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Cancer referrals delayed, GPs accused of ‘conflict of interest’ and mind-control in monkeys

Our roundup of the health news headlines on Thursday 6 October.

The Telegraph reports Pulse’s revelation that Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust is telling GPs that if patients cannot attend a specific appointment for cancer checks within the recommended two weeks, they should hold off making the referral.

The tactic could mean that those with suspected tumours have to wait longer before they can be seen by a specialist, but it will stop the hospital missing a Government target for carrying out initial cancer tests within a fortnight.

The Mail catches up with the news that GPs from the Haxby and Wigginton Health Centre surgery have been accused of a ‘massive conflict of interest’ by recruiting private patients through their NHS practice.

Doctors at the surgery near York are alleged to have encouraged patients to pay them a fee to carry out treatments which they say are no longer available on the NHS.

Scientists have for the first time used a cloning technique to get tailor-made embryonic stem cells to grow in human egg cells, the Telegraph reports.

In another development the Guardian reports  that a brain implant that allows monkeys to move an avatar’s arm and feel objects in a virtual world has been demonstrated for the first time.

The animals used the device to control the arm by thought alone, and feel the texture of the objects they touch through electrical signals sent directly to their brains.

Duke University researchers built the system as part of a major effort to help paralysed people regain the use of their arms and legs, feeling the objects they touch and the ground they walk on.

Spotted a story we’ve missed? Let us know and we’ll update the digest throughout the day