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Genetic Crossroads
July 9th, 2004

"Glimpse into cloned embryos reveals problems,"
New Scientist (June 30)

"A glimpse of what happens to the DNA in a cell nucleus
during cloning has been revealed by US researchers. They hope
their work will shed light on why cloning creates abnormalities
and whether fears about IVF techniques causing abnormalities
in children are justified."


"Adding a chromosome may treat disease," New
(June 19)

The New Scientist reports on efforts to develop artificial
chromosomes for human gene "therapy" to treat inherited
diseases. The report details the companies' investigation of
potential health side effects of such treatments, but acknowledges
the "far-reaching consequences" of modifying the human
germline only in its hopeful closing: "Some researchers
regard artificial chromosomes as the most promising method for
germ-line genetic engineering of humans. One day our children
might have 47 chromosomes."


"Fertility clinics turn to embryo gene testing,"
New Scientist (June 13)

"In theory, [PGD] should increase a woman's chances of
getting pregnant and having a healthy baby, because only normal
embryos will be implanted. This is the basis on which a growing
number of clinics are offering this form of PGD, and ever more
patients are demanding it, despite a price tag of up to $10,000
per IVF cycle. But several experts told New Scientist that proof
that PGD screening for aneuploidy (PGD-AS) improves the outcome
of IVF is still lacking. What evidence exists is encouraging,
but it all comes from trials that have not been done with proper


"Mice created without fathers," BBC News
(April 21)

"Scientists have created two female mice without fertilising
the eggs they grew from, the journal Nature says. The eggs had
two sets of chromosomes from two female mice, rather than one
from the mother and one from the father as in a normally fertilised



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