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CONTENTS Issue #590
Book Review: Drawing the Map of Life - Inside the Human Genome Project
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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BioNews Appeal
10 January 2011 - by Sarah Norcross
Thanks to all of you who have already donated to the BioNews Appeal over Christmas. BioNews faces tough financial challenges in 2011 and just a small gift from all our readers would make a big difference... [Read More]
Letting family members know about genetic conditions; how and when?
10 January 2011 - by Professor Anneke Lucassen and Dr Emy Lucassen
Advances in genetic and genomic research mean that the identification of a genetic condition or a genetic susceptibility to disease is increasingly becoming a routine part of health care. Many more highly predictive genetic tests are available today than there were just a few years ago and for some conditions (for example, certain types of cancer or heart disease), there are proven surveillance or prevention strategies which can reduce morbidity or mortality... [Read More]
International Surrogacy: progress or media hype?
10 January 2011 - by Louisa Ghevaert
International surrogacy has become big news. Last month, a landmark international commercial surrogacy case, Re L, attracted front page national headlines. Hard on its heels the media spotlight fell on the birth of Elton John and David Furnish's US surrogate born son, Zachary, on Christmas Day. This has fuelled the debate about surrogacy and the question is why has it generated such attention?... [Read More]
Elton John and partner announce the birth of their first surrogate child
10 January 2011 - by Seil Collins
Elton John and David Furnish announced the birth of their first child, Zachary Kackson Levon Furnish-John born on Christmas day to a surrogate mother in California.... [Read More]
First 'saviour sibling' stem cell transplant performed in UK
10 January 2011 - by Dr Jay Stone
A life-saving tissue transplant from a 'saviour sibling' has been carried out entirely in Britain for the first time.... [Read More]
UK's first surrogacy advice centre opened
10 January 2011 - by Harriet Vickers
The UK's first centre to advise same-sex couples wanting to have children will open later this month. Tony and Barrie Drewitt-Barlow will run the British Surrogacy Centre in Essex to guide couples through the surrogacy process... [Read More]
Online tool for predicting IVF success launched
10 January 2011 - by Dr Gabrielle Samuel
Researchers have developed a calculator that they claim can be used to provide people who are having fertility problems with an assessment of the likelihood of having a successful outcome following IVF... [Read More]
Human embryos may lose legal protection, UK fertility watchdog claims
10 January 2011 - by Antony Starza-Allen
The chair of the UK's fertility regulator has said a principle governing how human embryos are used in research may be undermined by proposed changes to UK research governance. Professor Lisa Jardine warned the ''safeguarding of the 'special status of the embryo'' could be lost... [Read More]
Hundreds may share mutant gene with 18th-century 'giant'
10 January 2011 - by Dr Lux Fatimathas
UK researchers have identified the genetic mutation that caused an 18th Century Irish man to grow to a height of seven and a half feet. This was the result of a growth disorder called gigantism. Studies of four modern day Irish families also presenting with similar growth disorders, showed they too expressed the same genetic mutation.... [Read More]
Mice affected by what their dad ate
10 January 2011 - by Dr Sophie Pryor
A father's diet can affect the way his offspring's genes function, according to the authors of a study on mice. Scientists found information about the diet of male mice can be passed to their offspring, causing changes to the 'switching on and off' of genes involved in processes like metabolism. The research could one day help identify people at higher risk of illnesses like diabetes and heart disease... [Read More]
Faulty stem cells may cause male pattern baldness
10 January 2011 - by Dr Rachael Panizzo
Faulty stem cells may cause the onset of male pattern baldness, scientists have found. Professor George Cotsarelis and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia discovered that stem cells are present in the hair follicles of both bald and hairy scalp regions in men with male pattern baldness... [Read More]
Book Review: Drawing the Map of Life - Inside the Human Genome Project
10 January 2011 - by Dr Vivienne Raper
The quest to sequence the first human genome has all the ingredients of a good thriller. Privately funded maverick scientist Dr Craig Venter raced the government-sponsored Human Genome Project (HGP) to be the first to sequence the human genetic code. When the draft code was finally published in 2001, it became one of the landmark scientific advances of the last decade... [Read More]

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