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CONTENTS Issue #616
COMMENT
Is it a harm to be born with different skin colour to your parents?
NEWS DIGEST
REVIEWS
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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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Is it a harm to be born with different skin colour to your parents?
18 July 2011 - by Professor Sally Sheldon
The Northern Ireland Court of Appeal last month ruled on the case of A and B brought by twins born with different skin colour to their parents and to each other. Upon their birth, it had been discovered that their mother had been mistakenly inseminated with sperm from a 'Caucasian (Cape-coloured)' donor... [Read More]
Blood stem cell discovery may revolutionise transplants
18 July 2011 - by Dr Rebecca Robey
Canadian scientists have identified a master stem cell that is capable of becoming any of the different types of cell found in blood. The discovery offers hope of alternative treatments for people who would normally require bone marrow transplants to replenish their blood supply, for example those with cancer or blood disorders... [Read More]
Genes linked to spinal arthritis
18 July 2011 - by Sarah Pritchard
A team of international researchers have identified several new genetic variants that are involved in a type of incurable spine arthritis – ankylosing spondylitis (AS) – offering hope for novel treatments for those with the condition... [Read More]
Brain cells made from skin
18 July 2011 - by Dr Lux Fatimathas
US researchers have successfully converted human skin cells directly into brain nerve cells, skipping an intermediate stem cell stage. The new technique has the potential to aid research into neurodegenerative disorders of the brain, such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.... [Read More]
Stem cell trial for eye diseases begins
18 July 2011 - by Dr Sophie Pryor
Doctors in the USA have begun treating patients in two clinical trials for degenerative eye diseases. The studies at the Jules Stein Eye Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), will test whether specialised eye cells, which have been produced from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), can be used to treat dry age-related macular degeneration (dry AMD) and Stargardt's macular dystrophy.... [Read More]
Mouse gets lab-grown tooth transplant
18 July 2011 - by Rosemary Paxman
A tooth grown from stem cells and successfully implanted into the jaw of a mouse has been hailed as a step towards the development of human organs grown from a patient's own cells... [Read More]
Stem cell therapy may help angina patients
18 July 2011 - by Dr Sarah Spain
Researchers at Northwestern University, Chicago, USA, have reported that the injection of stem cells into heart tissue can significantly improve the symptoms of those with severe angina. They found that exercise tolerance was increased and the number of pain episodes was halved, compared to those not given the injections.... [Read More]
Human history is written in everyone's genome
18 July 2011 - by Mehmet Fidanboylu
Two scientists claim to have pushed the boundaries of what can be learned about the ancestral history of the human race from one person's genome. Dr Richard Durbin and Dr Heng Li from the UK's Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge used information from the genomes of only seven individuals... [Read More]
Is Westerners' love of junk food and booze genetic?
18 July 2011 - by Chris Chatterton
Scottish scientists have identified a genetic region that may have a role to play in why humans crave 'fatty foods'. The researchers, from Aberdeen University, identified a DNA region close to the galanin (GAL) gene that helps to regulate the production of this protein... [Read More]
HFEA makes first set of decisions following Donation Review
18 July 2011 - by Sandy Starr
The UK's fertility regulator, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), has made its first set of decisions following the outcome of its recent consultation on sperm and egg donation, known as the Donation Review... [Read More]
Book Review: Reprogen-Ethics and the Future of Gender
18 July 2011 - by Dr Malcolm Smith
This edited essay collection tackles the ethics of reprogenetics; the intersection of reproductive and genetic technologies. The essays cover the role of gender in reprogenetics and the overlap between gender, assisted reproduction and genetic enhancement. The book is divided into five sections, each with several sub-chapters... [Read More]
TV Review: Sextuplets - The Little Lambs    
18 July 2011 - by Daniel Malynn
'Sextuplets: The Little Lambs' tells the extraordinary story of the Lamb family. Vicky and Andy Lamb are the first parents of sextuplets born in Britain for 17 years... [Read More]

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