Minerva

Minerva

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39283.535926.BD1 (Published 26 July 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:216

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A “sweet tooth” seems to be inherited, at least in part. A genome-wide linkage analysis in Finland indicates that the craving for sweet foods and their pleasantness and the frequency of choosing sweet foods shows significant heritability. The chromosome 16p11.2 is implicated for people who often choose to eat sweet foods. Minerva presumes that a similar genetic picture may be found in people with many dental caries (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2007;86:55-63 www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/86/1/55).

Critically ill newborn babies are often at the centre of debate about end of life care and quality of life. A Dutch study of 30 babies who died within two months of birth reports that most deaths were attributable to withholding or withdrawing treatment because prolonging treatment couldn't be clinically justified. In some babies the decision to stop treatment was made on the level of predicted suffering. Potentially life threatening drugs were rarely the cause of death (Pediatrics 2007;120:e20-8 doi: 10.1542/peds.2006-2555).

A technique being developed to knock out genes in human tissues grown from mesenchymal stem cells in the laboratory could replace the need for transgenic knockout mice. Much of the research is supported by the Dr Hadwen Trust, a UK medical research charity that promotes alternatives to experimentation on animals, which is targeting the …

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