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CONTENTS Issue #587
Event Review: Nature, Nurture or Neither? The View from the Genes
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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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Donor anonymity to bite the dust in South Australia
6 December 2010 - by Professor Eric Blyth
Australia has been a noted pacemaker in the field of assisted reproduction. It was the first nation to report embryo relinquishment for family-building, and a pregnancy and live birth from a previously cryopreserved human embryo. The Australian state of Victoria was among the world's first jurisdictions to remove the rights of gamete and embryo donors to remain anonymous... [Read More]
Progress Educational Trust conference - Cross-border reproduction: Who oversees overseas?
6 December 2010 - by Rachel Lloyd
In a cold room on a Wednesday afternoon within the Institute of Child Health in London, talk turned to warmer climes during session two of the Progress Educational Trust (PET)'s annual conference. Even though the temperature of the room was cold, the debate surrounding who does (and should) oversee overseas cross-border reproductive care 'hotted up'... [Read More]
Science 'express concern' over publication of 'flawed' longevity gene paper
6 December 2010 - by Owen Clark
Serious doubts have been raised over the validity of a study on the genetic basis on longevity published in the journal Science.... [Read More]
UK stem cell report published
6 December 2010 - by Dr Gabrielle Samuel
More than 200 patients' lives could be saved each year following recommendations published in a new report, focusing on improving the availability and quality of stem cell transplants in the UK... [Read More]
Study claims genetic link to unfaithfulness
6 December 2010 - by Dr Lux Fatimathas
American researchers suggest a genetic element to an individual's sexual behaviour. A genetic variant of the dopamine receptor gene, DRD4, was found to be more common in people displaying higher rates of sexual promiscuity and infidelity.... [Read More]
Stockport PCT stops IVF funding
6 December 2010 - by Kyrillos Georgiadis
Stockport NHS Trust has announced it is to stop funding IVF treatment for new patients. The Primary Care Trust (PCT), which is attempting to implement spending cuts totalling £21 million, will allow patients currently on its IVF waiting list to receive one cycle of treatment... [Read More]
WikiLeaks uncovers DNA 'espionage'
6 December 2010 - by Sarah Pritchard
A recent disclosure by WikiLeaks of tens of thousands of sensitive diplomatic cables includes instructions to US diplomats to collect biometric information on 'key civilian and military officials' including 'fingerprints, facial images, DNA, and iris scans'.... [Read More]
No overall increase in cancer risk following IVF treatment, study finds
6 December 2010 - by Rosemary Paxman
A new study has shown that IVF may not be linked to an increased risk of certain cancers among female patients. A team of Swedish researchers concluded that although cancer or cancer treatment may increase the need for IVF, the risks of cancer post-IVF treatment were low... [Read More]
Scientists find key protein involved in prostate stem cell maintenance
6 December 2010 - by Julianna Photopoulos
A protein that regulates prostate stem cell self-renewal and maintenance has been identified by US researchers. The so-called Bmi-1 protein also plays a role in the transformation of healthy prostate cells into cancerous ones... [Read More]
Lord Rees queries wisdom of abolishing HFEA
6 December 2010 - by Ben Jones
Lord Rees, outgoing President of the Royal Society, has raised concerns over the abolition of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) saying that it may affect the Government's ability to make well informed policy decisions... [Read More]
Northern Ireland judge dismisses claim brought by children after IVF 'mix-up'
6 December 2010 - by Antony Starza-Allen
Northern Ireland's High Court of Justice has rejected a claim for damages brought by two children born as a result of IVF treatment provided to their mother which resulted in them being of different skin colour than intended... [Read More]
Event Review: Nature, Nurture or Neither? The View from the Genes
6 December 2010 - by Harriet Vickers
Overweight families have overweight cats, Detroit has a higher murder rate than the UK and a flock of goldfinches is called a charm. All these effects are evidently mainly environmental. They're caused by overfeeding, more gangs and guns, and the standard and focus of education, respectively. But Steve Jones, professor of genetics at University College London, UK, argued last week these factors are often overlooked because of our obsession with genetics... [Read More]

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