23andme Questions GWAS Longevity Study

by jeeg 8. July 2010 02:09
A genome-wide association study of extreme longevity published last week in the journal Science has been receiving a lot of press attention.  The results are quite extraordinary: the authors identify 70 loci with genome-wide significant evidence for association with living past the age of 100, and they construct a SNP-based model for predicting exceptional longevity (EL) that has 77% accuracy in an independent set of individuals.  We were initially very excited by the article and... [More]

23andWho?: Consumer Privacy and “Internet-Enabled Human Genomics”

by jeeg 7. July 2010 00:27
In the June issue of PLoS Genetics, the direct-to-consumer corporation 23andMe.com published its first genome-wide association study (GWAS).  Examining the somewhat obscure traits of curly hair, the propensity to sneeze in sunlight, and the ability to smell one’s urine after consuming asparagus, the study drew its data from “a research framework wherein research participants, derived from the customer base of 23andMe, Inc., a direct-to-consumer genetic inform... [More]

The Americans with Disabilities Act – 20 Years Later

by jeeg 6. July 2010 00:48
  This July 26, we will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by President George H.W. Bush. That law, which enjoyed overwhelming bipartisan support in the House and Senate, helped to put our country on a course that would lead to equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for millions of Americans with disabilities. The ADA also inspired countries around the world to pass similar d... [More]

Dispute Escalating Over Genetic Resources

by jeeg 5. July 2010 00:05
A new dispute is emerging between developing and industrialized countries, with the battle expected to reach a head in Nagoya. Developing countries are demanding a larger share of benefits from their supplies of the plants and micro-organisms that form the raw materials for many food, pharmaceutical and cosmetics products. Companies in industrialized nations that develop these products already fear that these "genetic resources" may no longer be readily available if new rules favor dev... [More]

Lawsuit Filed to Halt Release of Genetically Engineered Eucalyptus Trees

by jeeg 4. July 2010 00:21
An alliance of conservation organizations today sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture over its approval of open-air field tests of a genetically engineered (GE) hybrid of eucalyptus tree across the southern United States. The permit, issued to a company called ArborGen, which is a joint initiative of International Paper, MeadWestvaco and Rubicon, was approved May 12 with minimal environmental review. It authorizes the experimental planting and flowering of a new, genetically engineered h... [More]

Stanford stem cell scientist leads effort to prevent fraudulent treatment

by jeeg 2. July 2010 02:34
Leading stem cell researchers from institutions around the world are issuing warnings about unproven stem cell therapies being marketed on the Internet and have launched a website to educate and protect patients seeking such treatments. Often conducted outside of the United States, most of these therapies have little or no benefit — and can be dangerous as well as costly. "Many people are going into the hands of predators," said Irving Weissman, MD, director of the Stanford Institut... [More]

UK Votes for All Six GM Applications in Europe, Commission struggles to find legal way forward on GM cultivation

by jeeg 1. July 2010 21:45
The UK voted in favour of six applications to import GM maize at yesterday’s EU Agriculture Council meeting, but none were approved because no qualified majority votes were achieved.  As most EU food companies continue to avoid GM ingredients in food, the GM maize would mainly be used for animal feed. There is currently no requirement to label products produced using GM animal feed, although legislation to change this will be voted on in the European Parliament on 7 July.  ... [More]
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