Florida police conduct DNA dragnet

by jeeg 1. October 2014 23:59
  The University of Florida and Gainesville police departments were collecting fingerprints and DNA evidence from individuals who “look like the attacker” believed to be responsible for at least three assaults on or near the UF campus. Though legal, UFPD and GPD’s actions have raised questions about the rights of the men who have submitted to questioning and swabbing. According to legal experts, all of the information and samples gathered is legal because the individu... [More]

The World’s First Genetically Modified Babies Will Graduate High School This Year

by jeeg 30. September 2014 22:48
  Remember the sci-fi thriller GATTACA? For those who never saw the film and/or eschewed all pop culture in the late 90’s for some reason, it was a popular movie that came out in 1997 about genetically modified human beings. Now some literally genetically modified human babies born that same year are entering their senior year of high school. The first successful transfer of genetic material for this purpose was published in a U.S. medical journal in 1997 and then lat... [More]

Escalating the weed wars

by jeeg 30. September 2014 22:43
  When crops were first introduced that had been engineered to withstand the herbicide glyphosate — better known by the trade name Roundup — the agricultural industry said it would confer a terrific environmental advantage. Glyphosate is a relatively benign herbicide, after all, and the industry claimed it would be able to use less of it to get rid of weeds, without harming the corn or soy.   At first, farmers did spray less glyphosate. But resistant versions ... [More]

CRG and 70 groups tell Obama: Don’t restrict GMO labeling in trade agreements

by jeeg 30. September 2014 22:39
        Seventy consumer, farm and food groups, and businesses urged the Obama Administration in a letter today not to restrict efforts to label genetically modified foods in the ongoing and secret U.S.-EU trade talks.   Through negotiations on the Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) with the European Union, the U.S. Trade Representative seeks to establish common regulations covering consumer protections, and has targeted t... [More]

New Generation of GM Crops Puts Agriculture in a ‘Crisis Situation’

by jeeg 26. September 2014 23:18
With the first of a new generation of genetically engineered crops ready to hit the market, the battle lines are being drawn. Food safety activists have promised to fight the crops—corn and soybeans designed to tolerate multiple herbicides—in court. They and many scientists argue that these crops will harm environmental and possibly human health. The companies that make them say they’re providing a much-needed tool to fight the growing scourge of herbicide-resistant weeds. ... [More]

Canadian life and health insurers limit use of genetic test results

by jeeg 25. September 2014 22:48
Canadian life and health insurers are adopting new policies on the use of genetic test results that will guide how this type of information should be used when underwriting policies. The guidelines would also restrict the type of information companies can collect. The action by the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association Inc.(CLHIA) demonstrates the industry’s pledge not to seek genetic testing results from research where the information wasn’t disclosed. Insurers also... [More]

FBI Plans Rapid DNA Dragnets

by jeeg 24. September 2014 21:36
  The FBI is preparing to accelerate the collection of DNA profiles for the government's massive new biometric identification database. Developers of portable DNA analysis machines have been invited to a Nov. 13 presentation to learn about the bureau's vision for incorporating their technology into the FBI's new database. So-called rapid DNA systems can draw up a profile in about 90 minutes.  The Next Generation Identification system, or NGI, the suc... [More]

UK Home Office Admits DNA Blunders

by jeeg 24. September 2014 21:31
  Rapists and murderers may be able to challenge their convictions after the Home Office admitted juries may have been misled by subjective DNA evidence. Draft guidance from the forensics watchdog warned courts have been increasingly relying on 'qualitative' assessments of DNA evidence, which could overstate the prosecution case. Scientists warn reliance on such subjective summaries, rather than raw data, could open the door for a number of appeals. Until a landmark case last year,... [More]

New lab incidents fuel fear, safety concerns in Congress

by jeeg 24. September 2014 21:26
  Scientists wearing space-suitlike protective gear searched for hours in May for a mouse — infected with a virus similar to Ebola — that had escaped inside Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Montana, one of the federal government's highest-security research facilities, according to newly obtained incident reports that provide a window into the secretive world of bioterror lab accidents. During the same month at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, a lab worker suff... [More]

Finding Risks, Not Answers, in Gene Tests

by jeeg 23. September 2014 20:43
  Jennifer was 39 and perfectly healthy, but her grandmother had died young from breast cancer, so she decided to be tested for mutations in two genes known to increase risk for the disease. When a genetic counselor offered additional tests for 20 other genes linked to various cancers, Jennifer said yes. The more information, the better, she thought. The results, she said, were “surreal.” She did not have mutations in the breast cancer genes, but did have one linked to a hi... [More]
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