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CONTENTS Issue #622
The certain scientist and the uncertain gene
BBC documentary shows why we need UK DonorLink
TV Review: I'm Pregnant with Their Baby
TV Review: Horizon - The Nine Months That Made You
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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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The certain scientist and the uncertain gene
26 August 2011 - by Aaron Parkhurst
Philosopher Langdon Winner rather poetically refers to scientific public engagement as 'technological somnambulism'. The image he invokes is that of a vast network of societal sleepwalking; interacting but not engaging. This is especially true within a biomedical context. Whenever an inventive entity creates novel technologies, he or she inspires and develops two important constructs. The first is the physical instrument, or perhaps something less concrete, such as an idea or methodology... [Read More]
BBC documentary shows why we need UK DonorLink
30 August 2011 - by Dr Marilyn Crawshaw
A BBC1 documentary 'Donor Mum: The children I've never met' is to be broadcast at 10.35pm tonight (30 August). The programme tells the extraordinary story of a woman - herself the single mother by choice of a donor insemination-conceived adult son – meeting with the twins born from her egg donation nineteen years ago.... [Read More]
No immune system? No problem: Gene therapy found for 'bubble babies'
30 August 2011 - by Rosemary Paxman
Over a dozen children with 'boy in bubble' syndrome are alive and well, with functioning immune systems, nine years after undergoing gene therapy to correct their disorder, researchers report.... [Read More]
Nerve cells generated from Parkinson's patient
30 August 2011 - by Victoria Kay
UK scientists have, for the first time, generated live nerve cells from a patient with a rapidly progressing form of Parkinson's disease... [Read More]
The rise of the undead gene
30 August 2011 - by Kyrillos Georgiadis
A group of Irish scientists has discovered that a supposedly 'dead' pseudogene is, in fact, active. The gene, DHFRL1, was long thought to be inactive, however new research, published in the US Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests this is not the case... [Read More]
Genetic link found to resistance to the flu
30 August 2011 - by Dr Zara Mahmoud
Scientists have suggested there may be a genetic basis behind the way our body reacts to the flu virus, making some of us more vulnerable than others. A study published in PLoS Genetics has tracked the body's response to the H3N2/Wisconsin strain of the flu virus at the genetic level. The researchers injected the virus into 17 volunteers and analysed expression patterns from the time of injection to the onset of full-blown clinical symptoms... [Read More]
Neanderthal mating gave modern day humans a boost
30 August 2011 - by Dr Kimberley Bryon-Dodd
Cross-breeding with early humans was highly advantageous to the modern human immune system, according to a new study published in Science... [Read More]
World cup winning South African rugby player to receive stem cell therapy
30 August 2011 - by Dr Nadeem Shaikh
A South African rugby player is believed to be the first in his country to receive an experimental stem cell therapy to treat a serious neurological disease.... [Read More]
Common cause of hysterectomy linked to genetic mutation
30 August 2011 - by Dr Charlotte Maden
Researchers in Finland have discovered a genetic mutation potentially involved in the formation of uterine fibroids. Fibroids are the most common reason for hysterectomy, and 60 percent of women develop them before the age of 45... [Read More]
Ex-US lab owner pleads guilty to selling stem cells
30 August 2011 - by Ayesha Ahmad
A US businesswoman from Arizona has been convicted of selling unapproved stem cells over a period of several months.... [Read More]
TV Review: I'm Pregnant with Their Baby
30 August 2011 - by Daniel Malynn
The documentary 'I'm Pregnant with Their Baby' shows three women's experience of UK surrogacy. They are among a rare group who became surrogate mothers for altruistic reasons... [Read More]
TV Review: Horizon - The Nine Months That Made You
30 August 2011 - by Ruth Pidsley
Forget 'you are what you eat'. Rather 'you are what your mother ate'. That is the dramatic message of the BBC's latest episode of Horizon 'The Nine Months That Made You', broadcast on Monday 22 August. The documentary was an account of the Barker Theory that birth weight determines health in later life... [Read More]

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