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In brief

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.324.7345.1054 (Published 04 May 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:1054

Doctors arrested on suspicion of manslaughter: Two doctors who mistakenly injected the cytotoxic drug vincristine into the spine instead of a vein of Wayne Jowett, at Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, have been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter. The coroner, who recorded a verdict of accidental death on Mr Jowett, aged 18, was told that 14 patients had died or been left paralysed as a result of similar errors in the past 15 years (BMJ 2001;322:1013).

UK medical school to cut 50 posts: One of the United Kingdom's largest groups of teaching hospitals, comprising the recently merged Guy's, King's, and St Thomas's School of Medicine, is planning to shed about 50 clinical academic posts at King's College London. The aim is to save about £3.5m ($5.1m; Embedded Image5.6m) a year.

Germany bans import of human stem cells: The German parliament has passed a law forbidding the import of human embryonic stem cells. Exceptions are possible if the cells are used for high standard research purposes that cannot be achieved by other means and if consent has been given by a state control agency. Only stem cell lines produced before January 2002 can be used because this ensures that they have not been ordered especially for German research. Human embryo research is forbidden in Germany.

Funding announced for UK genetic database: The Wellcome Trust, the Medical Research Council, and the Department of Health announced this week that they are to provide an initial £45m ($66m; Embedded Image73m) for the UK “biobank” project, in which DNA samples and medical records will be collected from 500000 volunteers, aged 45-69 (BMJ 2001;322:755).

Dame Deirdre Hine to retire as CHI's chairwoman: Dame Deirdre Hine has decided not to seek reappointment as the chairwoman of the Commission for Health Improvement (CHI) and will retire from the post when her current term of office finishes in October.