Canadian Board won't back DNA database for 'all citizens'

by jeeg 24. May 2010 04:36
Kingston police board members want no part of a drive by another eastern Ontario board to create a DNA databank that has a sample from every Canadian. The North Grenville police board passed a resolution in January, suggesting that the provincial umbrella group for all boards lobby the provincial and federal governments to establish a DNA databank for "all citizens." The motion came before the Kingston board for consideration Thursday.   "I wouldn't support this," said Mayor Ha... [More]

Obama Takes Interest in Synthetic Biology

by jeeg 23. May 2010 02:01
  President Obama has asked his bioethics commission to study the implications of research published today in Science describing the creation of a synthetic genome. In a letter today, Obama calls on the commission to do a 6-month study on the "potential medical, environmental, security, and other benefits of this field of research, as well as any potential health, security or other risks." He also requests that the panel, led by University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann, re... [More]

House votes to expand national DNA arrest database

by jeeg 21. May 2010 21:05
Millions of Americans arrested for but not convicted of crimes will likely have their DNA forcibly extracted and added to a national database, according to a bill approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday.   By a 357 to 32 vote, the House approved legislation that will pay state governments to require DNA samples, which could mean drawing blood with a needle, from adults "arrested for" certain serious crimes. Not one Democrat voted against the database measure, which... [More]

CRG Urges Berkeley to Reconsider Using Genetic Tests on Incoming Students

by jeeg 20. May 2010 23:44
Dear Dean Richards,   It was with quite some shock that we learned in the press today that incoming freshman for the class of 2014 in the College of Letters and Science will be sent a swab with which to send in a DNA sample.  Your website announcement of the program states “(T)he information Berkeley students will glean from their genetic analysis can only lead to positive outcomes.”  This is a woefully naïve.  The information produced by these tests, even ... [More]

U.S. House panel probes personal genetic tests

by jeeg 20. May 2010 02:24
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. House of Representatives committee is investigating personal genetic testing kits after one company attempted to sell its test through retailers, lawmakers said on Wednesday. The House Energy and Commerce Committee asked 23andMe Inc, Navigenics Inc and Pathway Genomics Corp to provide information including details on the tests' accuracy and how the companies analyze results. The lawmakers, two Democrats and two Republicans, said in a statement there was "con... [More]

Berkeley Adopts Controversial Genetic Testing Program

by jeeg 19. May 2010 18:49
Instead of the usual required summer-reading book, this year’s incoming freshmen at the University of California, Berkeley, will get something quite different: a cotton swab on which they can, if they choose, send in a DNA sample. The university said it would analyze the samples, from inside students’ cheeks, for three genes that help regulate the ability to metabolize alcohol, lactose and folates.Those genes were chosen not because they indicate serious health risks but becaus... [More]

DNA Could Solve Doggie-Doo Caper

by jeeg 19. May 2010 04:25
  In a case of technology run amok, a swanky Baltimore condominium is considering using DNA forensics -- usually reserved for law enforcement and revealing paternity --in a case of whodunit. The culprit is furry, friendly and likely has no idea he's done anything wrong. The crime? Pooping all over the Scarlett Place condominiums. All dogs in the building would be swabbed for DNA testing, under a proposal by the condo board, according to The Baltimore Sun. Dog owners... [More]

A World of Benefits from Biotechnology? For Whom?

by jeeg 18. May 2010 18:04
  When the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) met in Chicago last week they were, no doubt, elated to hear that the U.S. State Department would be aggressively confronting critics of agricultural biotechnology. Wouldn't you think the State Department might have more pressing issues than carrying water for Monsanto and the rest of the biotechnology industry? Jose Fernandez, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Economic, Energy and Business Affairs noted that the State... [More]

Trust But Verify? Not This Time: For Biological Security, Transparency Is Best Policy

by jeeg 17. May 2010 18:10
It would be hard to name a presidential administration whose opening year was marked by as many urgent priorities on as many fronts as Barack Obama's, from the economy to war, from health care to terrorism, global warming to nuclear policy. Each urgency has unloaded mountains of data demanding new experts with rare levels of specialized knowledge. And therein lies a risk apart from the others - that promising new ideas and good intentions may be thwarted by past mis-information and illu... [More]

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Are Athletes the Products of Their Genetics?

by jeeg 16. May 2010 04:24
  An article in this week's issue of Sports Illustrated examining the latest science on genetic influence over athletic ability suggests that the world's elite athletes aren't necessary equipped higher proportions of superpowered genes. In fact, David Epstein writes that when it comes to genes that research has linked to athletic performance and endurance, the world's athletic superstars are generally little different from the rest of us, and even when there are clear trends among ... [More]
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