October 28th, 2006
Age is no bar to being a good mother and there is no reasonto prevent pensioners from becoming parents, researchers have found.
Women in their 50s and 60s who conceive after fertility treatment are just as capable of being good parents as women in their 30s and 40s, a study has shown.
from the Independent Online
October 22nd, 2006
“A new study is to focus on the issues surrounding the creation of genetically selected babies to become stem cell donors for sick brothers and sisters.”
September 2nd, 2006
“A group representing couples suffering infertility difficulties has criticised the Youth Defence embryonic stem cell research poster campaign featuring a baby asking “don’t use me for spare parts”.
August 31st, 2006
“Biologists have developed a technique for establishing colonies of human embryonic stem cells from an early human embryo without destroying it.”
August 29th, 2006
“Biologists have developed a technique for establishing colonies of human embryonic stem cells without destroying embryos, a method that, if confirmed in other laboratories, would seem to remove the principal objection to stem cell research”
July 27th, 2006
A timeline of the US stem cell policy debate, starting in November 1998 with the isolation of human embryonic stem cells by scientists at the University of Wisconsin and Johns Hopkins University.
From the Washington Post
July 25th, 2006
“US President George Bush has vetoed a bill passed by Congress that would have removed restrictions on federally-funded human embryonic stem (ES) cell research in America. The bill is known as the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005 (HR 810)”
Good overview of the debate and the veto with links to media reports…
July 22nd, 2006
From the BBC:
“Choosing the sex of babies for social reasons will be banned, Health Minister Caroline Flint has said.
The government intends to change the law to outlaw sex selection for non-medical reasons, she said.”
June 21st, 2006
New test for genetic disorders raises designer baby concerns from ABC Online (Australia)
"Scientists in the UK have developed a new, more accurate procedure to test for serious genetic disorders in embryos … The new method allows doctors to identify embryos carrying genetic conditions more quickly but it has reignited the debate over designer babies."
The Sun (UK) proclaims its sensational headline Designer tot is world first. On closer examination we learn that the couple in question screened their embryos to produce a baby free from a hereditary illness that has inflicted their first child.
Even The Times (UK) published an article entitled First baby in Britain designed cancer free about a couple who have again used PGD to screen their embryos for a form of eye cancer.
The use of the words "design" and "designer" evokes images of people using these technologies to screen embryos not only for disease but for positive attributes such as intelligence and preferred hair or eye colour. It is this Gattaca like image that fuels debates over the ethics of using PGD to screen embryos.
Dr Alan Thornhill, Scientific Director, London Fertility Centre and Honorary Lecturer, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College London via Bionews has a more realistic view:
"To get the desired combination of high intelligence alleles in just one baby, more than 5000 embryos would need to be tested. It would take a woman 40 years of continuous IVF with PGD to achieve this. In short, 'designing' babies using PGD is a non-starter."
DISCLAIMER: Any information provided on this website is not intended to replace qualified medical advice. For diagnosis, treatment and medications you should consult a health practitioner.