Britain becomes first nation to legalise three-parent babies

by jeeg 25. February 2015 23:18
  Britain will become the first nation to legalise a "three-parent" IVF technique which doctors say can prevent some inherited incurable diseases but which critics fear will effectively lead to "designer babies". After more than three hours of debate, lawmakers in parliament's upper house voted on Tuesday for a change in the law to allow the treatments, echoing a positive vote in the lower house earlier this month. The treatment, called mitochondrial transfer, is known as "three-parent... [More]

Building a Face, and a Case, on DNA

by jeeg 24. February 2015 01:20
  There were no known eyewitnesses to the murder of a young woman and her 3-year-old daughter four years ago. No security cameras caught a figure coming or going. Nonetheless, the police in Columbia, S.C., last month released a sketch of a possible suspect. Rather than an artist’s rendering based on witness descriptions, the face was generated by a computer relying solely on DNA found at the scene of the crime. It may be the first time a suspect’s face has been put before t... [More]

Your DNA is everywhere. Can the police analyze it?

by jeeg 23. February 2015 20:39
  Anybody who has watched a crime drama knows the trick. The cops need someone's DNA, but they don’t have a warrant, so they invite the suspect to the station house, knowing some of the perp’s genetic material will likely be left behind. Bingo, crime solved. Next case. A human sheds as much as 100 pounds of DNA-containing material in a lifetime and about 30,000 skin cells an hour. But who owns that DNA is the latest modern-day privacy issue before the US Supreme Court.&... [More]

Canadian bill banning genetic discrimination runs into hurdles

by jeeg 23. February 2015 20:36
  A Senate bill that would block businesses from obtaining details of someone’s genetic makeup has been watered down too much, its supporters charge. The bill, S-201, was aimed at preventing employers, businesses and insurance companies from gaining access the results of genetic testing for any Canadian. Armed with such data, employers could use it to turn down a new hire, and insurance companies could reject applications based on genetic ... [More]

Where, oh where is 23andme’s Privacy Officer?

by jeeg 21. February 2015 00:13
  The direct to consumer genetic testing company 23andme made headlines six months ago when Vox published a story about unwelcome family connections found as a result of lax privacy settings with its genealogical services.   In one case, a professor's parents divorced after the site revealed that his father had a child before he was married. This revelation came at a time when 23andme was contemplating changes to its privacy policies that would make such connections even mor... [More]

US Privacy Rights Cover Warrantless DNA Analysis

by jeeg 19. February 2015 21:42
  US law enforcement should not be able to collect and analyse inadvertently shed DNA without a search warrant, the digital watchdog Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) said in a press release. “Allowing police the limitless ability to collect and search genetic material will usher in a future where DNA may be collected from any person at any time, entered into and checked against DNA databases, and used to conduct pervasive surve... [More]

Monarch butterfly endangered, is Monsanto to blame?

by jeeg 18. February 2015 23:43
  The US Fish and Wildlife Service issued a press release on how the monarch butterfly has been nearly wiped out due to loss of habitat related to agricultural practices. The monarch population has also been affected by more than just agricultural advances. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service statement writes: "Degradation of wintering habitat in Mexico and California has also had a negative impact on the species." Roundup destroying milkweed First marketed in 1973, Roundup... [More]

Genes Tell Only Part of the Story

by jeeg 17. February 2015 22:24
  I had intended to discuss President Obama’s plans for personalized precision medicine with my patient Barbara last week, but she missed her appointment. Or, more accurately, she arrived two hours late, made the usual giant fuss at the reception desk and had to be rescheduled. I was disappointed. Barbara has some insight into the vortex of her own complications, and I thought she might help organize my thoughts. Mr. Obama announced last month that his new budget included $215 mi... [More]

Mass DNA screening to begin in UK

by jeeg 17. February 2015 19:31
  Detectives in the UK are expecting thousands of men to take part in mass DNA screening in the hope of solving the murder of grandmother Valerie Graves. Men aged 17 and over began attending the voluntary sessions at the Millstream hotel in Bosham, West Sussex, at 9am on Wednesday, more than a year after the artist was bludgeoned to death as she house-sat for friends in the village. Police have launched a manhunt for the 55-year-old’s killer, who remains at large despite a £... [More]

Wal-Mart, GNC Said to Face Continuing Supplement Probe

by jeeg 13. February 2015 22:21
  New York’s attorney general is demanding more information from big U.S. retailers including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and GNC Holdings Inc. about the herbal supplements they sell, a person familiar with the matter said. The request for information on ingredients and health claims is the latest move in Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s probe of the $32 billion U.S. dietary supplement industry. Last week, he told the retailers to remove some products from their shelves because... [More]
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