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CONTENTS Issue #633
Book Review: Perfect People
Film Review: How Does DNA Fingerprinting Work?
BioNews Appeal: Please donate HERE to keep BioNews independent and FREE to read

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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. 

Visit the BioNews website at where you can subscribe for free to receive BioNews by email in one of three formats, and search the archive of more than 8,000 articles.

Progress in the marketplace
14 November 2011 - by Sarah Norcross
This year the Progress Educational Trust decided to exhibit at the Fertility Show again. The Fertility Show is a popular consumer event aimed at those who want information or advice on fertility. But as such, it evokes mixed feelings... [Read More]
Fertility clinics and their patients suffer from HFEA's (lack of) communication strategy
14 November 2011 - by Dr Sue Avery
The general public has been well informed about the HFEA's proposed changes in compensation for gamete donors. However, there has been no direct communication with licensed centres and no clear indication of when regulations will change. As a result we are having difficulty dealing with a wave of enthusiasm from potential donors... [Read More]
Marquardt's off the mark
14 November 2011 - by Susan Kane
I have no doubt that Elizabeth Marquardt's report reflects the feelings of the donor-conceived people that she studied. However, since true scientific study of donor-conceived people is not currently possible, her claims must be qualified.... [Read More]
European Court of Human Rights upholds Austria's ban on egg or sperm donation for IVF
14 November 2011 - by Jessica Ware
IVF using donated egg or sperm other than from a spouse will remain banned in Austria. This was the final decision made by the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (the Court) on 3 November in the closing of the case SH and others v Austria.... [Read More]
South African court sets out guidelines for surrogacy arrangements
14 November 2011 - by Antony Starza-Allen
A High Court in South Africa has set out guidelines for judicial approaches to surrogacy arrangements in light of new family law legislation which came into force last year.... [Read More]
Skin stem cells have potential to fight cancer
14 November 2011 - by Rosemary Paxman
A new technique to transform skin cells into immune cells has been used in the laboratory to hunt for and attack cancer, report scientists after a proof-of-principle study... [Read More]
An embryo is not a person say Mississippi voters
14 November 2011 - by Rachel Lloyd
Voters in the US state of Mississippi have voted against a proposed constitutional amendment that would have defined life as beginning at fertilisation. The proposed amendment would have afforded embryos and fetuses – whether conceived naturally or artificially - similar legal protection as that covering all US citizens but was rejected by over 55 per cent of voters on 8 November... [Read More]
Human embryonic stem cells can treat Parkinson's in rats
14 November 2011 - by Luciana Strait
Human embryonic stem cells have been used to treat a model of Parkinson's disease, rats and monkeys, pointing to a possible new way of treating the condition.... [Read More]
Surrey NHS to reinstate free IVF treatment
14 November 2011 - by Dr Kimberley Bryon-Dodd
NHS Surrey will reinstate free IVF treatment on 1 April 2012, following a year's suspension to cut costs... [Read More]
Successful trial of genetic test to guide personalised cancer therapy
14 November 2011 - by Dr Louisa Petchey
A new genetic test that will help to tailor drugs to cancer patients' individual tumours has been successfully trialled in the US... [Read More]
Gene knock-out creates diabetes-free, mighty mice
14 November 2011 - by George Frodsham
Mice that don't produce a certain protein in their fat cells do not develop type 2 diabetes despite an increase in weight, scientists report. In a separate study, the same research group also managed to double the physical performance of mice by removing the same protein from their muscle cells... [Read More]
UK Supreme Court upholds gene patent
14 November 2011 - by Martin Turner
In what appears to be the end of a long running legal saga, a ruling by the UK's Supreme Court has found in favour of a patent for a gene and the protein sequence it encodes. Lawyers say that the ruling will make it easier to patent discoveries which do not have a clear demonstrated application, a result that will largely please the private bioscience industry but may alarm many who believe that human genes should not be patentable.... [Read More]
Book Review: Perfect People
14 November 2011 - by Dr Amy Strange
If you could design your child right down to the smallest detail, what characteristics would you pick? This is the choice that Dr and Mrs Klaesson face in Peter James' latest novel, when they visit Dr Dettore, a renegade scientist who offers couples designer babies... [Read More]
Film Review: How Does DNA Fingerprinting Work?
14 November 2011 - by Dr Rebecca Robey
Have you ever wondered how criminals are identified using their DNA, or how DNA paternity tests can prove whether a man is the father of a baby? Both are done using a technique called 'DNA fingerprinting' and the latest video in the Naked Scientists' scrapbook series explains neatly how this works.... [Read More]

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