In brief

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: (Published 24 November 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:1204

Cloned cows appear normal: Twenty four sexually mature cloned cattle show none of the defects that have plagued some adult clones, such as premature ageing, says a new report to be published in Science next week. Robert Lanza and colleagues at Advanced Cell Technology, in Worcester, Massachusetts, evaluated 30 cloned cattle, six of which died shortly after birth.

Son sues hospital over treatment of father's anthrax: The son of one of the Washington postal workers who died from inhalation anthrax has filed a $37m (£25m) lawsuit against the hospital that treated his father for failing to prescribe him antibiotics.

MPs to investigate NICE: The House of Commons health committee is to conduct an inquiry into the National Institute for Clinical Excellence in January. It will consider to what extent the institute has provided clear and credible guidance and whether it has enabled patients to have faster access to drugs known to work.

Ireland approves emergency contraception: The Irish Medicines Board has approved for the first time the emergency contraception pill. The board had previously refused a licence for the drug (levonorgestrel) because it viewed it as an “abortifacient.”

Doctor cleared over using measles jabs instead of MMR: The General Medical Council has refused to take action over Dr Peter Mansfield, a Lincolnshire GP, who allowed parents to choose the single measles vaccine rather than the combined measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine. Dr Mansfield was reported to the GMC in August (11 August, p 300).

US recession threatens health insurance: Nearly a million people in the United States risk losing their health insurance as a result of the economic downturn, a new report by the Commonwealth Fund says. It can be accessed on

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