U.S. Government Says Genes Should Not be Eligible for Patents

by jeeg 30. October 2010 13:20
Reversing a longstanding policy, the federal government said on Friday that human and other genes should not be eligible for patents because they are part of nature. The new position could have a huge impact on medicine and on the biotechnology industry. The new position was declared in a friend-of-the-court brief filed by the Department of Justice late Friday in a case involving two human genes linked to breast and ovarian cancer. “We acknowledge that this conclusion is contrary... [More]

Grassley Questions NIH Ethics

by jeeg 30. October 2010 03:23
Senator Charles Grassley (R–IA) is asking more questions about ethics policies at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In one of his last actions as ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, Grassley is concerned about intramural researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) who take a dozen or more trips a year for which their expenses are paid by outside groups. NIH staff defend the trips, often to other countries, as part of their duty to interact with the internat... [More]

US researchers have identified a gene variant they say can lead to a liberal political outlook

by jeeg 30. October 2010 01:01
Ever wondered why you have a hankering to drive a Prius and drink lattes? Or why you read the Guardian and scrupulously put it in the recycling? There might be a gene for that – with a little help from your friends. Researchers at the University of California and Harvard University have identified a specific gene variant that they say predisposes those carrying it to liberal political ideology – with the findings quickly seized on by the US media as uncovering "the liberal gen... [More]

Pope Says Science Can Unite Humans With God

by jeeg 29. October 2010 20:33
Pope Benedict XVI told scientists that their research can lead to knowledge of God by revealing the natural order of the universe.The pope made his remarks on Thursday (Oct. 28) before a plenary session of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences at the Vatican.The evident logic governing the universe "leads us to admit the existence of an all-powerful Reason, which is other than that of man, and which sustains the world," Benedict said."This is the meeting point between the natural sciences and... [More]

Public Support for GM Food Drops in Australia

by jeeg 28. October 2010 20:17
Australians continue to support biotechnologies that provide health and environmental benefits, but support for genetically modified foods has dropped since 2007, a new national survey has found. The latest study of public perception towards biotechnologies – conducted biannually over the past 10 years – was released this week by the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research. Biotechnologies of key interest to the public include genetic modification (GM), cloni... [More]

Myriad’s gene patenting battle moves to next stage

by jeeg 27. October 2010 23:31
The second stage is now set in an epic legal question over a weighty and emotional matter of public policy: Whether patents connected to naturally occurring genes can be granted by the federal government. For Myriad Genetics, a lawsuit over its patents that concern two human genes related to breast and ovarian cancer represents a threat to businesses and industries far beyond the small Salt Lake City company. The suit by 20 researchers, organizations and cancer victims “is nominall... [More]

Paying egg donors: a child at any price?

by jeeg 27. October 2010 00:01
Should we pay women to become egg donors to tackle the 'mismatch' between supply and demand? This question was debated last week in an event organised by the Progress Educational Trust in partnership with the Royal Society of Medicine, supported by the National Gamete Donation Trust and the British Fertility Society (BFS).   Dr Sue Avery, director of assisted conception at Birmingham Women's Hospital, opened the discussion. She said participation in eggsharing - a programme designed... [More]

Alaskan Legislature Opposes GM Salmon

by jeeg 26. October 2010 01:16
  State Capitol Juneau, Alaska, 99801 October 1, 2010 Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. Commissioner Food and Drug Administration 10903 New Hampshire Avenue Silver Spring, MD 20993 Dear Commissioner, We are writing to express our serious opposition to allowing AquaBounty to market genetically engineered salmon. After studying the research surrounding their application, we feel there are too many unanswered questions concerning the potential dangers to wild salmon stocks, detri... [More]

New Virus 'Jumps' From Monkey to Scientist, Causing Serious Illness

by jeeg 25. October 2010 18:58
A never-before detected strain of virus that killed more than one-third of a monkey colony at a U.S. lab appears to have 'jumped' from the animals to sicken a human scientist, researchers report. Although it's an unusual move for that type of virus and does warrant further monitoring, the researchers stress there is no cause for alarm at this time. There is no evidence the virus has spread beyond the single scientist -- who recovered from her illness -- nor is there even proof that the vi... [More]

Medical-data breach said to be major

by jeeg 22. October 2010 18:41
A computer flash drive containing the names, addresses, and personal health information of 280,000 people is missing - one of the largest recent security breaches of personal health data in the nation. "We deeply regret this unfortunate incident," said Jay Feldstein, the president of the two affiliated Philadelphia companies, Keystone Mercy Health Plan and AmeriHealth Mercy Health Plan. The breach, which involves the records of Medicaid recipients, is the first such Medicaid data breach in... [More]
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