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Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

MPs vote to give the go-ahead to three-parent IVF

Wednesday Feb 4 2015

Consultation launched on 'three-parent' IVF

“In an historic move, MPs have voted in favour of the creation of babies with DNA from two women and one man,” BBC News reports. The UK is set to become the first country to license the technique known as three-parent IVF…

Thousands of UK women could benefit from 'three-person' IVF

Thursday Jan 29 2015

Thousands of UK women could benefit from 'three-person' IVF

"Thousands of women could benefit from 'three-parent' baby technique," The Independent reports. A modelling study estimated the technique, which is currently illegal, could be used for thousands of women with genes linked…

Could 'DNA editing' lead to designer babies?

Monday Jan 19 2015

Could 'DNA editing' lead to designer babies?

"Rapid progress in genetics is making 'designer babies' more likely and society needs to be prepared," BBC News reports. The headline is prompted by advances in "DNA editing", which may eventually lead to genetically modified babies…

Are most cancers down to 'bad luck'?

Monday Jan 5 2015

Are most cancers due to 'bad luck'?

"Most types of cancer can be put down to bad luck rather than risk factors such as smoking," BBC News reports. A US study estimates around two-thirds of cancer cases are caused by random genetic mutations…

Gene therapy could help with inherited blindness

Wednesday Dec 10 2014

Gene therapy may help with inherited blindness

"Procedure to restore sight in dogs gives hope for future blindness cure," The Independent reports. Researchers have restored some modest degree of light sensitivity (though not full vision) in animals who have a similar condition…

Stem cells could repair Parkinson's damage

Friday Nov 7 2014

Stem cells could repair Parkinson's damage

"Stem cells can be used to heal the damage in the brain caused by Parkinson's disease," BBC News reports following the results of new Swedish research in rats...

'Elite controllers' may provide clues for HIV cure

Wednesday Nov 5 2014

'Elite controllers' may provide clues for HIV cure

"Scientists have uncovered the genetic mechanism which appeared to have led two HIV-infected men to experience a 'spontaneous cure'," the Mail Online reports. The idea is to modify the HIV virus, making it harmless, rather than trying to kill it…

Genes may play a role in Ebola survival chances

Friday Oct 31 2014

Genes could affect Ebola survival chances

"Genetic factors could play an important role in whether people survive the Ebola virus," BBC News reports. Researchers found around one in five mice remained unaffected by the infection…

Details of autism genes uncovered in global study

Thursday Oct 30 2014

Global study learns more about autism genes

"A massive international study has started to unpick the 'fine details' of why some people develop autism," BBC News reports. Analysis of the genes of people with autism suggests certain genetic variants disrupt signalling pathways inside the brain…

Drugs may work better at certain times of the day

Tuesday Oct 28 2014

Drugs may work better at certain times of the day

“Take your medication at the right time of day or it might not work,” The Independent reports. The news is based on a study which looked at the pattern of genes made in 12 different mouse organs, to see if any of the genes showed a circadian rhythm…

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