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Genetic Crossroads
May 31st, 2007

"Sweden approves embryo screening to save dying siblings," France 24 (May 28, 2007)
Swedish authorities have granted three families the right to screen embryos to create a child who can be a stem cell donor for a sibling with a deadly illness,

"Turning off gene makes mice smarter," MSNBC (May 27, 2007)
Turning off a gene that has been associated with Alzheimer's disease made mice smarter in the lab, researchers said on Sunday in a finding that lends new insight on learning and may lead to new drugs for memory problems

"Researchers engineer stem cells to make insulin," MSNBC, (May 25, 2007)
Stem cells taken from the umbilical cords of newborns can be engineered to produce insulin and may someday be used to treat diabetes, U.S. and British researchers reported on Friday

"Now Google is grooming a biotech firm," San Francisco Chronicle, (May 23, 2007)
The Mountain View Internet company has invested $3.9 million in a biotech firm started by the wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin. Her company, 23andMe Inc., intends to help consumers understand and browse their genetic information.

"As Demand for Donor Eggs Soars, High Prices Stir Ethical Concerns," New York Times (May 15, 2007)
Though many egg donors derive great satisfaction from knowing that they helped someone start a family, the price of eggs has soared in recent years as demand has increased, and the sizable payments raise controversy...."There's no health-outcome data collected by anybody other than some voluntary reporting, and there's no postmarket testing on how these drugs are being used," said Susan Berke Fogel, co-founder of the Pro-Choice Alliance for Responsible Research.

Amy Harmon, "Prenatal Test Puts Down Syndrome in Hard Focus," New York Times (May 9, 2007)
. . . an unusual campaign being undertaken by parents of children with Down syndrome who worry about their future in the face of broader prenatal testing that could sharply reduce the number of those born with the genetic condition.

Pam Belluck, "Massachusetts Proposes Stem Cell Research Grants," New York Times (May 9, 2007)
Gov. Deval Patrick on Tuesday unveiled a $1.25 billion proposal intended to help the state maintain its status as a pre-eminent place for stem cell research and other life sciences.

Roland Hancock, "Clinic to weed out embryos with a squint," The Telegraph (May 7, 2007)
Embryos are to be screened for a cosmetic defect for the first time in a British clinic....Dr. David King, the director of Human Genetics Alert, said: "Philosophers love to deride the idea of a slippery slope, but here it is in practice."

Pallavi Gogoi, "Cloning: Scientists vs. Consumers," MSNBC (May 6, 2007)
Thousands of consumers have voiced their opposition to cloned foods. Scientists dismiss them as "Luddites."...Consumer advocate organizations like the Center for Food Safety, Consumers Union, and the Consumer Federation of America joined environmental and animal welfare groups Food & Water Watch, The Humane Society of the United States, and the American Anti-Vivisection Society. Together, they say their members submitted 130,000 comments from people who oppose clones and their progeny entering the food supply.

Ian Sample, "Gene therapy aimed at restoring sight for 30,000 people," The Guardian (May 2, 2007)
British scientists are to launch the world's first clinical trials of a controversial gene therapy to cure childhood blindness.

"Canadians illegally buys eggs online," The Independent (May 1, 2007)
In their quest to start a family, Canadian couples are illegally buying human eggs online, according to an investigation by public broadcaster CBC.


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