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CONTENTS Issue #621
Fertility treatment in Germany
Sherley that's not ethical? A review of US law on embryo research
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Fertility treatment in Germany
19 August 2011 - by Dr Petra Thorn
Germany is said to have one of the most restrictive legislation in the area of assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatments. In contrast to the UK, both oocyte donation and surrogacy are prohibited by the Embryo Protection Act. Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) has only become permissible as of July this year – it can now be carried out if the child will be born with a severe genetic disease, or if the embryo is so severely impaired that the pregnancy... [Read More]
Sherley that's not ethical? A review of US law on embryo research
19 August 2011 - by MacKenna Roberts
Should human embryonic stem cell research be deemed unethical for its embryo destruction? The US court decision in Sherley v Sebelius on 27 July 2011 to allow federal funding of this research set a global precedent. The meaning of research was divided into two categories: that which directly involves embryo destruction and that which does not... [Read More]
Caffeinated suncream gives protection a boost
22 August 2011 - by Dr Rosie Morley
A new study has found that caffeine could help to block cancer formation in UV-sensitive mice by increasing the likelihood of damaged cells dying after sun exposure. The findings suggest caffeine could help protect against skin cancer by promoting the death of cells with damaged DNA.... [Read More]
Mother's fat can harm embryos - at least in cows
22 August 2011 - by Dr Lux Fatimathas
European researchers have shown a correlation between impaired embryo development and the fat levels of mother cows. Exposing eggs to high levels of saturated fatty acids affected the health of embryos produced by fertilising those eggs... [Read More]
Kyoto University granted first US patent for iPS cells
22 August 2011 - by Antony Starza-Allen
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted its first patent associated with induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell technology to Professor Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University, Japan, for a technique used to reprogram fully differentiated somatic mouse cells into an embryonic-like state... [Read More]
Key genetic clue in fighting prostate cancer
22 August 2011 - by Sarah Pritchard
US researchers have made a discovery that might help doctors distinguish between benign and more aggressive forms of prostate cancer. The team reports that a difference in the genetic make-up of prostate tumours could indicate which are likely to metastasize and spread through the body, and which will be slow-growing and non-fatal... [Read More]
UK IVF errors treble in three years
22 August 2011 - by Dr Vivienne Raper
Mistakes in IVF treatment more than trebled in Britain during the last three years, according to figures from the UK's fertility regulator.... [Read More]
Common cancer gene may change chromosome numbers
22 August 2011 - by Heidi Colleran
Two US studies published this week have shed light on how a gene mutation can change the number of chromosomes present in the cells of more than 90 percent of cancers... [Read More]
Lesbian couple have sperm donor removed from birth certificate
22 August 2011 - by Oliver Timmis
An Australian court has ruled that a lesbian couple can have the name of the sperm donor removed from their child's birth certificate.... [Read More]
UK DonorLink closes its doors to new registrants
22 August 2011 - by Dr Vivienne Raper
UK Donor Link (UKDL) - the voluntary contact register for adults conceived with or who donated sperm or eggs before August 1991 - is threatened with closure... [Read More]
NHS may be infringing on DNA patents
22 August 2011 - by Nishat Hyder
The NHS may be at risk of being sued over patent infringement, says a new report published by the Human Genetics Commission (HGC), the UK Government's genetics advisory body... [Read More]
Film Review: Rise of the Planet of the Apes
22 August 2011 - by Daniel Malynn
Rise of the Planet of the Apes is this summer's big blockbuster and is directed by Rupert Wyatt. The film is a prequel to the other Planet of the Apes films and charts how the apes came to revolt. The basic storyline is thus; Dr Will Rodman (James Franco) is testing a gene therapy called ALZ-112 on chimps to find a cure for degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's... [Read More]
Radio Review: The First 1,000 Days - A Legacy for Life (In the Womb)
22 August 2011 - by Rosemary Paxman
In this first episode of a new documentary series, medical correspondent Dr Mark Porter investigated how developmental events in the womb have an astonishing impact on long-term adult health... [Read More]

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