EU Lawmakers Vote to Expand Ban on GMOs

by jeeg 14. April 2011 22:15
Members of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee voted on April 12, to add “environmental impacts” to a list of grounds on which European Union countries could either ban or restrict GMO (genetically modified organisms) usage.Greenpeace’s European Unit welcomed the move, as it strengthened the originally weak proposal from the Committee, which restricted EU countries’ right to ban the cultivation of GMO crops. Greenpeace EU's agriculture policy advis... [More]

Patent Application Involving Improperly Obtained Genetic Samples Abandoned

by jeeg 11. April 2011 19:18
The Network of the Indigenous Peoples-Solomons (NIPS) welcomes the abandonment of a US patent application that uses genetic samples from Solomon Islanders, in a case that raises major ethical questions.   According to the USPTO’s Patent Application Information Retrieval system, US based lawyers representing Taiwanese scientist, Dr. Ko Ying-Chin filed an express abandonment application on April 01st, 2011 at 2:53pm EDT for the patent application number US20100248253.   ... [More]

Australians interested in genetically-tailored diets

by jeeg 11. April 2011 19:16
Australian consumers could soon be buying food and drink based on whether it suits their genetic make up as interest in new technology soars, according to consumer research agency Datamonitor. Research by the independent market analyst has revealed that more than half (51%) of Australian consumers now find the idea of using information about their genes to provide nutritional and diet-related advice to be appealing. “Consumers have always wanted food and beverages which cater to th... [More]

The loaded ethics of DNA hacking

by jeeg 11. April 2011 19:11
The most disruptive force on the planet resides in DNA. Don't believe it? Only five days into the 2009 swine flu outbreak, the swapping of a few genes in a virus native to pigs shut down Mexico. Schools closed. Churches were shuttered. Mexico City's famed Cinco de Mayo parade was canceled. In the United States, a few dozen cases of the flu caused by the genetically novel virus sent airline stocks tumbling. Pundits muttered about economic recovery being stopped in its tracks. Russia and Ch... [More]

DNA collection to intimidate unions - in South Korea

by jeeg 8. April 2011 20:16
  It has emerged that prosecutors have been collecting DNA samples from workers convicted of engaging in strikes and other activities. The practice, which currently targets workers who took part in a Ssangyong Motor strike and occupation of Daelim Motor, has reportedly been taking place at district prosecutor’s offices across the country since March. Not only does this have strong elements of a human rights violation, but it is an immoderate application of the law that could po... [More]

Give teenagers genetic tests to see if they carry incurable diseases that could be passed on to their children

by jeeg 7. April 2011 21:48
Teenagers should be offered gene tests to see if they are carrying incurable diseases that could be passed on to children, official guidelines say. They would be encouraged to undergo screening which would show up any DNA flaws that determine inherited conditions such as cystic fibrosis and Down’s syndrome. The guidelines say 15 and 16-year-olds should be offered the tests before they start having sex or settle down. Those found to be carrying inherited conditions could be offered... [More]

Pre-pregnancy Screening Gets Green Light In UK

by jeeg 7. April 2011 00:09
The Human Genetics Commission (HGC), upon the request for advice from the U.K. National Screening Committee, reported that genetic tests for inherited diseases should be made widely available to couples before pregnancy. The report found that “there are no specific social, ethical or legal” reasons why these genetic screenings should not be available to let people know if they are carrying any condition that can be passed on to future generations. Cystic fibrosis and sickle... [More]

Appeals Court Hears Arguments in Gene Patent Case

by jeeg 5. April 2011 05:09
An appeals court here heard arguments Monday in a high-profile case on whether human genes can be patented -- a case whose outcome could have far-reaching effects on genetic testing at the onset of the era of personalized medicine. A panel of three appeals court judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit are tasked with ruling whether seven existing patents on two genes -- BRCA1 and BRCA2, the genes associated with increased breast and ovarian cancer risk -- are valid, or... [More]

ACLU, PUBPAT And U.S. Solicitor General In Federal Appeals Court Today Challenging Patents On Human Genes Linked To Breast Cancer

by jeeg 5. April 2011 05:05
The American Civil Liberties Union, Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) and U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal were in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C. today urging the court to uphold a lower court ruling that patents on two human genes are illegal. "The human gene is a product of nature and no more patentable than a human kidney,” said Chris Hansen, staff attorney with the ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project who argued on behalf of the pl... [More]

Gene patents and democracy

by jeeg 1. April 2011 21:22
On 4 April, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, DC will review a case that calls into question patents on human genes. Much of the debate has focused on how the case might reshape the future of biotechnology research and genomic medicine. But what is at least as important, if not more so, are the case’s positive implications for democratic engagement in the patent system, which could ultimately enhance the social benefits of innovation. The case stems fro... [More]
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