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CONTENTS Issue #591
Book Review: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
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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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Study of patients' experiences highlights need for national strategy for rare diseases
17 January 2011 - by Stephen Nutt
A report released recently by Rare Disease UK (RDUK) demonstrates how patients and families affected by rare diseases frequently have problems accessing good quality services, care and support. The report, 'Experiences of Rare Diseases: An Insight from Patients and Families'[1], is based on a survey of 600 patients and families conducted by RDUK to examine a wide range of topics pertinent to patients with rare diseases: diagnosis, participation in research, access to treatment, information, ... [Read More]
Paying gamete and embryo donors: what are the right principles?
17 January 2011 - by Walter Merricks
We regard it as morally wrong to buy or sell babies. We do not allow a trade in human body parts - kidneys, organs or blood. Commercial arrangements to pay fees to surrogate mothers are banned. The UK's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) says there is a 'shortage' of donated gametes and embryos - in the sense that there are fewer gametes and embryos that have been donated than the number of people who would like to receive them. There are also 'shortages' of babies available... [Read More]
Canadian court hands fertility regulation to provinces
17 January 2011 - by MacKenna Roberts
The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that several key powers to regulate and licence fertility practices under Canada's Assisted Human Reproduction Act (the Act) should fall under provincial jurisdiction.... [Read More]
Parental gene carrier testing could soon be available
17 January 2011 - by Victoria Kay
A new genetic test could lead to the elimination of hundreds of inherited diseases, US scientists claim.... [Read More]
IVF clinics to inform patients about birth defect risks
17 January 2011 - by Dr Lucy Freem
Clinics should warn patients about the increased risk of birth defects for children conceived using fertility treatment, say the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA).... [Read More]
Maternal test for Down's syndrome may reduce need for invasive diagnosis
17 January 2011 - by Owen Clark
New research suggests that Down's syndrome could be detected using genetic screening, avoiding the need for invasive detection procedures.... [Read More]
UK Department of Health publishes letter on IVF funding
17 January 2011 - by Chris Chatterton
Over the last few months BioNews has covered the developing story that a number of PCTs across England have suspended their fertility services, citing financial constraints as a prominent factor.... [Read More]
Birth of politician's IVF child sparks debate in Japan
17 January 2011 - by Kyrillos Georgiadis
A Japanese MP has sparked a debate over the country's attitudes towards motherhood after giving birth to a baby boy through IVF at the age of 50.... [Read More]
Survey suggests that Americans are willing to pay a premium for genetic tests
17 January 2011 - by Rosie Beauchamp
A recent study suggests American consumers would be prepared to pay on average up to $600 for a predictive genetic test where no direct treatment is available.... [Read More]
Type of treatment and cause of infertility are key factors in IVF success, study finds
17 January 2011 - by Dr Marianne Kennedy
Scientists have found that the health of infants born through IVF depends on which techniques were used and their infertility diagnoses.... [Read More]
Stem cell lines show high genetic variation, study finds
17 January 2011 - by Julianna Photopoulos
An international team of researchers have found that both embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) show higher genetic abnormalities than other cells.... [Read More]
Book Review: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
17 January 2011 - by Rose Palmer
This is an extraordinary book about a woman who died on 4 October 1951, but whose legacy will continue exponentially. Henrietta Lacks was a poor black tobacco farmer who died, aged only 31, in the 'coloured ward' of John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.... [Read More]

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