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CONTENTS Issue #625
Book Review: Genetic Twists of Fate
TV Review: Horizon - Are You Good or Evil?
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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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Right to life vs right to found a family: The case of Costa Rica
19 September 2011 - by Dr Morven Shearer and Dr Sheryl Vanderpoel
Costa Rica is being taken to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) for failing to lift a national ban on IVF, which is sometimes the only medical intervention that can resolve a case of infertility or sub-fertility (1).The Costa Rican law making IVF illegal came into force in 2000. The country's Constitutional Court ruled IVF violated Article Four of the American Convention on Human Rights - 'the right to life' - by defining life from the moment of fertilisation (2). The IACHR orde... [Read More]
Life after death: The ethics of posthumous gamete use
19 September 2011 - by Ayesha Ahmad
A recent court case in Israel has generated much controversy after a judge allowed the family of deceased 17-year-old Chen Aida Ayish to extract and freeze her eggs posthumously. At the time, the family also requested permission to fertilise the eggs but it is now understood to have retracted its request – reportedly in the face of public pressure... [Read More]
Blood pressure linked to genetic variations
19 September 2011 - by Dr Zara Mahmoud
Scientists have identified 29 regions of the genome associated with hypertension in people of European origin. Of these, 16 areas contained completely new genes, which had not been previously associated with the risk of developing high blood pressure.... [Read More]
Woman denied maternity leave after surrogate birth
19 September 2011 - by Nishat Hyder
A US businesswoman is suing her employer after she was allegedly denied maternity leave following the birth of her twins through a surrogate mother... [Read More]
UK Donor Link receives temporary reprieve
19 September 2011 - by Dr Rachael Panizzo
UK DonorLink (UKDL) has been offered a further grant from the UK Government while alternative funding options for the service are considered.... [Read More]
Whole family genome mapping offers future medical hope
19 September 2011 - by Dr Rebecca Hill
The first interpretation of a family's health risks using whole genome data has been carried out by US researchers. The team, from the Stanford University School of Medicine, looked at the DNA sequences of both parents and two children in this, the second reported study of a four-person family of genomes... [Read More]
Genome blueprint of mice helps understanding of human genetics
19 September 2011 - by Dr Lux Fatimathas
International researchers have mapped over 55 million genetic variations in the mouse genome in the hopes of better understanding human disease. The genomes of 17 strains of mice were analysed and variations in their DNA, called SNPs, were catalogued... [Read More]
New stem cell lab to open in Cape Town
19 September 2011 - by Dr Maria Teresa Esposito
A new stem cell lab in Cape Town, South Africa, has renewed the debate over stem cell banking in the country... [Read More]
Storage of fat linked to genetic variant
19 September 2011 - by Mehmet Fidanboylu
Scientists in Scotland have discovered a number of genes that are highly expressed in fat tissue and lead to storage of excess fat in mice. The findings, reported in PLoS ONE, could explain why some people carry more weight than others despite sharing similar diets... [Read More]
Scottish stem cell research given a boost
19 September 2011 - by Antony Starza-Allen
A new fund to help pay for stem cell research in Scotland has been launched. The UK Stem Cell Foundation (UKSF) will aim to raise £5 million over three years to support the work of researchers and clinicians in Scotland into treatments and cures for illnesses including diabetes, strokes, multiple sclerosis, blindness and Alzheimer's disease... [Read More]
HFEA publishes long-awaited review of Taranissi affair
19 September 2011 - by Sandy Starr
The UK's fertility regulator, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), has published a long-awaited review of its conduct in relation to IVF specialist Mohamed Taranissi and related legal proceedings.... [Read More]
Book Review: Genetic Twists of Fate
19 September 2011 - by Ruth Saunders
News reports that researchers have linked a certain gene to a disease, condition or trait appear almost daily. The most recent include multiple sclerosis, ovarian cancer, schizophrenia and even intelligence... [Read More]
TV Review: Horizon - Are You Good or Evil?
19 September 2011 - by Suzanne Elvidge
Good and evil have always been moral perspectives, but this edition of BBC One's science programme Horizon has pulled them firmly into the scientific realm, with an analysis of the science behind good and evil.... [Read More]

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