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CONTENTS Issue #561
COMMENT
NEWS DIGEST
REVIEWS
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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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Concerns about genetic testing on freshers at Berkeley
5 June 2010 - by Dr Megan Allyse
The University of California at Berkeley has recently received a great deal of attention for its revised curriculum for incoming first years which will offer students the opportunity to have a DNA sample analyzed for genetic variants... [Read More]
Canadian parliament must act on assisted human reproduction
7 June 2010 - by Professor Jocelyn Downie
In the past three months, three members of the Board of Directors of Assisted Human Reproduction Canada (AHRC) have resigned. This set of resignations is cause for serious concern and requires urgent attention from the federal Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Parliament itself.... [Read More]
Danish government cuts funding for IVF
5 June 2010 - by Dr Nadeem Shaikh
Political consensus in Denmark has resulted in an amendment to legislation governing IVF funding. According to the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), free public health services will no longer extend towards assisted reproduction treatments (ART).... [Read More]
Environmental factors do not heighten the genetic risks of breast cancer
7 June 2010 - by Dr Tamara Hirsch
Women who inherit genes linked to breast cancer have no greater risk than other women of developing the disease as a result of lifestyle choices, including hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and alcohol consumption, according to a recent study in The Lancet.... [Read More]
Gene linked to fetal abnormalities identified
7 June 2010 - by Rosemary Paxman
A newly identified genetic defect may help reduce fetal abnormalities such as Meckel-Gruber and Joubert syndromes, according to a new study in the journal Nature Genetics.... [Read More]
Jumping genes crucial for maintaining genetic diversity
7 June 2010 - by Victoria Kay
Genes with the ability to jump around the genome play a bigger role in maintaining human genetic diversity than previously thought, with major implications for the study of evolution, as well as for genetic disease's such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy and haemophilia.... [Read More]
Another member leaves Canada's AHRC
7 June 2010 - by Antony Starza-Allen
A third board member of Canada's fertility industry regulator, the Assisted Human Reproduction Canada (AHRC), has resigned. Irene Ryll, the agency's consumer representative, resigned from her duties leaving critics to call for a public investigation into its operations, or lack of... [Read More]
Identification of bowel cancer gene getting closer, say scientists
7 June 2010 - by Dr Sophie Pryor
US scientists have identified a region of DNA, which may contain a novel gene responsible for the progression and spread of colorectal (bowel) cancer.... [Read More]
Ohio senate bill proposes 'hybrid' ban
7 June 2010 - by Ben Jones
The Ohio (US) State Senate has passed legislation banning the creation of any embryo that would contain both human and animal DNA or tissues. Bill 243 proposes to ban the creation of 'human-animal hybrids'... [Read More]
Human embryonic stem cells (ES cells) cultured, say scientists
7 June 2010 - by Louise Mallon
Researchers have developed a method of creating large amounts of human embryonic stem (ES) cells using a new technique, which could help to treat a variety of diseases, according to new research published in the journal Nature Biology.... [Read More]
Personalised cancer therapy on the NHS
5 June 2010 - by Dr Lux Fatimathas
Cancer patients in the UK are to be treated with drugs specific to the genetic make-up of their individual tumours. A new initiative, to be launched by the NHS this autumn, will test the tumours of up to 6000 cancer patients a year for known genetic mutations.... [Read More]
Book Review: Choosing Tomorrow's Children - The Ethics of Selective Reproduction
7 June 2010 - by Dr Iain Brassington
To what extent is it permissible for people to choose for or against certain desired characteristics in their future children? There's a range of ways in which we might do this - for example, we might attempt to insert or delete a particular gene into or from a gamete prior to conception, or we might choose embryo C from the petri-dish over embryos A, B and D... [Read More]
Radio Review: Britain's Labs: Stem Cells
7 June 2010 - by Dr Karen Devine
BBC Radio 4's Stem cells provides a valuable insight into the current focus and prioritisation of stem cell research in the UK, which has received international support since US president, Barack Obama, put an end to the ban on the use of federal funding for embryonic stem cell research in the US... [Read More]

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