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IVF ‘revolution’, chocolate detects cancer and the school kids hitting the bottle

A round-up of the health news headlines on Monday 8 July

In the papers today is the story of the first baby to be born following a revolutionary new IVF defect screening technique. The technique involves screening the genomes of potential embryos to rule out genetic defects that can prevent womb implantation, and could increase success rates by a third.

The baby boy was born a month ago in the United States and is healthy and normal, reports the Independent.

Dr Dagan Wells, from Oxford University, who helped develop the technique said: ‘Many of the embryos produced during infertility treatments have no chance of becoming a baby because they carry lethal genetic abnormalities. Next generation sequencing improves our ability to detect these abnormalities and help us to identify the embryos with the best chances of producing a viable pregnancy.’

Over at the Daily Mail, they have a report on a new way to detect cancer using MRI scans. Researchers have found that looking for tissues that take up more glucose can identify cancerous tissue.

The UK team fine-tuned an MRI scanner to successfully track tumours in mice after they had ingested glucose and have now taken the technique forward in a small number of cancer patients, with early signs of success. The technique would provide a simpler and safer alternative to using radioactive tracers.

Lead researcher Professor Mark Lythgoe, from University College London, said: ‘We can detect cancer using the same sugar content found in half a standard sized chocolate bar.’

Finally, the Telegraph reports on survey findings that revealed more than one in 10 children in their final year of primary school said they had drunk alcohol in the previous week, while over a quarter of those in year 10 (aged 14 to 15 years) had done so.

Moreover, 17% of girls in year 10 they had been drunk on at least one occasion in the past seven days. Emily Robinson, director of campaigns at Alcohol Concern, said: ‘These numbers are really frightening’.

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