Bill Introduced in CA Legislature to Stop Berkeley's Genetic Testing Program

by jeeg 30. June 2010 01:50
A bill introduced by Assemblyman Norby in the California Legislature last week  would address UC Berkeley’s controversial “On the Same Page” personal genomics experiment.  The bill requests the University of California to cease issuing unsolicited DNA requests for the purposes of genetic testing, and allows the Controller to divert the amount spent on any such experiment, regardless of source, from the UC system’s appropriation.  This bill is an ... [More]

Dr. Francis Collins Kicks the Genomic Medicine Can Down the Road

by jeeg 29. June 2010 23:54
Francis Collins, in a Scientific American guest blog, called genetic research "an epic drama being played out year after year." He said we shouldn't worry about what we haven't yet accomplished but see the galss as half full and "growing fuller every day." DNA sequencing costs are getting lower every day and new predictive genetic tests are proliferating.  This shows, he says, that we have made huge leaps forward since the initial mapping of the human genome. But,... [More]

John Sulston Opposes Gene Patents

by jeeg 29. June 2010 00:16
  Human genetic information must be kept in the public domain to allow researchers to analyse it and to give members of the public fair access to medical treatments, the Nobel prizewinning scientist who led the British contribution to the Human Genome Project said today. Speaking at a briefing at the Science Museum in London to mark the 10th anniversary of the first draft of the human genome, biologist John Sulston said scientists and lawmakers must resist attempts by corporations and... [More]

AMA Adopts Anti-Gene Patent Policy

by jeeg 29. June 2010 00:13
The American Medical Association opposes the patenting of human genes and related naturally occurring mutations, according to policy adopted June 15 at the organization's Annual Meeting. "Genes are not legitimately patentable matter," said Raymond Lewandowski, MD, of Corpus Christi, Texas, who proposed the policy as a delegate from the American College of Medical Genetics. The policy also states that patents that already have been issued should be licensed in a way that allows broad access b... [More]

Effort Uses Dogs’ DNA to Track Their Abusers

by jeeg 29. June 2010 00:08
Scientists and animal rights advocates have enlisted DNA evidence to do for man’s best friend what the judicial system has long done for human crime victims. They have created the country’s first dog-fighting DNA database, which they say will help criminal investigators piece together an abused animal’s history by establishing ties among breeders, owners, pit operators and the animals themselves. Called the Canine Codis, or Combined DNA Index System, the database is sim... [More]

Is the Plum Island Clean Up Sufficient?

by jeeg 28. June 2010 02:11
Government documents obtained by The Associated Press show extensive efforts since 2000 to remove vast amounts of waste and contaminants from Plum Island, site of top-secret Army germ warfare research and decades of studies of dangerous animal diseases.Yet some environmentalists remain concerned about the secrecy surrounding the 840-acre, pork chop-shaped island off northeastern Long Island, and they're dubious of any claims that pollution has beenremedied."We are highly concerned that whe... [More]

NIH and Wellcome Trust Announce H3 Africa Initiative

by jeeg 28. June 2010 02:05
In the ten years since the Human Genome Project was completed genomics has progressed in leaps and bounds, but surprisingly little has been about Africa or by African scientist. The vast majority of genomic studies have been of American, Asian and European genomes, with just one genome-wide association study (looking at malaria) based on an African population – surprising considering that around one billion people live on the African continent. That makes today’s announcement... [More]

Genetically Altered Salmon Get Closer to the Table

by jeeg 27. June 2010 06:20
The Food and Drug Administration is seriously considering whether to approve the first genetically engineered animal that people would eat — salmon that can grow at twice the normal rate. The developer of the salmon has been trying to get approval for a decade. But the company now seems to have submitted most or all of the data the F.D.A. needs to analyze whether the salmon are safe to eat, nutritionally equivalent to other salmon and safe for the environment, according to governme... [More]

U.S. appeals court reinstates stem cell suit

by jeeg 27. June 2010 06:14
The unusual suit against the National Institutes of Health, backed by some Christian groups opposed to embryo research, argued that the NIH policy takes funds from researchers seeking to work with adult stem cells. It also argues that new Obama administration guidelines on stem cell research are illegal. The three-judge federal appeals panel did not rule on the merits of the lawsuit itself, but said two of the doctors involved had legal standing to file it. A federal district cour... [More]

Protection of Data is Essential

by jeeg 26. June 2010 00:05
Scholars call this the information age. The truth is we all get a little numb to supercharged claims like that. However, there is no disputing that in our lifetimes we are bearing witness to a great expansion of human scientific knowledge, especially as the costs of acquiring that knowledge rapidly decrease. A few short years ago, the costs of processing genetic material to secure important medical information was prohibitive. Today, companies are advertising genetic testing as part of rou... [More]
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