26. June 2010 00:01
Ten years ago the Human Genome Project announced it had completed the first draft of the blueprint for human life. It was hailed as a huge scientific advance, comparable to putting a man on the moon. President Bill Clinton declared: "We'll go from knowing almost nothing about how our genes work to enlisting genes in the struggle to prevent and cure illness. This will be the scientific breakthrough of the century, perhaps of all time."
The project at last laid bare the entire human genet... [More]
25. June 2010 22:52
Madeira is more than 500 kilometers from the African coast and is officially one of the "outermost regions" of the European Union.
Despite that far-flung status, Madeira catapulted into the center of the Union's agricultural and environmental affairs last year when Portugal asked the European Commission for permission to impose an unprecedented ban on growing biotech crops there.
Last week, the commission quietly let the deadline pass for opposing Portugal's request, allowing Madeira, wh... [More]
24. June 2010 21:00
GeneWatch UK today published a new history of the human genome, which exposes how a string of vested interests have promoted the idea that everyone should be given personal health predictions based on their genetic make-up. The briefing marks the 10th anniversary of Bill Clinton and Tony Blair’s announcement of a completed draft of the human genome on 26th June 2000. GeneWatch’s Director will take part in a debate today about personal genomes at the Wellcome Collection.
23. June 2010 01:35
Mike the Mad Biologist thinks regulating DTC testing is common sense. On his blog he says:
This post might put me at odds with much of the science bloggysphere, but I think a lot of the concern over congressional and FDA hearings over whether 'over-the-counter' genetic screening and genome sequencing should be regulated is overblown. Maybe my feelings are influenced by my concerns about the misuse of antibiotics--in the case of cefquinome, the FDA did the right thing (and I only ... [More]
22. June 2010 23:13
An exclusive dating website, with a strict ban on ugly people, has launched what it's calling a 'beautiful baby service', a virtual egg and sperm bank for people who want to have attractive babies. Critics are questioning the ethics of the site but those running it are making no apologies. Parissa Mobasher says she's one of the beautiful people, and naturally expects her baby would be too. "You're giving that child an extra bonus in life. You're giving them that extra edge," Parissa Mobash... [More]
22. June 2010 19:42
It should be no surprise that Monsanto's PR machine is working hard to spin the truth in this morning's decision in the first-ever Supreme Court case on genetically engineered crops (Monsanto v. Geertson Seed Farms). Despite what the biotech seed giant is claiming, today's ruling isn't close to the victory they were hoping for.
The 7-1 decision issued today by the Supreme Court was on the appeal of the Center for Food Safety's (CFS) successful suit, which resulted in a ban on GMO alfalfa.... [More]
22. June 2010 00:00
The U.S. Supreme Court, ruling in favor of Monsanto Co., overturned a judge’s ban on the planting of alfalfa seeds engineered to be resistant to the company’s Roundup herbicide.
The 7-1 ruling shifts the focus of the environmental dispute to the Agriculture Department, which under today’s ruling now can allow limited planting. That would be an interim measure while the USDA finishes an environmental impact statement that ultimately might clear the way for unrestricted pl... [More]
21. June 2010 22:43
On Tuesday, June 9, 2010, several plaintiffs, including a breast cancer patient and a cancer advocacy group, sued in a Sydney, Australia federal court to invalidate Myriad Genetics’ patents on the breast cancer susceptibility genes BRCA-1 and 2. According to published reports and comments by Australian patent law experts, the suit substantially tracks the much-publicized one filed in New York by the American Civil Liberties Union. In particular, this suit is also a frontal attack on ... [More]
21. June 2010 20:45
On June 26, 2000, two scientific teams announced at the White House that they had deciphered virtually the entire human genome, a prodigious feat that involved determining the exact sequence of chemical units in human genetic material. An enthusiastic President Clinton predicted a revolution in “the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of most, if not all, human diseases.”
Now, 10 years later, a sobering realization has set in. Decoding the genome has led to stunning advance... [More]
20. June 2010 00:01
Most of us probably don't think about insects when we hear about Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Yet many scientists believe that genetically modified (GM) insects hold great promise by providing a powerful tool to prevent unnecessary deaths. Approximately half the world's population is at risk from insect-borne diseases such as malaria, sleeping sickness and dengue fever. Millions of people are killed by insect-borne diseases and hundreds of millions more are incapacitated ... [More]