29. April 2011 22:19
What’s the News: As a European court looks poised to ban the patenting of technologies using human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), a group of prominent scientists has issued a warning: regenerative medicine is never going to leave the lab if no one can make money on it.
What’s the Context:
Embryonic stem cells are derived from human embryos, usually donated after fertility treatments. They can develop into many different types of cells, which has raised hopes that t... [More]
29. April 2011 20:48
A federal appeals court on Friday overturned a trial judge's preliminary injunction that blocked government funding of research involving human embryonic stem cells, a significant legal victory for the Obama administration.
The U.S Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, in a 2-1 ruling, said the National Institutes of Health reasonably concluded that government funding for embryonic stem-cell research is not prohibited by a 1996 law that bars the use of federal money for ... [More]
28. April 2011 19:37
After Bihar complained against the clandestine experiments of GM food crops in the state, it is Madhya Pradesh's turn now. State agriculture development minister Ramkrishn Kusmaria has written to the Centre against the clearance by Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) to GM Maize trials in the state. GEAC is the statutory authority under the environment ministry to clear trials and introduction of genetically modified crops. It had come under flak from environment minister Jairam... [More]
27. April 2011 21:50
For more than a century biologists made great strides in understanding the complex tapestry of life by tracing the smaller and shorter threads in its many patterns. This reductionist approach, which breaks complicated processes into their component parts to understand them better, has produced extraordinary advances. We take it for granted, for example, that DNA molecules—and not proteins—carry our genetic information, but that was a matter of huge debate and study in the early 20t... [More]
27. April 2011 21:38
“Three generations of imbeciles is enough," thundered Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., in the 1927 Buck vs. Bellcourt decision, legalizing forced sterilizations nationwide.
A triumph of the "eugenics" movement, which aimed at breeding "better" humans, the decision was embraced by dozens of states, from Virginia to California, leading to more than 60,000 forced sterilizations by the 1960's. The sterilizations were aimed at ensuring no offspring for poor people ... [More]
25. April 2011 19:14
JUSTICE MINISTER Alan Shatter has told a conference of Garda sergeants and inspectors that he will include legislation to create a national DNA database one of his top legislative priorities.
Speaking to the annual conference of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors in Limerick this morning, Shatter said a legal move to allow Gardaí create such a database would assist them in completing their duties.
The Dublin South TD added that he would be shortly publishing a bill ... [More]
20. April 2011 20:34
The USDA plans to experiment with a new way of evaluating biotech crops for potential commercialization.Under the agency's new two-year pilot project, biotech developers would conduct their own environmental assessment of transgenic crops or pay contractors to perform the analysis.Currently, officials at USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service are responsible for the studies.Federal environmental law requires the agency to complete such reviews before deregulating biotech... [More]
19. April 2011 19:24
Is genetic testing of children a good idea? Parents seem to think so. New research shows that more than half of parents offered tests to predict their risk of developing common adult health conditions would test their kids as well.
But experts caution that gene tests, which are now widely available at drug stores and online, can sow confusion and needless alarm - or false reassurance.
"These tests usually don't offer a clean bill of health and can be hard to interpret even in the best ... [More]
18. April 2011 20:53
Since the human genome was sequenced, over 10 years ago, hardly a week has gone by without some new genetic "breakthrough" being reported. Last week five new "genes for Alzheimer's disease" generated sometimes front-page coverage across the globe. But take a closer look and the reality is very different.
Among all the genetic findings for common illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer and mental illnesses, only a handful are of genuine significance for human health. Faulty genes rarely... [More]
15. April 2011 15:57
A GROUPING of small scale farmers in 12 African countries has asked governments to be wary of agribusiness giants who want to bring in Genetically Modified Crops under the disguise of support to small holder farmers.The grouping, under Eastern and Southern Africa Small Scale Farmers' Forum (ESAFF) said in Dar es Salaam on Monday that there was threat that genetically modified (GMO) crops pose for indigenous plant species, organic harvests, small farmers, and the health and welfare of every... [More]