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GM babies, new asthma drug trials and why more people should learn first aid



Today brings us news that after test tube babies and GM crops the creation of the genetically modified baby could be only a year away.

The Daily Mail tells us that GM babies could win Parliament’s backing next year.

It says that a law change would allow for ‘children to be ‘designed’ to be free of horrific diseases that can kill within hours of birth.’

A public consultation launched today by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) will ask members of the public whether families with a genetic risk of incurable conditions like muscular dystrophy should be allowed to use the DNA of a third party to create healthy children.

Although the resulting babies would inherit a small fraction of their DNA from the donor and not their mother or father, the procedure would spare all future generations from a host of rare and debilitating conditions.

 

A new asthma drug can cut attacks by a fifth even for those with the most severe form of the disease says the Mail on Sunday.

It says that trials on nearly 1,000 people with uncontrolled asthma showed the drug tiotropium- already licensed for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-taken through a mist inhaler opened constricted airways and appeared to improve lung function.

Even those with severe asthma saw the number of attacks cut by 21 per cent and the time between attacks extended by a third.

Researcher Dr Richard Russell, a lung specialist at Wexham Park Hospital in Berkshire, said the drug could be a ‘new weapon in our armoury.’

 

St John Ambulance’s new hard-hitting TV advert aims to show how many deaths could be prevented if people learn basic first aid skills, according to the Guardian .

It says that approximately 140,000 people every year die in situations where their lives could have been saved if somebody had known first aid – as many deaths as there are from cancer.

The 60-second film features a man who is diagnosed and treated for cancer. He recovers, only to choke to death on a piece of meat at a barbecue, because none of his family knows what to do to help.