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CONTENTS Issue #604
Is preconception genetic testing and screening eugenic?
Call for views on emerging biotechnologies
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Is preconception genetic testing and screening eugenic?
18 April 2011 - by Dr Calum MacKellar
Genetic testing and screening of prospective parents before conception to examine the inheritance of a genetic condition is a new area for discussion. The Human Genetics Commission's (HGC) report 'Increasing options, informing choice: A report on preconception genetic testing and screening', published last week, is thus timely and raises several serious ethical issues... [Read More]
Call for views on emerging biotechnologies
18 April 2011 - by Professor Michael Moran
The Nuffield Council on Bioethics has launched a consultation on the ethical issues raised by emerging biotechnologies. Following discussions about the ethical issues raised by synthetic biology, nanotechnology, stem cell research, genomics and other fields besides, the Council realised that these issues could be profitably examined together... [Read More]
Legal case brings France's surrogacy laws into focus
18 April 2011 - by Nisha Satkunarajah
France's highest court has denied French citizenship to 10-year-old twins born to a French couple using a surrogate in the USA, reaffirming the country's ban on surrogacy... [Read More]
Stem cell research may help our understanding of schizophrenia
18 April 2011 - by Ruth Pidsley
Skin cells from four people with schizophrenia have been successfully reprogrammed into an embryonic-like state and then transformed into brain cells. The research, published in Nature, offers scientists a novel way to study the causes of schizophrenia... [Read More]
Stem cells used to create 'fetal kidneys'
18 April 2011 - by Dr Rosie Morley
Scientists at Edinburgh University have grown kidney structures in the laboratory in a step they hope will lead to organs being grown for transplant patients from their own stem cells... [Read More]
Study finds genetic link to premature birth
18 April 2011 - by Mehmet Fidanboylu
Researchers from Finland and the USA have identified a gene linked to an increased risk of premature birth. Previous research has looked at the mechanisms for synchronising fetal maturation and birth in animals... [Read More]
Canadian study suggests that single-embryo transfer is safer option
18 April 2011 - by Dr Sophie Pryor
The authors of a new Canadian study have recommended a mandatory policy of single embryo transfer in an aim to reduce health complications arising from multiple births.... [Read More]
Surrogate mother who kept baby wins claim for support
18 April 2011 - by Ayesha Ahmad
A couple must pay over £500 monthly maintenance to a surrogate mother who decided to keep the baby... [Read More]
Scottish Conservatives promise to end IVF 'postcode lottery'
18 April 2011 - by Kyrillos Georgiadis
The Scottish Conservatives have revealed that one of their main priorities is improving access to fertility treatment on Scotland's NHS. The party plans to set up a five million fund to help patients seeking treatment should they be elected into power... [Read More]
An age old story, longevity is genetic, study claims
18 April 2011 - by Dr Nadeem Shaikh
A research team from King's College London led by Dr Guangju Zhai has completed a meta-analysis of seven genetic studies looking at the role of the hormone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS), and how it may affect the ageing process in humans... [Read More]
Book Review: Unnatural - The Heretical Idea of Making People
18 April 2011 - by Dr Rachael Panizzo
What does Mary Shelley's Frankenstein have in common with Ridley Scott's 'Blade Runner', Kazuo Ishiguro's 'Never Let Me Go' and Aldous Huxley's 'Brave New World'? According to Philip Ball, these are all permutations of the myth of anthropoieia - the artificial creation of human life... [Read More]
TV Review: Bodyshock - Dad's Having a Baby
18 April 2011 - by Daniel Malynn
On Thursday 7 April 2011, Channel Four aired a documentary in its Body Shock series, titled 'Dad's having a baby'. The documentary follows the family life of Tom and Scott. Scott was born Jessica, but identified as male. He had a partial sex change, but remained legally female. Tom - born Laura - also identified as male, had a full sex change and became legally male. The couple met in California, married and adopted Logan aged 11 and Greg aged 13... [Read More]

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