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CONTENTS Issue #577
Goodbye BioNews, and thanks
Can we learn anything from internet sperm traders?
Theatre Review: Firing Blanks
BioNews Appeal: Please donate HERE to keep BioNews independent and FREE to read

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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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Goodbye BioNews, and thanks
23 September 2010 - by Dr Kirsty Horsey
It feels very strange to no longer be a BioNews editor, having been doing this for the best part of the last ten years and having been associated with Progress Educational Trust (PET) for even longer than that. For one thing, I'm not entirely sure yet what I'm going to do with my Mondays.... [Read More]
Can we learn anything from internet sperm traders?
27 September 2010 - by Professor Allan Pacey
Thanks to the successful conviction of two men from Reading, we now know trading in fresh sperm on the internet is illegal. Sounds like a lesson in the obvious, but this is the first time the law has been clarified - after many years of watching several of these so-called businesses appear and disappear. Hopefully, we will now finally see an end to such operations... [Read More]
Fertility drugs may not be responsible for mood changes
24 September 2010 - by Sarah Pritchard
Research suggests the anxiety and depression some women experience when undergoing IVF may not be linked to the hormone drugs used in the treatment... [Read More]
Large study links new genes to asthma
27 September 2010 - by Ken Hanscombe
A new study queries the role of allergy in the development of asthma, and suggests that a different disease process is involved in childhood and adult-onset asthma. Asthma is a complex condition with genetic and environmental factors, although experts believe it has a strong heritable component.... [Read More]
IVF children found to do better in tests
27 September 2010 - by Owen Clark
Children conceived through IVF fertility treatment perform at least as well as their peers, according to a new US study.... [Read More]
Gut stem cells may help to treat cancer
27 September 2010 - by Matthew Smart
Scientists from Cancer Research UK, Cambridge have suggested a new model for gut stem cell renewal. It was thought that gut stem cells could only renew themselves via a process of hierarchical cell division... [Read More]
US 'gene therapy' scientists forced to retract papers
27 September 2010 - by Dr Jay Stone
Questions continue to be asked after Dr Savio Woo, a gene therapist at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, was forced to retract two more of his papers last week. Dr Woo has retracted six papers this year after two of his post-docs, Li Chen and Zhiyu Li, were accused of scientific misconduct.... [Read More]
Leaked letter 'proves' fertility watchdog faces last bark
24 September 2010 - by Dr Vivienne Raper
The UK's fertility regulator is on a Government 'hit list' of quangos facing abolition, according to a letter leaked this week. The letter, dated 26 August, supposedly from Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude to other ministers lists the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) among 177 quangos due to be axed... [Read More]
Gene linked to late-onset Alzheimer's disease
27 September 2010 - by Alison Cranage
US scientists have identified a gene which they suggest is associated with Alzheimer's and could help uncover the causes of the disease.... [Read More]
Stem cell study offers hope for hereditary blindness condition
27 September 2010 - by Dr Rachael Panizzo
Researchers have successfully transplanted retinal cone cells into blind mice, making progress towards a stem cell treatment for a form of blindness that causes degeneration of the eye's retina... [Read More]
Controversy over sickle cell testing of athletes in US
27 September 2010 - by Seil Collins
The US National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has introduced new legislation requiring all incoming students at the highest level of intercollegiate athletics to be tested for sickle cell trait. The testing, which will affect approximately 170,000 incoming student-athletes, is being watched closely as a case study of modern large-scale genetic screening... [Read More]
Human Genetics Commission faces uncertain future
27 September 2010 - by Dr Vivienne Raper
The UK Government's advisory body on new developments in human genetics faces an uncertain future after it appeared on a leaked list of 177 quangos facing Government review and abolition. Members of the Human Genetics Commission (HGC) received an email on Friday from the Department of Health (DH) apologising for the leak in the Daily Telegraph newspaper, but not contradicting its substance... [Read More]
'NHS has a responsibility to provide fertility services', says minister
27 September 2010 - by Dr Vivienne Raper
Health secretary Andrew Lansley has warned Bury Primary Care Trust (PCT) over plans to suspend IVF treatment as a cost-cutting measure, the Manchester Evening News reports. The trust aimed to stem a £1.3 million per month overspend by 'temporarily suspending' routine IVF treatment for new patients below a certain age. Patients already having treatment would continue to receive it... [Read More]
Theatre Review: Firing Blanks
27 September 2010 - by Anoushka Shepherd
After a critically acclaimed run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Tom Spencer's 'Firing Blanks' comes to the Tristan Bates Theatre in Covent Garden, London... [Read More]

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