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Genetic Crossroads
August 20th, 2003

Gene Therapy Used to Treat Patients With
Parkinson's (August 19)

Despite the checkered history of gene therapy experiments, the
Food and Drug Administration approved experimental gene therapy
12 people with severe Parkinson's. But some leading experts
in gene therapy and Parkinson's disease expressed concern. http://www.nytimes.com/2003/08/19/science/19GENE.htm

Cloning Yields Human-Rabbit Hybrid Embryo (August 14)

Scientists in China have, for the first time, used cloning techniques
to create hybrid embryos that contain a mix of DNA from both
humans and rabbits, according to a report in a scientific journal
that has reignited the ethics debate over cloning research.


The birds and bees nudged further into history (July 26)

Researchers in Japan and the US have produced a synthetic
egg and sperm-like cells from mouse embryos.


Down's test "at five weeks" (July 16)

Scientists have developed a test which could detect conditions
such as Down's Syndrome or cystic fibrosis when a woman is as
little as five weeks pregnant.


Embryos screened for deafness (July 11)

A woman who, with her partner, carries a genetic cause for deafness,
failed to become pregnant after her IVF embryos were screened
to guarantee a child with perfect hearing. The screening for
mutations in the "connexin 26" gene is the world's
first reported case of an embryonic deafness test.



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