Court Rejects Judge’s Assertion of a Child Pornography Gene

by jeeg 31. January 2011 18:34
A federal appeals court in Manhattan overturned a six-and-a-half-year sentence in a child pornography case on Friday, saying the judge who imposed it improperly found that the defendant would return to viewing child pornography “because of an as-of-yet undiscovered gene.” The judge, Gary L. Sharpe of Federal District Court in Albany, was quoted as saying, “It is a gene you were born with. And it’s not a gene you can get rid of,” before he sentenced the defen... [More]

USDA will allow planting of modified alfalfa

by jeeg 28. January 2011 21:56
The Agriculture Department is allowing widespread planting of genetically modified alfalfa, attempting to bring to a close a lengthy legal and regulatory process in which organic producers attempted to curtail the use of the modified crop. The decision announced Thursday is a blow to the organic foods industry, which complains that modified seeds can contaminate their organic crops through pollination, bringing genetically modified foods into their fields. The Agriculture Department h... [More]

Simple prenatal genetic tests may lead to healthier babies -- and more abortions

by jeeg 27. January 2011 19:48
If reproductive technologies like in vitro fertilization and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis give you the heebie-jeebies, Booster Shots is sorry to inform you that things are about to get a lot more complicated. In just the past month, researchers have made great strides in their ability to analyze the DNA of a fetus by collecting it from a sample of maternal blood. A study last week in the British Medical Journal reported on a simple blood test that was able to determine whether a fet... [More]

Pigging out on genetically modified pork

by jeeg 27. January 2011 01:33
Genetically engineered pork may one day become a part of your local grocer's food list. But who's to decide whether or not this product should be on the shelves? It's a question before officials in both Canada and the U.S., thanks to Canadian researchers who have developed a genetically modified pig which they want to breed commercially for human consumption. It is, however, a controversial topic. At the centre of the furor, a line of pigs known as the "Enviropig." The scientist who deve... [More]

$1b effort yields no bioterror defenses

by jeeg 24. January 2011 20:49
The Pentagon is scaling back one of its largest efforts to develop treatments for troops and civilians infected in a germ warfare attack after a $1 billion, five-year program fell short of its primary goal. Even the heavy infusion of research cash and a unified effort by university labs and biotech companies from Boston to California were insufficient to break through limitations of genetic science, according to government officials and specialists in biological terrorism. Instead, the P... [More]

U.S. Presses Europe to Worship Genetically Modified Foods

by jeeg 20. January 2011 02:11
When it comes to the federal government's eagerness to advance the genetically modified food agenda of Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta, and other agribusinesses, nothing is sacred—not even the pope. While the recent media hubbub caused by WikiLeaks might have focused on the war in Afghanistan and American opinions of various world leaders, the flood of diplomatic cables contained numerous communications showing that Bush administration officials were doing everything in their power to und... [More]

Combat in Our Genes?

by jeeg 19. January 2011 21:10
Born soldiers may say they have "combat in our genes" — but a new report suggests the Pentagon may want to give the phrase whole new meaning by turning DNA into the next military battleground. The report, prepared by a defense science advisory panel known as JASON and reported by Secrecy News and HuffPost's Dan Froomkin, among others, recommends that the military take advantage of the rapidly falling cost of gene sequencing by preparing to engage in the mass sequencing of the genome... [More]

LANDMARK GENETIC PRIVACY BILL INTRODUCED ON BEACON HILL

by jeeg 19. January 2011 19:49
The MASSACHUSETTS GENETIC BILL OF RIGHTS was just introduced. The legislation builds on passed efforts by the General Court in the early part of the 2000’s to secure one’s own genetic information and genetic material. The state action in Massachusetts is credited with being a major factor creating the political environment which made it possible for Congress to enact the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) in 2008. GINA is considered by many to have been the single... [More]

Study finding genetic patterns in social networks is rightfully criticized

by jeeg 18. January 2011 22:52
Groups of friends show patterns of genetic similarity, according to a study published today in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences1. The findings are based on patterns of variation in two out of six genes sampled among friends and strangers. But the claim is a hard sell for some geneticists, who say that the researchers have not analysed enough genes to rule out alternative explanations. The team, led by James Fowler, a social scientist at the University of California, Sa... [More]

UAE aims to create DNA database in 10-year project

by jeeg 18. January 2011 22:38
The UAE has large plans and grandiose ambitions to create a national DNA database. "This is a ten-year project and the UAE is set to be among the first countries to establish a DNA to all its residents and one of 55 countries out of 180 that will establish such a database," Colonel Dr Ahmad Al Marzouqi, Head of the UAE National Database Center told Gulf News on the sidelines of the Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) seminar held in Abu Dhabi yesterday. The vision is to create four labs set ... [More]
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