CDC Calls Personal Genomics "Not Ready for Prime Time"

by jeeg 31. July 2010 00:37
Dr. Muin Khoury, director of the Office of Public Health Genomics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the first time publicly stated the CDC's position against DTC testing.  His full statement is below: Today I would like to talk to you about personal genomic tests that consumers can buy on the Internet to measure their genetic risk for multiple diseases. You may have heard about different tests. You may even have had patients ask you about these tests or share the ... [More]

DTC and Regulating Medical Advice

by jeeg 30. July 2010 19:11
  Last week’s Congressional hearings on the direct-to-consumer genetics industry (featuring a provocative GAO report based on covertly recorded phone calls made to major DTC companies) have spurred plenty of discussion, including Daniel MacArthur’s post at Genomes Unzipped and Dan Vorhaus’ post at Genomics Law Report. But we disagree with some other Genomes Unzipped members about the regulatory future of the industry, and in particular we believe that medical... [More]

SF Chronicle Opposes Berkeley's Genetic Testing Program

by jeeg 27. July 2010 06:20
  Each year, UC Berkeley freshmen participate in a program that's meant to draw them together. This year's topic is Personalized Medicine - and as part of the program, UC Berkeley has sent incoming freshmen a kit so that their DNA can be tested. The DNA submissions are voluntary. But this is still a spectacularly bad idea, for any number of reasons. What if there's a security breach, and the students' DNA information goes walking off with someone who may not have their best int... [More]

Mother of Injured Biotech Worker Speaks Out on Conflicts of Interest

by jeeg 26. July 2010 00:41
Sandi Trend, mother of injured Agraquest, Inc. biotech worker, David Bell spoke of her recent discovery of the “conflicts of interest” in Sacramento, California's workers' compensation Judge, Suzanne F. Dugan presiding over her son's workers' compensation trial on September 10, 2007.   Dugan's order on October 12, 2007 was that Trend's son did not sustain a workplace injury/illness at Agraquest and he was to receive nothing on his workers' compensation ... [More]

European Parliament calls for ban on food from cloned animals

by jeeg 25. July 2010 18:33
  Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) renewed their appeal for a ban on food from cloned animals when they voted on novel foods legislation on Wednesday. They also demanded a moratorium on foods using nanotechnology until potential health risks can be ruled out. Novel foods - those from new production processes or those traditionally consumed only outside the EU - have been regulated since 1997. The European Parliament voted today to back a new streamlined authorisation proc... [More]

House Committee Questions DTC Companies

by jeeg 23. July 2010 14:39
The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations grilled representatives from 23andMe, Navigenics, and Pathway Genomics over the GAO investigation and other findings during a Wednesday hearing held to discuss the public health effects of direct-to-consumer genetic tests. Representative Parker Griffith, striking an alarmist tone, compared the information supplied by DTC genetic testing companies to his throwing a snake into the middle of the Congressional hearing. ... [More]

Undercover Investigation Hits DTC Testing Companies Hard

by jeeg 22. July 2010 23:21
An undercover investigation of some firms that sell genetic test kits to consumers found misleading test results and “egregious examples of deceptive marketing,” according to a report published today by the Government Accountability Office.     Federal investigators bought 10 kits each from four companies that sell such tests, selected real donors to send in their samples for testing, and then, posing as fictitious customers seeking health advice about the resul... [More]

Man-Made Life a Boon With Risks for Terror and Error

by jeeg 22. July 2010 00:03
Government regulation is needed to oversee the fast-developing synthetic biology industry, said two pioneers in the field, Harvard scientist George Church and genome researcher Craig Venter.  The ability of scientists to modify bacteria and other organisms by adding designer gene sequences may lead to faster flu vaccines and carbon-free fuels, Church and other scientists told a presidential bioethics commission meeting in Washington. In the hands of criminals or terrorists, the t... [More]

New issue of GeneWatch on Genetics and Identity

by jeeg 19. July 2010 20:26
  Check out the brand new issue of GeneWatch magazine on Genetics and Identity.  This exciting new issue has pieces on the meaning of genetics for gay and lesbian identities, how genetics impacts Jews and Native Americans, updates on recent Supreme Court decisions on genetically modified food, commentary on synthetic biology and bioethics training for careers in the biosciences and much more! Check it all out at [More]

Grim Sleeper Case Doesn't Justify Expanding the Reach of DNA Databases

by jeeg 17. July 2010 16:01
Last week, Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers arrested a suspect they believe is the elusive "Grim Sleeper" serial killer responsible for 11 murders across South Los Angeles, dating as far back as 1985. The arrest made national news, in part because the LAPD broke the case by using a controversial new technique known as "familial DNA" searching. Prosecutors are now using this success to argue that familial DNA should be used more widely. There's no question that the arrest in t... [More]
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