
IVF blunders doubled in one year
4 May 2010 - by Seil Collins
The number of reported mistakes at IVF centres in England and Wales has doubled over one year, rising from 182 in 2007/08 to 334 in 2008/09. Incidents range from technical failures to serious mix-ups. Cases where embryos have been lost, implanted into the wrong patient, or fertilised with the wrong sperm have all been reported.... [Read More]
First use of whole genome scan to tailor medicine and lifestyle choices
4 May 2010 - by Dr Sophie Pryor
Whole genome analysis has been used for the first time to gather clinically-useful information about the risk of developing diseases later in life. Stephen Quake, an apparently healthy, middle-aged professor of bioengineering at Stanford University in California, volunteered to have his entire genetic code screened. He was found to be at increased risk of developing diabetes, some cancers and of having a heart attack... [Read More]
US woman accuses employer of genetic discrimination after breast cancer test
4 May 2010 - by MacKenna Roberts
A Connecticut woman who had a voluntary double mastectomy after genetic testing is alleging her employer wrongfully terminated her job after learning she carried a gene implicated in breast cancer... [Read More]
MS twin study suggests environment plays key role
4 May 2010 - by Dr Gabrielle Samuel
Environmental factors, rather than genetics, may play a key role in multiple sclerosis (MS), according to new research published in Nature... [Read More]
Genes may affect smoking addiction
4 May 2010 - by Harriet Vickers
Scientists have identified a number of genetic mutations that appear to be associated with the number of cigarettes people smoke a day, the chance of taking up smoking, and the ability of being able to quit smoking... [Read More]
Key US stem cell lines returned to use
4 May 2010 - by Dr Nadeem Shaikh
US-based scientists working on embryonic stem cell (ES cell) research are relieved that the most important cell lines in their field have been approved for research by new government guidelines. During the Bush administration, US government funding for research involving ES cells was restricted to just 20 cell lines, all of which were in existence before 9 August 2001... [Read More]
Heart bypass 'leftovers' yield stem cells
4 May 2010 - by Ruth Pidsley
Stem cells have been successfully extracted from veins left over from heart bypass surgery. Scientists hope that such cells could be used in the treatment of future heart conditions by stimulating the growth of new arteries... [Read More]
Book Review: Learning to Live with Huntington's Disease - One Family's Story
4 May 2010 - by Dr Vivienne Raper
Huntington's Disease affects families as much as individuals; affected parents have a 50 per chance of passing it to their children. This fact makes this book describing the effects of Huntington's on an entire family such a thought-provoking read. And it's funny, chatty and uplifting too... [Read More]

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