Vermont steps closer to passing GMO food-labeling law

by jeeg 17. April 2014 06:11
  The Vermont Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that would make it the first U.S. state to enact mandatory labeling of foods made with genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. Unlike bills passed last year in Maine and Connecticut, which require other states to pass GMO labeling laws before they can be enacted, Vermont's contains no such trigger clause.   Vermont's effort comes as the developers of genetically modified crops and the $360 billion U.S. packaged food industry push f... [More]

DNA and Insurance, Fate and Risk: CRG in NY Times Room for Debate

by jeeg 15. April 2014 20:56
  As costs for DNA sequencing drop, hundreds of thousands of Americans are undergoing the procedure to see if they are at risk for inherited diseases. But while federal law bars employers and health insurers from seeking the results, insurers can still use them in all but three states when considering applications for life, disability and long-term care coverage. Should insurance companies be barred from seeing genetic information when considering those policies so people can get the te... [More]

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French Police’s Plan To DNA Test 500 High Schoolers Wouldn’t Fly In U.S.

by jeeg 15. April 2014 04:02
French authorities are testing the DNA of 527 students in a high school rape case. Don't expect the same thing to happen in the U.S. any time soon French police are demanding DNA samples from 527 male students and staff members in its search for the perpetrator of a high school rape case. The teenage victim says that she can’t identify her assailant since he attacked her from behind in a dark bathroom at the school on Sept. 30. After running out of le... [More]

New Issue of GeneWatch Magazine: Privacy in the Age of Genomics

by jeeg 11. April 2014 22:03
            New Issue of GeneWatch Magazine:    Privacy in the Age of Genomics   We are at a critical time in the development of medicine:  the mapping of the human genome has provided powerful new tools to understand the genetic basis of disease and genetic tests can help diagnose genetic conditions, guide treatment decisions, help predict risk of future disease, inform rep... [More]

Maryland police DNA tactics again at issue in top courts

by jeeg 11. April 2014 18:34
An Anne Arundel County man who was found guilty of a burglary based in part on DNA evidence asked a state appellate court Thursday to throw out his conviction, arguing that police improperly kept his genetic information in the database they used to link him to a Coke can from the crime scene. George Varriale, 46, gave a DNA sample to Anne Arundel County police in 2012 as they were investigating a reported rape. The sample did not link him to that crime, but police later used it to place him a... [More]

A new food-labeling faceoff

by jeeg 10. April 2014 22:11
  The California Senate Health Committee recently approved Senate Bill 1381, which would require the labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods. This action is triggering new flows of facts and opinions by interest groups. This bill renews the long-running debate between consumer groups and pesticide corporations and large-scale food producers. Californians for GE Food Labeling, representing many consumer groups, says grocery shoppers need to know what they are buying. The Grocery Ma... [More]

Meet your unborn child – before it's even conceived

by jeeg 10. April 2014 22:08
  WILL my baby be healthy? It's a question that concerns every prospective parent. Now a service that creates digital embryos by virtually mixing two people's DNA will give a clearer glimpse of their possible child's health, and perhaps much more – before it has been conceived. The Matchright technology will be available in two US fertility clinics later this month, allowing people to screen out sperm donors who, when their genes are combined with those of the intended mother, cou... [More]

New law limits DNA collection in Idaho

by jeeg 9. April 2014 16:15
In a legislative session filled with controversy and tension, one bill made it through the legislature without one dissenting vote. Senate Bill 1240a, written by Republican Senator Jim Rice, Democrat Senator Elliot Werk, and Republican Representative Lynn Luker, aims to protect Idahoans' privacy by limiting when law enforcement can collect DNA samples. Last June, the U.S. Supreme Court made a ruling that would allow law enforcement to get a DNA sample upon arrest. This case originated in a... [More]

Fearing Punishment for Bad Genes

by jeeg 8. April 2014 19:03
About 700,000 Americans have had their DNA sequenced, in full or in part, and the number is rising rapidly as costs plummet — to $1,000 or less for a full genome, down from more than $1 million less than a decade ago. But many people are avoiding the tests because of a major omission in the 2008 federal law that bars employers and health insurers from seeking the results of genetic testing. The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, known as GINA, does not apply to three types of i... [More]

Will hackers find bioweapon secrets in the cloud?

by jeeg 4. April 2014 18:04
  The collision of big data and decoded genetic information is creating a wealth of opportunities for biologists, engineers and public health researchers. However, there is also the potential that advances in computing and genetics are providing potentially catastrophic opportunities for malefactors to hack into research computers to find information that could be adapted to create biological weapons. This nightmare scenario would have sounded far-fetched a few years ago. But according ... [More]
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