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CONTENTS Issue #594
Two men and a baby: pedantic semantics
Consent and coercion in gamete and embryo donation
Book Review: The Genome Book - A Must-Have Guide to Your DNA for Maximum Health
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Two men and a baby: pedantic semantics
7 February 2011 - by Dr Julie McCandless
While most of us were trying to forget the overindulgence of the festive season, the news that Elton John and David Furnish had become parents following a surrogacy arrangement hit the headlines. It was not long before a magazine had a picture of this newly formed family on the front cover. In a supermarket in Arkansas it was deemed necessary by the store manager to censor their story and a grey plastic cover-up with the words 'Family shield. To protect young Harps shoppers' (usually reserve... [Read More]
Consent and coercion in gamete and embryo donation
7 February 2011 - by Dr Neil Manson
The donation of gametes and embryos must be done with the consent of the donor, otherwise important rights are breached. Valid consent must be voluntary and coercion can undermine voluntariness. But how is coercion defined? Coercion is where one or more parties force another party to act in a way that the coercing party desires, which means that it shares something with offers, incentives and persuasion, but differs by relying on the power of a credible threat.... [Read More]
Gay couple win 'surrogate twins' parenting case in Australia
7 February 2011 - by Ben Jones
An Australian gay couple who entered into a paid surrogacy arrangement has won a legal battle to acquire full paternity rights for the non-genetic father.... [Read More]
Couple have baby following new IVF technique
7 February 2011 - by Sujatha Jayakody
The first UK baby to have been conceived following a new IVF screening technique was born in December. Baby Elliott's parents tried to conceive for a decade before doctors offered them a combined genetic and embryo screening technique... [Read More]
US Undiagnosed Diseases Program identifies new genetic condition
7 February 2011 - by Rosemary Paxman
The genetic basis for a previously unexplained medical condition which causes a painful hardening of the arteries has been identified by the US Undiagnosed Diseases Program (UDP).... [Read More]
Study finds abnormalities in iPS Cells
7 February 2011 - by Leo Perfect
Adult human cells maintain a 'memory' when reprogrammed into a stem cell-like state, US scientists have found. The finding suggests the resulting induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are not yet a viable alternative to human embryonic stem (ES) cells for modelling or treating disease... [Read More]
India debates new surrogacy laws
7 February 2011 - by Nishat Hyder
The Indian Parliament is debating new surrogacy laws to establish a clear regulatory framework to reduce exploitation in its commercial surrogacy market. If passed in its current form, India will recognise surrogacy agreements as legally binding.... [Read More]
New genes linked to Parkinson's disease
7 February 2011 - by Dr Lucy Freem
Scientists have linked five more gene variants to the risk of developing Parkinson's disease... [Read More]
House of Lords debates HFEA
7 February 2011 - by Julianna Photopoulos
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) was once again the topic of a debate in the House of Lords on 1 February 2011. Following the proposed abolition of the HFEA and the Human Tissue Authority (HTA), Baroness Glenys Thornton asked how the UK government will maintain public confidence and patient safety.... [Read More]
Dorset couple affected by IVF rule change
7 February 2011 - by Dr Marianne Kennedy
A couple from Dorset expecting to receive two cycles of IVF on the NHS has spoke out against the trust after being told they could have access to only one.... [Read More]
Book Review: The Genome Book - A Must-Have Guide to Your DNA for Maximum Health
7 February 2011 - by Dr Marianne Kennedy
Genetics is creating more confusion than the offside rule in pub conversation. Most of us had limited teaching on the subject at school or we may have left before Watson and Crick ran out of the pub that night with the structure of DNA on a beer mat. We are left to soak in the media murkiness and skewed views of individuals, which could one day influence important decisions on our health.... [Read More]

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