DNA Spit Kits Off Walgreens’ Shelves? Try Amazon.com

by jeeg 14. May 2010 21:19
Earlier I examined the FDA’s emerging regulatory “policy” with respect to direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic tests. The thrust of the FDA’s comments to date appear to focus on Pathway’s proposed partnership with Walgreens, specifically the fact that Pathway’s tests would be available in a “drugstore,” as the impetus for the FDA’s prompt and public regulatory response. I questioned whether the apparent distinction driving the FDA’s... [More]

Egg Donation Raises Serious Questions about Health Risks, Payments, Sexism and Eugenic Connections

by jeeg 14. May 2010 19:23
The New York Times has just published an article on the ramifications of egg donation which points to the need for much greater scrutiny of this billion dollar industry.  Ads recruiting egg donors are ubiquitous in college newspapers with payments made rising with the prestige of the university targeted.  Some egg brokers offer $10,000 for young women with the “right” genetic traits such as specific eye and hair color, raising the ugly specter of eugenics.  &nb... [More]

DNA Ancestry Tests Questioned

by jeeg 14. May 2010 01:29
  Companies that sell gene tests to help people trace their lineage offer “no quality assurance guarantee” and should strengthen the science behind their services, researchers led by a Duke University scientist said. Ancestry.com Inc. in Provo, Utah, Pathway Genomics Corp. in San Diego, and 23andMe Inc. in Mountain View, California, are among almost 40 companies worldwide that sell such products. Officials from these enterprises should meet with geneticists, physicians and... [More]

FDA Puts the Brakes on Pathway-Walgreens Pairing; What’s Next for DTC?

by jeeg 13. May 2010 18:38
Well that was quick. On Tuesday, Pathway Genomics and Walgreens announced a partnership to sell a saliva collection kit for Pathway Genomics’ direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic tests in Walgreens’ thousands of drugstores nationwide. Less than forty-eight hours later, after the FDA repeatedly voiced its concerns about the arrangement, Walgreens has hit the brakes. According to an MSNBC story, the FDA sent a letter to Pathway “asking the test maker to show it has regulatory ... [More]

24 Hour Genetic Testing at your local Walgreens

by jeeg 12. May 2010 21:22
Courtesy of Pathway Genomics and Walgreens Pharmacy, on Friday in 7500 pharmacies around the nation, you too can send your spit off for genetic analysis and find out your genetic predisposition for a wide range of conditions including breast cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer's disease, says the Washington Post. And how's this for over-promising? Pathway says that the test can be used "to forecast what genetic disorders future children might have, and weigh the likelihood that they'll becom... [More]

Spray, Baby, Spray

by jeeg 11. May 2010 19:03
    When Monsanto began selling genetically modified 'Roundup Ready' soybeans in the 1990s, it sounded too good to be true: farmers could spray a single chemical over their entire field that would kill all weeds in its path but leave crops unharmed. The chemical was glyphosate, originally marketed by Monsanto as Roundup but now sold by other companies as well. Roundup killed a wide range of weeds and was safer and less harmful to the environment than most other chemical herbici... [More]

Misconception: Possible Pitfalls with Use of Assisted Reproductive Technologies

by jeeg 11. May 2010 05:56
  The national media has been giving much coverage to the story of the Midwestern couples whose frozen embryos were mixed up, resulting in implantation of the wrong embryo. Featured on the Today Show and in People Magazine, Shannon and Paul Morell have been promoting their book “Misconception,” relaying their experience with a fertility clinic that mistakenly implanted their frozen embryo in another woman. “We believe it was an error in the lab,” Shannon’s p... [More]

Stephen Quake, Full Genome Sequencing and Ethics

by jeeg 10. May 2010 01:24
For the first time, doctors have used the genetic profile of an apparently healthy middle-aged man to predict his risk of developing dozens of diseases in later life. Dr Stephen Quake, a 40-year-old scientist at Stanford University in California, was found to be carrying a rare genetic mutation that can cause a sudden and fatal heart attack, and other genes that boosted his risk of becoming diabetic and obese to more than 50%. Some genes revealed how Quake would respond to different medica... [More]


First Person in the World Prescribed Medicine Based on Genome Analysis

by jeeg 8. May 2010 19:15
Do you want to know what your genetic predilection is to various diseases that may kill you? A healthy 40 year-old professor of bioengineering at Stanford School of Medicine recently had his entire genome analyzed for approximately $50,000. In an attempt to determine what diseases he may genetically be at risk for as well as those he is unlikely to contract, Stephen Quake engaged researchers to assess the gene variants he carried to calculate his overall risk and compare it to the aver... [More]

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Anti-Immigrant Legislation, Eugenics & the Far Right

by jeeg 7. May 2010 14:24
  Is it surprising that SB 1070, Arizona’s legislation that legalizes racial profiling, and similar state bills are connected to eugenics and the far right wing? In at least 7 of the 11 states where Arizona copy-cat bills are being discussed, key lawmakers are linked to the far-right legislative network “State Legislators for Legal Immigration,” active in 35 states. This group is the legislative arm of Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), an organization t... [More]
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