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CONTENTS Issue #646
What's in a name?
Donor information - time for a debate
Film Review: Anonymous Father's Day
Event Review: The Magic of Medicine
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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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What's in a name?
27 February 2012 - by Ruth Saunders
In July 2011, the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHSS) announced its plans to improve the rules governing the protection of human subjects in research, after admitting current regulations were 'developed years ago'... [Read More]
Donor information - time for a debate
27 February 2012 - by Dr Marilyn Crawshaw and Walter Merricks
It is now eight years since the HFEA first issued guidance to UK licensed treatment centres to respond as fully as possible to patients' requests for non-identifying donor information... [Read More]
Miniature DNA sequencer could read a genome in seconds
27 February 2012 - by Ayesha Jadoon
A handheld device for sequencing DNA on the move has been unveiled by UK company Oxford Nanopore. The single-use MinION tool resembles a USB drive in size and shape, and the company hopes it will be put into routine use by clinicians and researchers alike... [Read More]
Moves to grant embryos 'personhood' advance in Oklahoma but are postponed in Virginia
27 February 2012 - by Rosie Beauchamp
The Republican controlled state Senate of Oklahoma passed the 'Personhood Act' by 34 votes to eight on 15 February. The Act moves to extend the definition of 'person' under State law to include a fetus from the point of conception... [Read More]
European approval for skin cancer drug that could double lifespan
27 February 2012 - by Dr Louisa Petchey
The European approval of a new gene-specific drug for an aggressive form of skin cancer marks another step towards an era of personalised medicine. A recent trial showed promising results, with the drug shrinking tumour size and extending life span... [Read More]
Challenge to compulsory DNA sampling of felony arrestees fails in California
27 February 2012 - by Jessica Ware
Collecting DNA samples from adults arrested in California will remain legal, after a federal appeals court ruled last Thursday that Proposition 69, the measure behind the practice, was lawful.... [Read More]
Ireland's sperm banks hit by euro crisis
27 February 2012 - by Ayesha Ahmad
The exchange rate between the euro and Denmark's krone is causing a crisis for the sperm banking business in Ireland, reports the Irish Independent.... [Read More]
Breast cancer gene network expands as patent case starts in Australia
27 February 2012 - by Luciana Strait
A new genetic mutation linked to a greater risk of developing breast cancer has been shown to interact with the well-known breast cancer-causing gene BRCA1... [Read More]
Men might escape extinction according to monkey Y chromosome study
27 February 2012 - by Ruth Saunders
Men may not be on the brink of extinction after all, according to a study on the evolution of the human Y chromosome. Previous research has suggested that the Y sex chromosome, carried only by men, is decaying genetically at such a rate that men would become extinct in five million years' time... [Read More]
Gene therapy controls epilepsy in rats
27 February 2012 - by Dr Lux Fatimathas
Researchers in the US have used gene therapy to reduce the severity of seizures in a rat model of epilepsy. The gene injected into the rats codes for somatostatin, a hormone which is normally found in low levels in people with the condition... [Read More]
Eggs could be produced from ovarian stem cells, study suggests
27 February 2012 - by Antony Starza-Allen
Scientists in the USA have shown it may be possible to isolate egg-producing stem cells from women's ovaries.... [Read More]
Film Review: Anonymous Father's Day
27 February 2012 - by Dr Rachael Panizzo
As a generation of donor-conceived children reach adulthood, Anonymous Father's Day looks at donor conception from the perspective of the children. It follows three donor conceived people who are actively raising awareness of donor conception, and the rights of donor-conceived children... [Read More]
Event Review: The Magic of Medicine
27 February 2012 - by Dr Maria Botcharova
Is medicine magic? No, of course not. The active ingredients in the medicines we take are simply chemical compounds which interact with our bodies to produce a net effect. And yet, when we take a pill and our headache promptly disappears, it can all feel a bit miraculous to someone who doesn't know the chemical mechanisms... [Read More]

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