Myriad Offers to "Gift" Its Breast Cancer Patent to Australia

by jeeg 30. September 2010 00:00
Myriad Genetics, in mid-August, 2010, sent a letter offering to surrender its Australian BRCA1 breast cancer gene.  The letter said, "Myriad wishes to gift Australian Patent No 686004 (the Patent) to the people of Australia."  On September 2, 2010, the Commissioner of Patents published notice of Myriad’s offer to surrender the Patent in the Australian Official Journal of Patents, and interested parties that want to be heard before the offer of surrender is accepted must su... [More]

Court Allows Funding of Stem Cell Research to Continue

by jeeg 29. September 2010 11:21
An appeals court ruled Tuesday that government funding of embryonic stem cell research can continue for now. The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington granted the Obama administration's request to allow the funding from the National Institutes of Health while it appeals a judge's order blocking the research. The administration had argued that stopping the research while the case proceeds would irreparably harm scientific progress toward potentially lifesaving medical treatment. U.S. Distr... [More]

Patient Data Accidentally Posted on the Internet

by jeeg 28. September 2010 02:36
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center said Monday that bits and pieces of information, including 10 Social Security numbers, from about 6,800 patients had been inadvertently disclosed on the Internet. The institutions said in a written statement that the information was mistakenly placed on a server from which it became public. Myrna Manners, a spokeswoman for the hospital, said it appeared that someone internally had made a mistake, and that there was no crimi... [More]

Has HHS and the NIH Abandoned Ethics?

by jeeg 27. September 2010 19:39
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recently informed the SACGHS (Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Genetics Health and Society) that it will be disbanded after its next meeting.  The decision was made by the Secretary in close concert with Dr. Francis Collins at the NIH.  SACGHS was intially created eight years ago by the Department of Health and Human Services to advise it and other federal agencies on the ethical, legal and social implications of emerging genetic tec... [More]

Democrats and DNA Databases

by jeeg 24. September 2010 19:16
The Democratic Party has long gained political capital and much of its identity by holding itself out as a champion of civil liberties. From supporting free speech to protecting individuals' privacy, Democrats have presented themselves as defenders of the basic principle that government should protect fundamental rights, and certainly not trample them. Yet recent developments suggest that this commitment to civil liberties may be wavering in one important respect: DNA databases. Three rec... [More]

FDA Debates GM Salmon Labelling

by jeeg 23. September 2010 20:36
US experts Tuesday held a second day of hearings into whether to allow genetically modified salmon to become the first so-called "Frankenfood" animal to be served up on American dinner tables. The meeting, which tackled the thorny issue of labelling, came after a 14-member committee of independent experts consulted by the Food and Drug Administration called for further studies before any decision is reached. Under the current laws, GM modified salmon would not have to be labelled as tran... [More]

FDA Appears to Favor Engineered Salmon

by jeeg 22. September 2010 00:51
Members of a federal advisory committee on Monday seemed to conclude that genetically engineered super-salmon would be safe to eat and for the environment, but they also found gaps in the studies used to support that conclusion. The committee met here to advise the Food and Drug Administration on whether to approve what would be the first genetically engineered animal to enter the American food supply. The Atlantic salmon, which would be raised on farms, contain an extra growth hormone&nbs... [More]

GM Salmon: FDA Hears Arguments To Decide Approval Of 'Frankenfish'

by jeeg 21. September 2010 02:37
Tinker with the genetics of salmon and maybe you create a revolutionary new food source that could help the environment and feed the hungry. Or maybe you're creating what some say is an untested "frankenfish" that could cause unknown allergic reactions and the eventual decimation of the wild salmon population. The Food and Drug Administration hears both arguments Monday when it begins a two-day meeting on whether to approve the marketing of the genetically engineered fish, whic... [More]

Sickle cell testing of athletes stirs discrimination fears

by jeeg 20. September 2010 20:20
U.S. colleges and universities for the first time are requiring top student athletes to submit to testing for the gene for sickle cell anemia, a mandate aimed at preventing sudden deaths of promising young players but stirring deep fears about reviving dangerous old prejudices. The screening hopes to identify athletes at high risk for life-threatening complications from intense physical exertion. That way, those with the gene could be monitored more closely and their training could be mo... [More]

Where does the myth of a gene for things like intelligence come from?

by jeeg 17. September 2010 20:57
I recently received an email from a company called MyGeneProfile: "By discovering your child's inborn talents & personality traits, it can surely provide a great head start to groom your child in the right way ... our Inborn Talent Genetic Test has 99.8% accuracy." I'd registered to receive information from the company having heard it was offering a genetic test for such diverse traits as optimism, composure, intelligence and dancing. Despite all the efforts of the Human Genome Projec... [More]
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