31. August 2010 02:50
In a recent dissent in an unrelated patent case, Federal Circuit Judge Timothy B. Dyk in Intervet v. Merial raises the question as to whether isolated DNA is patentable subject matter. Dyk's dissent is important as a member of the Federal Circuit to whom the Myriad case has been appealed, challenging a ruling by Judge Robert W. Sweet in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York that found that an isolated DNA sequence is NOT patentable subject matter.
30. August 2010 20:44
US authorities today began the process to approve the first GM animal for human consumption.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a 60-day period of consultation and public meetings over whether to permit a GM strain of salmon to be eaten by humans, even though it has been called a "frankenfish" by critics. The approval process could take less than a year, and if it gets the green light the fish could be on the market in 18 months.
Environmentalists and scientis... [More]
29. August 2010 06:38
The Obama administration said Tuesday that it would appeal a court ruling challenging the legality of President Obama’s rules governing human embryonic stem cell research, as the head of the National Institutes of Health said the decision would most likely force the cancellation of dozens of experiments in diseases ranging from diabetes to Parkinson’s.
Officials said experiments already under way could continue. But if the ruling is upheld... [More]
24. August 2010 05:37
Ten years ago, mapping the human genome cost billions. Now, a map of your genome could be your very own for as little as a thousand dollars! Not that I’m one to question the powers that be, but see that downward dotted line labeled "Moore’s Law." Moore’s law describes a long-term trend in the history of computing hardware, in which the number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on an... [More]
23. August 2010 00:29
Last week, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) instructed UC Berkeley to modify its “Bring Your Genes to Cal” program. From the beginning, UCB’s controversial plan to test the DNA of incoming freshman for three genes, brought into bold relief many of the complex questions that engulf emerging biotechnologies, for example: how best to protect privacy rights; informed consent; the integrity of medical testing and research; and how to identify and reduce conf... [More]
21. August 2010 01:52
After months of debate, a ruling by the California Department of Public Health last week put an end to the most controversial part of a student DNA-testing project at the University of California at Berkeley, but now another debate has opened over how academic research will be affected.
Some researchers fear that the health department's position on the Berkeley project could have broader implications for academic research in California, limiting the conditions under which subjects of rese... [More]
19. August 2010 15:21
What is the essence of Jewish identity? Is it revealed in the choices we make, like giving tzedakah or observing the Sabbath, or is it in our genetic code? Is it a matter of faith, or a matter of heritability? Is it something we can choose, or is it a biological imperative embedded in nearly every cell of our body?
New genetic research, published as a paper titled “Abraham’s Children in the Genome Era” in the June issue of The American Journal of Human Genetics, highlights t... [More]
18. August 2010 13:36
I am happy to endorse Dina Padilla for California Insurance Commissioner. Dina has decades of leadership and experience in fighting for worker’s rights related to workers compensation insurance. She is honest and takes a stand for integrity, defending injured workers who deserve healthcare.
Dina will fight for the public’s good as well. She will insure that companies who run from their responsibilities toward injured workers and thereby place un... [More]
17. August 2010 02:52
The University of California at Berkeley has been forced, by the California Department of Public Health, to abandon significant portions of its “Bring Your Genes to Cal” orientation program for incoming freshmen. The Department of Health informed UC Berkeley that major aspects of the orientation program – described as an “experiment” by the university – are unlawful. Today the university announced significant changes to the program to comply with the sta... [More]
15. August 2010 00:08
How safe is the workplace for those who labor in biotech, or applied technology based on biology? Just ask Steve Zeltzer, chair of the California Coalition for Workers Memorial Day. He organized the first–ever national conference on health and safety issues in the biotech industry in San Francisco recently.
“The purpose of this conference is to get out information about the issue of biotech products, their regulation and injured biotech workers in the US,” Zeltzer said.... [More]