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CONTENTS Issue #818
Book Review: Biotechnology/Cloning and Stem Cells
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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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Baby steps forward, baby steps back: towards a more liberal Swiss regulation of reproduction
7 September 2015 - by Dr Melanie Levy and Professor Vardit Ravitsky
Switzerland upholds stricter legislation on assisted reproduction and prenatal genetic testing than most European countries. However, recent regulatory changes demonstrate a possible shift towards a more liberal approach.... [Read More]
Obesity findings set precedent for GWAS research
7 September 2015 - by Dr James Heather
Recent findings linking the FTO gene to adipose cell energy use not only revealed a molecular mechanism that contributes to obesity, but they are also an exemplar of how genome-wide association study findings can make the journey to clinical relevance... [Read More]
Sperm cells attach to eggs with tiny 'harpoons'
7 September 2015 - by Chris Baldacci
Scientists have discovered that a protein in the head of sperm cells forms spiky filaments, which could act as tiny 'harpoons' that anchor the sperm to an egg... [Read More]
UK national sperm bank has only nine donors
7 September 2015 - by Ayala Ochert
A year after it opened, the UK's national sperm bank has only nine registered donors, says its chief executive Laura Witjens, who is planning a major new recruitment drive at the end of this month... [Read More]
UK science bodies call for gene-editing debate
7 September 2015 - by Dr Katie Howe
A consortium of medical research funders and learned societies has called for further research into the genetic modification of human cells, as well as a national debate into the ethics of such techniques... [Read More]
Postmortem findings hint at Alzheimer's gene therapy effect
7 September 2015 - by Chris Hardy
An experimental gene therapy used in patients with Alzheimer's disease appears to slow down neural degeneration.... [Read More]
Woman with MS gives birth to granddaughter
7 September 2015 - by Ari Haque
A woman in the USA who acted as a surrogate for her daughter has given birth to her biological granddaughter... [Read More]
Breakthrough in rare disease that causes growth of second skeleton
7 September 2015 - by Dr Lucy Freem
Scientists have developed a potential antibody treatment for the rare genetic disease fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP), in which muscle and soft tissue gradually turn to bone... [Read More]
Combined genetic tests could aid autism diagnosis
7 September 2015 - by Dr Ashley Cartwright
Scientists have found that two genetic analysis techniques can increase the number of causative mutations found in children with autism spectrum disorder... [Read More]
Sperm mix-up case dismissed
7 September 2015 - by Antony Starza-Allen
A woman who sued a US sperm bank after she gave birth to a mixed-race child has had her claim rejected by an Illinois court, reports the Chicago Tribune... [Read More]
Human rights court upholds Italy's prohibition on donating embryos to science
7 September 2015 - by Antony Starza-Allen
The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Italy's prohibition on donating IVF embryos for research is not contrary to a right to private and family life.... [Read More]
Book Review: Biotechnology/Cloning and Stem Cells
7 September 2015 - by Rhys Baker
'What is Ethics?' A seemingly innocent question asked by a 14-year-old student in my first year as a teacher. I struggled for a reply. Since then, I have been on the lookout for any resource that clarifies this question... [Read More]

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