15. April 2015 22:46
IBM has launched a health unit to make sense of the wealth of data created by the boom in fitness trackers and apps.
Watson Health aims to create "a secure, cloud-based data sharing hub" that can feed analytic technologies, it said.
It could provide diagnoses or health alerts which could also be sent to doctors, carers, or insurers for example, with the user's permission.
IBM has teamed up with Apple and wants to launch "new employee health and wellness management solutions".
The c... [More]
15. April 2015 22:41
On April 3 2015, a group of prominent biologists and ethicists writing in Science called for a moratorium on germline gene engineering; modifications to the human genome that will be passed on to future generations. The moratorium would apply to a technology called CRISPR/Cas9, which enables the removal of undesirable genes, insertion of desirable ones, and the broad recoding of nearly any DNA sequence.
Such modifications could affect every cell in an adult human being, includin... [More]
15. April 2015 22:25
For those unaware of how much biotechnology is changing the very nature of human identity, now is the time for a quick game of catch-up.
A good place to start might be Bregtje van der Haak’s documentary film, DNA Dreams. It highlights the resources being expended, globally, to pursue utopian visions of “curing” just about every social misery, through genetic manipulation. Disease, hunger, stupidity… it will all be edited out of the genome; whilst harmony, ... [More]
14. April 2015 23:01
Money shark Mark Cuban set off a firestorm on Twitter after recommending blood tests for “everything available.” Genetic testing has value, but it’s not for commercial use.
Let’s say you have a whole lot of money.
Let’s say you have so much money that, even after you’ve purchased a basketball team and a chain of movie theaters, you still have enough cash left over to invest in a maverick approach to your own health care. Should you sink an unspec... [More]
13. April 2015 21:46
An Alaska state senator suggested in a hearing Tuesday that criminal behavior -- and the need for future DNA testing -- could be predicted as early as middle school.
Sen. Charlie Huggins, R-Wasilla, offered what he called a “completely seat of the pants” observation at a Senate State Affairs Committee meeting during the introduction of a criminal justice reform bill.
“With some degree of confidence, I think that by the time particularly young men, but maybe young me... [More]
6. April 2015 21:59
In 1984, a genealogy geek named John Sittner published The Source, a book meant to unearth and analyze never-before-seen records that genealogists could use to put together family histories with unprecedented detail. Several years later, he founded Ancestry magazine to teach people how they could use public archives and technology -- which, back then, meant CD-ROMS and primitive websites and search engines -- to build out their family trees.
Sittner sold the company long ago, but... [More]
3. April 2015 17:48
Attorneys general from 14 states are calling on Congress to investigate the herbal supplements industry after a report from New York’s top prosecutor that alleged many products contained ingredients that were not listed on their labels and that could pose serious health risks.
The group, led by New York Atty. Gen Eric T. Schneiderman and Indiana Atty. Gen. Greg Zoeller, asked Congress to give the Food and Drug Administration more authority to oversee the industry.
“We bel... [More]
2. April 2015 20:48
A Roche blood test to screen fetuses for Down syndrome worked far better than standard prenatal screening tests in younger, low-risk women, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday, setting the stage for more widespread use.
The new study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, is the largest to show the tests are accurate in even low-risk women. But experts warned that women who test positive still need to confirm the result through more invasive diagnostic testing such as amnio... [More]
2. April 2015 00:01
Food products containing genetically modified ingredients (GMOs) are labeled in 64 countries all around the world, including Japan, China, Russia, Australia and the European Union. In many countries, consumers’ right to know what they’re eating is uncontroversial.
Not so in the U.S. While a vast majority of American consumers would like this information, industrial-scale food companies and chemical companies like Monsanto and DuPont that developed GMO crops ... [More]
1. April 2015 00:10
Athletes have long sought to gain a competitive edge by using performance-enhancing drugs, and suppliers are perpetually trying to stay ahead of detection methods. But the future of doping in sports could be dependent on medical advancements that are currently being made with less nefarious intentions. Genetic doping — or the introduction of synthetic DNA into a person's body with the aim of improving performance in some way — could revolutionize the way athle... [More]