After six years, IVF blunder still smoulders </b>

A white woman who unwittingly became a surrogate mother for a black couple has settled for an undisclosed amount with a New York IVF clinic. In 1998, Central Park Medical Services transferred embryos originating with Donna and Richard Fasano into her womb, along with embryos belonging to a black couple, Deborah Perry-Rogers and Robert Rogers. Initially, when Mrs Fasano gave birth to a black boy and a white boy, she did not want to give up the black child, even though his genetic mother, Mrs Perry-Rogers, had failed to become pregnant from her own IVF treatment. After five months she… click here to read whole article and make comments




CORRECTION </b>

In the previous issue of BioEdge (Number 126, June 25), we erred in identifying the leader of a Brisbane research team working on clinical diagnostic techniques which can yield cheap and accurate results in a single day from a single cell. The leader of the team is Associate Professor Ian Findlay. Professor Jock Findlay AM is the deputy director of Prince Henry's Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne and has no connection with this project. Our apologies to both gentlemen.   

IN BRIEF:

  • Three people have died of rabies after receiving the lungs, liver and kidneys from… click here to read whole article and make comments




  • SPECIAL ESHRE SUPPLEMENT </b>

    The annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology took place in Berlin earlier in the week. After the lurid stories which emerged from last year's event in Madrid, some specialists apparently suggested that the media should be banned. Fortunately this did not happen. Below are some of the conference highlights.


          bullet  Confront Nazi past of German fertility medicine, says historian
          bullet  Monash device could screen for all genetic diseases
          click here to read whole article and make comments





    Monash device could screen for all genetic diseases </b>

    Researchers at Monash University have used gene chip technology to develop a 100% accurate test for one of the most common mutations for cystic fibrosis. Within two or three years, it will be possible for parents to test their embryos for many of the 1000 mutations which cause CF.

    The technology was developed by Chelsea Salvado, a PhD student working with Professor Alan Trounson at the Institute of Reproduction and Development at Monash. She foresees that gene chips -- or microarray technology -- will make possible a uniform, single, quick test for genetic mutations. Doctors will be able to offer… click here to read whole article and make comments





    First pregnancy from frozen ovaries </b>

    A woman who underwent aggressive chemotherapy and radiotherapy has become pregnant naturally after fertility doctors reimplanted strips of her frozen ovarian tissue. The woman is now 24 weeks pregnant with a girl after treatment at the Catholic University of Louvain in Brussels, Belgium. This landmark technique offers the hope of renewed fertility for cancer patients, many of whom become infertile and menopausal after treatment for their illness.

    Frozen ovarian tissue has produced embryos before, but only through IVF. This is the first time that a natural pregnancy has been achieved. Although researchers presented the technique as a way for younger… click here to read whole article and make comments





    Expansion of EU will lead to “fertility tourism” </b>

    The eastwards expansion of the European Union will result in couples in Western Europe travelling to countries like Slovenia and Hungary for IVF treatment which is cheaper but still comparable in quality. Suzi Leather, the head of the UK's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, says that she understands the temptation to cut costs but she warns that "there is no way that patients can be sure of safety or of the results advertised by clinics".

    According to data presented to the ESHRE conference by Dr Anders Nyboe Andersen, of Copenhagen University Hospital, in Denmark, Denmark is still the country where… click here to read whole article and make comments





    Most embryo donation parents don’t tell their child </b>

    Only a third of parents whose child began life as a donated embryo tell them about their origins, compared with 100% of parents of adopted children and 90% of parents who used their own eggs and sperm. Fiona MacCallum, a psychologist at City University in London, told the ESHRE conference that parents believed that knowledge of their origins would upset the child and that since the mother bore the child, she was in fact the real mother.

    Embryo donation parents also have a different parenting style. They tend to score higher on emotional over-involvement. Mothers tend to put the needs… click here to read whole article and make comments





    Human stem cells used to treat rats with Parkinson’s </b>

    Israeli scientists have found that human embryonic stem cells have helped rats with symptoms of Parkinson's disease to recover. Dr Benjamin Reubinoff told the ESHRE conference that his team had directed the stem cells to grow into specialist neuron cells and had then injected them into the rats' brains. The results were encouraging and "set the stage for future development". Animal embryonic stem cells have been used before to treat animal models of Parkinson's disease, but this marked the first time that human cells have been used. click here to read whole article and make comments




    First Australian human embryonic stem cells created</b>

    A scientist at Sydney IVF celebrating the success of its stem cell tests. Photo: Peter Rae, Sydney Morning Herald A Sydney IVF clinic has created Australia's first embryonic stem cell line from a left-over IVF embryo donated by a couple interested in scientific research. The line was developed by Sydney IVF about a month it obtained a research licence.

    The medical director of Sydney IVF, Professor Robert Jansen, says that the stem cells will be used for research. He predicts that they will eventually lead to therapies for degenerative diseases. "There are several… click here to read whole article and make comments





    Japan debates rules for organ donation</b>

    Faced with a lengthening list of candidates for heart transplants and a tiny list of donors, Japanese patients are going overseas to the US, Canada and Germany. Some parliamentarians claim that their law on organ donation is too restrictive and are calling for changes in the consent law. At the moment, Japan does not allow organs to be harvested from brain-dead patients unless they have expressed their wishes in writing. Without this in hand, even their relatives are not allowed to authorise a transplant. As a result, since 1997, only 29 Japanese diagnosed as brain dead have become organ donors,… click here to read whole article and make comments



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