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CONTENTS Issue #650
Genetic pseudoscience races to the bottom
A small solution to a big problem
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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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Genetic pseudoscience races to the bottom
26 March 2012 - by James Brooks
Newspapers overcook mediocre science all the time. You know this, I know this. All the same, a story in the Sunday Times a couple of weeks ago deserves special mention for its utterly uncritical reporting... [Read More]
A small solution to a big problem
26 March 2012 - by Dr Iain Brassington
There's a part of 'Gulliver's Travels' where Gulliver visits the grand Academy at Lagado and finds one of the academicians trying to derive sunbeams from cucumbers. It's tempting to wonder at first glance whether there's something of the Academy to Liao, Sandberg and Roache's proposed strategy for combating climate change: that we could engineer human beings so they would be less of a drain on the environment... [Read More]
The root of the problem: clues about male pattern baldness
26 March 2012 - by Dr Zara Mahmoud
New treatments for male pattern baldness could be on the way, as scientists identify a protein they believe inhibits growth of hair follicles... [Read More]
Genetics of uncontrolled brain growth in autism identified
26 March 2012 - by Dr Rosie Morley
Faulty genetic mechanisms particularly active in early life may lead to people developing autism, research suggests... [Read More]
Higher birth weight linked to mum's genes
26 March 2012 - by Dr Daniel Grimes
A gene variant passed down from the mother has been linked to heavier newborns, according to scientists... [Read More]
Breast cancer DNA test may help patients avoid unnecessary chemotherapy
26 March 2012 - by Sarah Pritchard
A genetic test could be used to spare breast cancer patients from having to undergo postoperative chemotherapy... [Read More]
Should babies conceived after dad's death get benefits?
26 March 2012 - by Rachel Lloyd
Last week, the US Supreme Court were still wrestling with the application of a 1930s law to the case of the twins born by IVF 18 months after their father died of cancer... [Read More]
Northern Ireland Assembly motion calls for end to IVF 'discrimination'
26 March 2012 - by Ayesha Ahmad
Couples in Northern Ireland claim they are being discriminated against as they are only offered one cycle of IVF treatment on the NHS. This is in comparison to the two or three available in the rest of the UK... [Read More]
'Gluttony gene' stops mice feeling full
26 March 2012 - by Dr Kimberley Bryon-Dodd
A mutation in a gene linked to obesity causes mice to eat up to 80 percent more than normal... [Read More]
Bioscience job skills gap tackled with degree accreditation scheme
26 March 2012 - by Dr Rebecca Hill
Many bioscience graduates lack the practical skills that make them attractive to employers, according to a 2010 survey. In order to fill this skills gap, the Society of Biology launched a degree accreditation programme this week... [Read More]
'All crimes' DNA database given go-ahead in New York
26 March 2012 - by Dr Marianne Kennedy
Officials in New York State in the USA have passed a bill requiring people convicted of almost any crime to provide a sample for the state's DNA database. While generally lauded, the move has attracted criticism from civil rights groups who claim that constitutional privacy issues are raised by the government holding so many people's genetic information on file... [Read More]
Event Review: Designer Athletes: Fair Play or Foul?
26 March 2012 - by Luciana Strait
Consider a future world where pharmaceutical and genetic enhancements are the norm for sporting champions, where today's world records are smashed into oblivion... [Read More]
TV Review: Horizon: Horizon - The Truth about Fat
26 March 2012 - by Dr Gabrielle Samuel
Last week's Horizon on BBC2, 'The truth about fat', follows surgeon Gabriel Weston as she looks at the latest research exploring why so many people are clinically obese... [Read More]

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