Intended for healthcare professionals


In brief

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 13 July 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:112

Mice born from artificial sperm: Researchers have used sperm produced from mouse embryonic stem cells to fertilise eggs, resulting in the live birth of seven mice (Cell 2006;11: 125-32). However, serious abnormalities in all the mice mean that the technique is still too risky to be used in human reproduction.

Korean scientist admits falsifying data: The South Korean scientist Hwang Woo-suk has admitted in court, where he is on trial for fraud, that he instructed his subordinates to falsify data on nine of 11 stem cell lines that were later published in the journal Science in 2004. However, he said he did not know that the other two stem cell lines were not derived from cloned embryos, and he denied charges of other ethical breaches.

Light cigarette users are less likely to give up: Smokers who had used light cigarettes were 54% less likely to give up than smokers who had only smoked full strength cigarettes (adjusted odds ratio 0.46 (95% confidence interval 0.41 to 0.51)), shows a study of 32 000 people published on 29 June in the American Journal of Public Health (doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2005.072785).

Private medical school cleared for research: Germany's only private medical school, Witten/Herdecke in North Rhine-Westphalia, has been given permission by the German Science Council to continue its medical education and research. Last summer the council said that closure was imminent unless major changes were introduced (BMJ 2005;331: 254). An extra €4.5m (£3.1m; $5.7m) in funding will come from North Rhine-Westphalia.

UN calls for action on funds to fight any flu pandemic: The United Nations' chief for avian and human influenza, David Nabarro, has called for greater commitment and disbursement of funds by donors to prevent and fight a possible pandemic. Of $1.9bn (£1bn; €1.5bn) pledged in January, $1.1bn has been committed and only $331.3m disbursed.

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