25. December 2010 03:24
Check out the brand new issue of GeneWatch magazine on Gene Patents. This exciting new issue features interviews with the litigants in the suit against Myriad Genetics. That case-in which a district court ruled several of Myriad Genetics' patents on genes related to breast cancer invalid, has drawn national media attention, and with it, the kind of hyperbole made for sound bites. Some opponents of gene patents don't mind suggesting that by patenting human genes, a company... [More]
24. December 2010 00:10
'Business as usual' wins out over precaution in proposals for policing synthetic organisms
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues today released its recommendations on the oversight of synthetic biology, provoking strong criticism from public interest watchdogs for its failure to respond to key environmental and public health risks.
In a letter to the commission, 58 environmental, public interest, and religious groups rejected the recommendatio... [More]
23. December 2010 04:18
"Country team Paris recommends that we calibrate a target retaliation list that causes some pain across the EU" [Emphasis added] --Recommendation by US Ambassador to France, Craig Stapleton.
WikiLeaked cables released over the weekend revealed more about the US' role as a global bully, trying to thrust unpopular genetically modified (GM) crops onto cautious governments and their citizens. In a 2007 cable from Craig Stapleton, then US Ambassador to France, he encouraged the US government ... [More]
23. December 2010 04:02
The White House on Friday released its long-delayed scientific integrity guidelines, intended to ban political interference in science.
President Barack Obama campaigned on scientific integrity after scientists and others complained that Bush administration officials distorted scientific work and limited access to information on a variety of issues ranging from climate change to lead poisoning and mountaintop removal mining.
Shortly after Obama took office, he issued a memorandum in Marc... [More]
22. December 2010 06:19
On its face, it seemed reasonable enough: a bone marrow registry sending recruiters to malls, ballparks and other busy sites to enlist potential donors.
But the recruiters were actually flirtatious models in heels, short skirts and lab coats, law enforcement officials say, asking passers-by for DNA swabs without mentioning the price of the seemingly simple procedure. And the registry, Caitlin Raymond International, was paying up to $60,000 a week for the models while billing insurance co... [More]
22. December 2010 06:08
The president’s bioethics commission says there is no need to temporarily halt research or to impose new regulations on the controversial new field known as synthetic biology.
In a report being issued Thursday, the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues says that at present the technology — which involves creating novel organisms through the synthesis and manipulation of DNA — poses few risks because it is still in its infancy.
Instead, the report ... [More]
22. December 2010 06:00
Shhhh… do you have a secret? In the new Age of WikiLeaks, it might not stay secret long even if you aren’t a diplomat or a politician.In recent days the notorious whistle-blowing site Wikileaks has disclosed “confidential” U.S. State Department cables that separately mention two life science companies: the drug giant Pfizer and the Iceland-based deCode Genetics.Other cables reveal that the State Department has asked embassies abroad to collect “bio... [More]
16. December 2010 05:31
GCC states are considering the idea of exchanging fingerprint and security information electronically within the six-member bloc, officials said at the conclusion of meeting of a workgroup for electronic exchange of fingerprints and security information. The two-day meeting was hosted by Qatar’s Ministry of Interior “There was also agreement on the consideration of iris scans, face prints and DNA database in future so that will serve the security work in combating differe... [More]
16. December 2010 05:28
JUSTICE ministry officials are working feverishly to make the December deadline for the tabling of legislation to provide for the collection and use of DNA data as evidence.
Prime Minister Bruce Golding, in a statement to the House of Representatives in 2008, had pitched the idea of introducing legislation to enable the taking of non-invasive DNA samples, establishing a DNA database for access to and use of the samples and allowing persons to obtain copies of DNA profiles. At the time he ... [More]
16. December 2010 05:21
Malaysia is on the brink of field testing GE mosquitoes in a small town in the state of Pahang, a short distance from Kuala Lumpur. Preparations are said to be underway to release the GE mosquitoes, first, in an uninhabited area and subsequently, in an inhabited area. Another proposed site for the field experiment is in the state of Melaka.This is despite an outpouring of concern by scientists, civil society organizations, local inhabitants and individuals who have... [More]