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BMJ. 2007 April 14; 334(7597): 766.
PMCID: PMC1852042
In Brief

News

Woman loses fight to use frozen embryos: Natallie Evans, from Trowbridge, Wiltshire, who was left infertile after cancer treatment, has lost her fight in the European Court to use her frozen embryos, which were fertilised by her former partner Howard Johnston. The couple began in vitro fertilisation treatment in 2001, before Ms Evans underwent chemotherapy, but Mr Johnston withdrew consent for the embryos to be used after they split up. See bmj.com.

Man is jailed for infecting partner with HIV: A man who infected his lover with HIV and hepatitis C has been jailed for nine years by Glasgow High Court. The 38 year old man refused to wear condoms after beginning a sexual relationship with a woman in Edinburgh in 2003. The National Aids Trust said that it was concerned at the severity of the sentence and that prosecutions should occur only in the most extreme and exceptional circumstances.

GMC to look into prescribing errors: The General Medical Council is offering £100 000 (€150 000; $200 000) in funding for research into what causes prescribing errors. It says that understanding the reasons for such errors will help it target its regulatory activities. Interested researchers should submit a tender proposal to the GMC by 9 May.

Dutch to review safety of magic mushrooms: Dutch health minister Ab Klink has ordered the Netherlands Public Health Institute to reassess the dangers of hallucinogenic mushrooms, after they were linked to the possible suicide of a French teenager in Amsterdam. The dried mushrooms, which are stronger than fresh ones, are banned as a hard drug, but fresh varieties can still be bought in so called “smart shops.” A majority of MPs are now demanding a total ban.

Mediterranean diet may reduce children's asthma: A diet that is high in fresh fruit and vegetables and in nuts seems to reduce the incidence of childhood asthma, concludes research published by the BMJ group journal Thorax (http://thorax.bmj.com/cgi/content/abstract/thx.2006.069419v1).Although the diet seems to reduce asthma, it does not reduce skin allergies.

Private ultrasound tests to be repeated on NHS: Health managers in the north west of England are arranging for some 900 ultrasound tests to be repeated. The tests had been handled by a private company, Atos, but an audit of the work done during February led to concerns about the quality of patients' records and of scan results.

Muslim prayer position may increase risk of glaucoma: A trial to investigate the link between postural changes in traditional daily Muslim prayers and changes in intraocular pressure, a widely accepted risk factor for glaucoma, has started at the University of Colorado. Researchers say that evidence exists that posture can have an effect on intraocular pressure fluctuation. See http://clinicaltrials.gov (No NCT00454025).


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