French police take DNA samples of Roma, rights group claims

by jeeg 21. October 2010 18:47
    A human rights group has accused French police of taking DNA samples of Roma as condemnation of France’s crackdown on illegal traveller camps intensifies.   French police have taken DNA samples of Roma (Gypsies) as part of a crackdown on illegal traveller camps, a leading human rights organisation has alleged. Jean Claude Vitran of the French Human Rights League told FRANCE 24 at a camp in Pontoise, near Paris, that many of the Roma at the site had been subjec... [More]

In Memoriam: Paul Miller

by jeeg 20. October 2010 18:23
It is with great sadness that I announce that Paul Miller passed away today in Seattle after a long fight with Cancer.  Many of you know Paul as a tremendous advocate for disability rights who served two Presidents and was one of the longest serving commissioners of the EEOC.  He was the primary architect of President Clinton's Executive Order outlawing genetic discrimination for federal employees and he worked tirelessly on the successful passage of GINA.   I worked with ... [More]

A Spray of DNA to Keep the Robbers Away

by jeeg 19. October 2010 21:20
ROTTERDAM, the Netherlands — When the McDonald's down from City Hall here was burglarized a few years ago, its managers decided they needed a new security system. It was just about that time that local police officers were offering something totally different that they hoped would stem a rising tide of robberies that occur mainly in the immigrant neighborhoods of this rough-and-tumble port city. The new system involved an employee-activated device that sprays a fine, barel... [More]

Death, DNA and the Supreme Court

by jeeg 19. October 2010 04:31
In an age when DNA technology can help identify the guilty and avoid grave miscarriages of justice, states should not be allowed to block testing of available biological evidence before executing someone. The Supreme Court heard arguments on Wednesday over a request by Henry Skinner, a Texas death row inmate, for DNA testing of blood, fingernail scrapings and hair found at the scene where his girlfriend and her two sons were murdered in 1993. In March, less than an hour before he was sch... [More]

Women delay childbirth due to false fertility expectations

by jeeg 18. October 2010 23:37
Women are delaying childbirth until later and later in life partly because they have an exaggerated belief that fertility treatments will help them get pregnant well into middle age, suggests new Canadian research. Media accounts of older celebrity mothers and even advice from ill-informed family doctors is fuelling unrealistic expectations about in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other reproductive technology, said Judith Daniluk, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia. ... [More]

UK's Human Genetics Commission Abolished- Is the Public Interest Being Served?

by jeeg 15. October 2010 21:16
The official announcement from the UK Government on the future of quangos has confirmed the rumoured abolition of the Human Genetics Commission (HGC), which advises the government on new developments in human genetics.  Gone also are the Gene Therapy Advisory Committee (GTAC) and Genetics and Insurance Committee (GAIC), along with the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) and Human Tissue Authority (HTA).   The HGC had a wide-ranging remit on issues... [More]

Can Negotiators Reach a Uniform Position on Patenting the World's Genetic Resources?

by jeeg 14. October 2010 20:29
High in the Cederberg Mountains of South Africa grows a bristly shrub that embodies the tug-of-war taking place between industrialized and developing nations over the value of genetic resources—the genes found in plant, animal or microbial cells used for research as well as in commercial products, such as enhanced seeds and naturally derived cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.The leaves of rooibos, translated from Afrikaans as "red bush," are sipped in ruby-hued teas around the world but ... [More]

Why Genes are Leftwing

by jeeg 14. October 2010 00:54
When the map of the human genome was presented to the world in 2001, psychiatrists had high hopes for it. Itemising all our genes would surely provide molecular evidence that the main cause of mental illness was genetic – something psychiatrists had long believed. Drug companies were wetting their lips at the prospect of massive profits from unique potions for every idiosyncrasy. But a decade later, unnoticed by the media, the human genome project has not delivered what the psychiat... [More]

Do-It-Yourself Gene Testing Threatens Myriad’s Monopoly

by jeeg 12. October 2010 23:48
Myriad Genetics sells an expensive genetic test for breast cancer risk for $3000. University of Maryland gene scientist Steven Salzberg thinks people should be able to do it at home  for free. He has created free software that analyzes the genome for 68 mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 cancer genes, which raise the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. All you need is your raw genome data on, say, a thumb drive.  A MacBook Pro from Apple could do ... [More]

Building a Mouse from Synthetic DNA

by jeeg 12. October 2010 20:42
Scientists have successfully created a small part of the DNA needed to build a mouse from scratch. It's just a step on on the long road to synthetic life, but in the short term their breakthrough could prevent genetic disease. Previously the researchers, at the Venter Institute, synthesized an entire bacterial genome. That genome was functional: The researchers were able to implant it in a yeast bacteria, which replicated the synthetic DNA. This new work on the mouse genome is much more ... [More]
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