Monthly Archives: August 2005

Eternal youth, but at what cost?

A gene has been identified that appears to prolong the life of mice by controlling insulin. Increasing the activity of a gene named Klotho (also present in humans) has been shown to help mice live longer by up to 30%; … Continue reading

Leave a comment

Fight cancer, lose weight

Young women with the BRCA1 gene who lose 10 pounds in weight cut their chances of developing breast cancer by up to 65%. BBC News

Leave a comment

Liver cells grown from umbilical blood stem cells.

Human embryonic stem cells, isolated from umbilical cord blood have been grown in conditions of weightless using NASA technology. A special bioreactor was used to increase the number of cells which were then allowed to become specialised liver cells. Scientists … Continue reading

Leave a comment

UK hospital to screen embryos for eye cancer.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority have awarded a licence to University College Hospital London to test embryos from a woman with retinoblastoma (a rare form of eye cancer). As a child Angela Donovan had an eye removed, and she … Continue reading

Leave a comment

Fertility law reform

The BBC have invited comments on plans to update fertiliy legislation. You can join the debate here

Leave a comment


Scientists have managed to make a single-celled organism move tiny polystyrene beads around. Nicknamed ‘microoxen’, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, a photosynthesising green algae, are directed to move using varying levels of light intensity. There is interest in the use of micro-organisms for … Continue reading

Leave a comment

Women seek symmetry in men

Around the time of ovulation, fertile women in a steady relationship are more attracted to men with symmetrical features. It is thought that this is a subconscious desire to improve reproductive chances by using symmetry as a guide to males … Continue reading

Leave a comment

Nerve stem cells created

Scientists in Edinburgh have created nerve stem cells from human stem cells. This is the first time that such cells have been created in a state that is pure enough for scientific use. Previous attempts have always contained impurities in … Continue reading

Leave a comment

Mail order sperm

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority are considering regulation issues regarding firms that offer sperm and eggs via the internet. Currently, such firms are unregulated because they do not offer medical clinics, their businesses run databases instead. If the HFEA … Continue reading

Leave a comment

The hangover gene

A report in Nature describes the effect of ethanol vapours on fruit flies. Fruit flies with a gene, named ‘hangover’, are able to tolerate alcohol to a greater extent than fruit flies lacking the hangover gene. This is the second … Continue reading