20. October 2014 22:10
Prompted by controversy over dangerous research and recent laboratory accidents, the White House announced Friday that it would temporarily halt all new funding for experiments that seek to study certain infectious agents by making them more dangerous.
It also encouraged scientists involved in such research on the influenza, SARS and MERS viruses to voluntarily pause their work while its risks were reassessed.
Opponents of this type of research, called gain of function — for ex... [More]
20. October 2014 22:08
It was supposed to have been the definitive piece of scientific evidence that finally exposed the true identify of Jack the Ripper after he had brutally murdered at least five women on the streets of Whitechapel in the East End of London, 126 years ago.
A 23-year-old Polish immigrant barber called Aaron Kosminski was "definitely, categorically and absolutely" the man who carried out the atrocities in 1888, according to a detailed analysis of DNA extracted from a silk shawl allegedly f... [More]
17. October 2014 21:57
On September 17, 2014, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued a press release announcing it is suing BNV Home Care Agency, Inc. (“BNV”) for practices that are prohibited by the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (“GINA”).
GINA prevents employers from requesting genetic information, including family medical history, or using that information in the hiring process. According to the release, BNV asked for family medical hist... [More]
17. October 2014 21:54
Forces for and against mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods sold in Oregon agree on almost nothing.
Proponents say labeling is akin to a Freedom of Information Act when it comes to food choices. How, they ask, can the relatively inexpensive labeling of important food choices be bad for consumers and society?
Opponents see the issue in starkly different terms. Not only will the measure burden farmers, manufacturers and consumers with far higher costs, they say, but it wi... [More]
16. October 2014 23:48
Scientists warn that legislation which would allow the creation of babies with genes donated by three different biological parents should be delayed as it is now far riskier than previously thought. MPs are about to vote on whether the United Kingdom becomes the first nation to legalise three parent babies, after a Government watchdog group called HFEA (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority) gave the go-ahead, after claiming that this IVF technique is simply like changing a batt... [More]
15. October 2014 22:41
For more than 20 years, I’ve hammered behavioral genetics, and especially research linking genes to intelligence. Last spring, I proposed a ban on research into race and intelligence. As I explained in a follow-up post, I oppose this research not only because of its potential to exacerbate racism but also because the entire field of behavioral genetics has a horrendous track record, with a long string of sensational claims that turned out to be erroneous.
I wrote that “... [More]
15. October 2014 22:38
Three mothers of Wharton High School students are highly upset after learning their sons were given DNA test without their consent.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff's office confirms one of their detectives did go to the school to take DNA swabs of three students but that parents were contacted first.
The three parents said they never gave their consent.
“The three individuals that we did take DNA from one of them was a gang member, certified gang member. They are persons of in... [More]
14. October 2014 19:14
On Sept. 8, my client Jamie Peterson walked out of a jail in Kalkaska, exonerated by DNA after 17 years in prison for a murder and rape he did not commit.
The DNA testing not only excluded Peterson but matched another man, Jason Ryan, who will stand trial later this year.
I am thrilled that Peterson is finally free. But I am also angry that the previous Kalkaska County prosecutor, aided by a local judge, managed to prevent the DNA from being tested and the real perpetrator from being... [More]
14. October 2014 18:10
There are precious few tests in medicine, save pregnancy perhaps, where a positive test result is good news. Particularly in the realm of genetics, testing positive for a mutation is often devastating, portending gloomy days of sickness ahead.
But there is help out there for people with a positive genetic test result, as well as something of a protocol for them to follow so they feel empowered moving forward.
After Cassie Barnes’ third miscarriage, her doctors ordered extensive... [More]
10. October 2014 20:26
The current Ebola outbreak has added urgency to research into the deadly disease — and it’s put a spotlight on Boston University’s controversial biolab in the South End. Activists have called the lab a danger to the neighborhood — but after years of delays, researchers there could soon be taking critical steps toward advancing our understanding of Ebola.
The National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory has been 11 years in the making. Constructed by BU in... [More]