South Korea approves cloning research: New South Korean legislation regulating the biotechnology sector became effective at the start of the new year. Among other things, it bans reproductive cloning but allows research cloning, though only under a license. The first license was issued to the laboratory which last year produced the first confirmed human clonal embryos.
China criminalizes sex selection: The Chinese government announced that it will ban sex selective abortions and the use of ultrasound scans to determine the sex of a fetus. The combination of that country's controversial one-child policy, free ultrasounds and abortions, and a strong preference for male children, has resulted in a sex ratio of 119 newborn boys for every 100 newborn girls - and as high as 133 boys in some areas.
Italian Court Approves Referendum on parts of ART law: The Italian constitutional court on Thursday rejected a petition by the country's Radical Party for a referendum to overturn in its entirety a 2004 law that restricts access to assisted reproductive treatments but accepted calls for a referendum on the law's "most controversial parts."