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CONTENTS Issue #578
The challenge of genetics and consanguinity for General Practice
Why we shouldn't abolish the HFEA
Film Review: The Switch / The Back-Up Plan
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The challenge of genetics and consanguinity for General Practice
4 October 2010 - by Dr Rizwan Alidina and Dr Mohamed Walji
A Dispatches programme on rare genetic conditions and cousin marriage aired a few weeks ago ignited much debate. Many people commenting on the programme were correct to say consanguinity alone isn't the issue. However, the high rate of autosomal recessive disorders in some communities remains an important issue, regardless of its intricate and complex causes. This needs to be addressed, preferably with input from general practitioners... [Read More]
Why we shouldn't abolish the HFEA
4 October 2010 - by John Parsons and Michael Savvas
The Government is considering dismembering the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) and dividing its responsibilities between the Care Quality Commission, a proposed new research regulator and possibly an expanded Health and Social Care Information Centre [1]. We believe that, although the HFEA is not perfect, such changes would be a retrograde step and should be resisted... [Read More]
Stem cell doctor struck off by GMC
4 October 2010 - by Antony Starza-Allen
A doctor has been struck off by the General Medical Council (GMC) for exploiting vulnerable patients by administering 'pointless' and 'unjustified' stem cell treatments... [Read More]
A tall story: genetic factors in height determination
4 October 2010 - by Julianna Photopoulos
Scientists have identified hundreds of common gene variants that may be associated with height, according to research published in the journal Nature... [Read More]
ADHD genetics is a complex issue, say experts
4 October 2010 - by Chris Chatterton and Rose Palmer
Last week researchers from Cardiff University published a study in the Lancet, where they claimed to have uncovered evidence of a genetic link to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)... [Read More]
Researchers uncover genetic clues to migraine
4 October 2010 - by Dr Lux Fatimathas
International researchers have identified a genetic mutation found in some migraine sufferers, which may be responsible for increased pain sensitivity in the brain and a higher likelihood of a migraine being triggered. The finding could allow new treatments to be developed that target the pain associated with migraines... [Read More]
Study reveals 'gender bias' in IVF treatment
4 October 2010 - by Ken Hanscombe
The probability of having a male baby is affected by fertility treatments, Australian scientists have found. The national population-based study is the first to assess the impact of fertility treatments on the ratio of boys to girls born... [Read More]
Stem cells used to restore woman's shattered leg
4 October 2010 - by Louise Mallon
A pioneering technique that uses stem cells to rebuild damaged tissue and generate new bone growth has been used by surgeons to treat a woman's broken legs... [Read More]
Study finds gene linked to male infertility
4 October 2010 - by Owen Clark
A study has shown that mutations in the NR5A1 gene may be responsible for many unexplained cases of male infertility.... [Read More]
Caffeine may help with IVF treatment side effects
4 October 2010 - by Matthew Smart
Researchers have found a molecule that they believe plays a key role in ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) - a potentially life-threatening condition that can arise from IVF treatment.... [Read More]
Professor Robert Edwards awarded Nobel Prize for pioneering work in IVF
4 October 2010 - by Antony Starza-Allen
British scientist Professor Robert Edwards, 85, has been awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in medicine for his ground-breaking IVF work... [Read More]
Film Review: The Switch / The Back-Up Plan
4 October 2010 - by Ruth Saunders
The Switch and The Back-Up Plan are films about donor insemination and the single woman. Two New York women opt to use a donor's sperm after their dreams of settling down with 'Mr Right' and starting a family don't go to plan. Both films treat the topic of donor insemination as rom-com territory rather than the makings of a gritty drama... [Read More]

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