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CONTENTS Issue #618
COMMENT
NEWS DIGEST
REVIEWS
Book Review: Biotechnology and Cloning
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The ethics of womb donation and transplantation
1 August 2011 - by Dr Morven Shearer
Last month news broke of an experimental womb transplantation surgery planned for early next year. With it came the possibility of women with an absent or non-functioning uterus carrying a child to term (see Roberts, 2011).... [Read More]
Health disparities in the age of personalised medicine?
1 August 2011 - by Connie St Louis
The intersection of racial categories and emerging genetic technology is bound to be vexed given - for example - the long history of eugenics and segregation in the United States. Although the topic has received little attention among the UK general public, pharmaceutical companies on both sides of the Atlantic are investing huge amounts of research and development into individually tailored drugs - pharmacogenetics.... [Read More]
Scientists to sequence hundreds of prostate tumours
1 August 2011 - by Dr Charlotte Maden
Two new initiatives have been launched by Cancer Research UK, aiming to increase the understanding of prostate and oesophageal cancers which will speed up the development of personalised treatments for patients.... [Read More]
NHS stem cell services get £4 million cash injection
1 August 2011 - by Alison Cranage
The UK Government has recently announced a £4 million investment in stem cell services. The funding will enable NHS Blood and Transplant and charity Anthony Nolan to work together to increase UK cord blood collection and expand and improve adult stem cell donor registers... [Read More]
Sperm donor had 24 kids and a fatal genetic mutation
1 August 2011 - by Rose Palmer
A man who fathered at least 24 children by sperm donation in the US failed to inform fertility clinics that he had a rare genetic defect which is often fatal, ABC news has reported... [Read More]
DNA test links ageing and income
1 August 2011 - by Dr Marianne Kennedy
The rate at which we age depends on socio-economic status and can be revealed by a DNA test, which will improve assessment of public health measures, say Glaswegian scientists.... [Read More]
23andMe offer free gene tests to 10,000 African-Americans
1 August 2011 - by Rosemary Paxman
Personal genomics company 23andMe is launching an initiative aiming to shift the balance of participation in both personal genomics and genetic research towards African-Americans... [Read More]
Social class behind brainy IVF babies
1 August 2011 - by Dr Gabrielle Samuel
New research has shown that socio-economic status plays a bigger role in a child's development than whether that child was born after a planned pregnancy... [Read More]
US court victory for embryonic stem cell research
1 August 2011 - by Dr Rebecca Robey
A District Court judge in the US has dismissed a lawsuit that sought to ban federal funding for human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research. The decision, by Judge Royce Lambeth, is the latest development in the case of Sherley v Sebelius – a landmark lawsuit filed against the US's state-funded National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2009... [Read More]
Stem cell trial for MS patients begins
1 August 2011 - by Dr Caroline Hirst
UK scientists are launching a global clinical trial to test the potential and safety of stem cells to treat multiple sclerosis (MS)... [Read More]
Molecular scalpel repairs defective muscular dystrophy DNA
1 August 2011 - by Dr Nadeem Shaikh
UK researchers have successfully trialled a new drug to help patients with a severe form of muscular dystrophy.... [Read More]
Moving pinboard boosts IVF success
1 August 2011 - by Harriet Vickers
Scientists have increased the quality of embryos developed for IVF - by culturing them on a bed of pins. Currently, embryos are fertilised in a dish, and left there to culture for a few days before being implanted. However, Professor Gary Smith, a researcher on the project, says this doesn't mimic how embryos naturally gestate... [Read More]
Book Review: Biotechnology and Cloning
1 August 2011 - by Dr Amy Strange
'Biotechnology and Cloning' is part of a series of educational books for teenagers addressing 'contemporary social issues'. It is an unusual concept, being neither a textbook nor a revision guide. It does not directly explain the underlying science, but outlines and encourages the reader to think around the topics.... [Read More]

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