6. December 2013 20:28
As a near universal rule, the NCAA makes bad decisions. So when I heard that the NCAA had recently made a controversial decision pertaining to student-athlete health, a decision that incited the ire of the American Society of Hematology, I reflexively assumed the NCAA had once again screwed up. Now I'm not so sure.
Here's what went down. Earlier this year, NCAA delegates voted 254 to 200 in favor of a measure to require sickle cell genetic screening of all student athletes by the 2014-201... [More]
5. December 2013 20:30
The crime lab technician mislabeled samples, using “the victim’s name instead of suspect’s name,” her evaluation said. Her supervisors disqualified her from testifying in court because of her inability to “explain and retain basic concepts.”
Indeed, for a time, the technician, Serrita Mitchell, was only allowed to perform the most rote assignments at the New York City medical examiner’s office.
When she was given another chance, more errors occ... [More]
5. December 2013 01:25
Over the past decade, we have heard about the “fat gene,” the “diabetes gene,” the “alcoholism gene,” the “intelligence gene,” even the “God gene.” In the end, none of these so-called discoveries proved correct.
Genetics is more complex than scientists imagined. We have discovered highly predictive genes for about 2,000 rare ailments, such as Huntington’s disease, but not for most common diseases such as cancer and diabete... [More]
4. December 2013 20:47
A San Diego County woman has filed a lawsuit seeking class-action status against 23andMe, alleging that the company knowingly misled consumers into thinking that its DNA test kits produce a reliable look at a person’s relative risk for hundreds of diseases and disorders.
Lisa Casey also alleges that the Mountain View-based company falsely led consumers to believe the same kits and accompanying DNA analysis could identify whether a person carries certain potentially problematic genes... [More]
3. December 2013 21:34
A family’s complaint that San Diego police illegally collected DNA samples from them has prompted the department to create a new system.
Officials have devised a consent form to be signed by any member of the public not under arrest who agrees to let police take a DNA sample.
The idea, said police Lt. Kevin Mayer, is to “ensure the rights of each citizen and to protect the city against liability.”
The city of San Diego agreed to pay the family $35,000 and attorney fees... [More]
3. December 2013 21:24
Elsevier's journal Food and Chemical Toxicology has retracted the paper by Prof. Gilles-Eric Séralini's group which found severe toxic effects (including liver congestions and necrosis and kidney nephropathies), increased tumor rates and higher mortality in rats fed Monsanto's genetically modified NK603 maize and/or the associated herbicide Roundup. The arguments of the journal's editor for the retraction, however, violate not only the criteria for retraction to which the journal... [More]
2. December 2013 23:24
This week the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning letter to the direct-to-consumer genetic testing company 23andMe, demanding that it immediately stop marketing and selling its DNA testing service until it receives approval from the agency tasked with regulating medical tests and devices. In what has widely been called a "scathing" letter, the FDA said that 23andMe had failed to show that "the firm has analytically or clinically validated the [23andMe Saliva Collection Kit ... [More]
26. November 2013 21:10
Most observers agree that we are facing big obstacles to producing enough food sustainably in coming decades. Issues of distribution and food justice remain paramount, but production must also be adequate, and the huge impact that agriculture has on the environment must be reversed.
It is in this production context that genetic engineering (GE) is often said to be essential. But when we look at the assertions that GMOs will be needed to address these challenges, including from scientists ... [More]
25. November 2013 21:08
The Food and Drug Administration has ordered DNA testing company 23andMe to stop marketing its over-the-counter genetic test, saying it’s being sold illegally to diagnose diseases, and with no proof it actually works.
The heavily marketed test includes a kit for sampling saliva, and the company promises to offer specific health advice. “Based on your DNA, we’ll provide specific health recommendations for you,” the company says on its website. "Get personalized reco... [More]
22. November 2013 23:51
Long-simmering ideological objections to teaching evolution in Texas boiled over at a late-night meeting, as the Board of Education extended preliminary approval of new science textbooks but held up one biology tome because of alleged factual errors.
With midnight looming, some board members on Thursday singled out a textbook by Pearson Education, one of America's largest publishers. They voiced questions about the book's assertions on natural selection, noting that the theory of evolutio... [More]