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World Congress
for Freedom of Scientific Research

the bulletin

Number 21, February 2011

  • France to allow embryonic research under new law. French Parliament has passed the first stage of a bioethics bill allowing for more widespread embryonic research. It is still forbidden but exceptions may be admitted. 272 deputies voted for the measure, 216 against and 59 abstained. Green and Socialist party deputies voted against the bill saying it did not go far enough. Read more.
  • Academy of science supports embryo genetic tests in Germany. The parliamentary vote on how to regulate preimplantation genetic diagnosis is expected in the next months in Germany. According to Nature, the Leopoldina, Germany’s national academy of sciences, has published a report strongly recommending that PGD of early embryos be allowed by law when couples know they carry genes that could cause a serious incurable disease if passed on to their children. The report concludes that there is “no necessity for the state” to interfere with such personal decisions. Read more.
  • European Union, single patent co-operation plan gets committee go-ahead. Plans to use the enhanced co-operation procedure to create a unitary patent system in the EU, as requested by 12 Member States (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Lithuania, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden and the UK) last year, were approved by the Legal Affairs Committee on 27 January. Under EU rules, enhanced co-operation can be used to enable some Member States to move forward on new rules when a unanimous agreement cannot be found. Read more.

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