Indigenous Group Calls on Taiwanese Government to Prevent Biopiracy

by jeeg 16. May 2011 21:18
THE NETWORK of the Indigenous Peoples-Solomons (NIPS) calls on the Taiwan Government to develop and rigorously enforce appropriate laws to prevent future abuses of Indigenous Peoples’ rights and dignity by Taiwanese genetic researchers.   This call is in response to a case of biopiracy in which a Taiwanese researcher used genetic materials from Indigenous peoples of the Solomon Islands to file a US patent application.   NIPS stresses that relevant laws must apply to T... [More]

Setback for New Stem Cell Treatment

by jeeg 14. May 2011 00:23
In an unexpected setback to efforts to harness a promising new type of stem cell to treat diseases, researchers reported on Friday that tissues made from those stem cells might be rejected by a patient’s immune system — even though the tissues would be derived from that very same patient. The research involved so-called induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, which can be made from skin cells and which appear to have the characteristics of embryonic stem cells. That mea... [More]

IP Rules for Synthetic Bio Generate More Questions Than Answers

by jeeg 13. May 2011 23:05
The biotechnology world was rocked a year ago this month, when J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., reported that he led a team of 17 researchers at his namesake institute in completing the second of three key steps toward creating a fully synthetic organism. The team created the largest man-made DNA structure by synthesizing and assembling the 582,970 base pair genome of the Mycoplasma genitalium. Scientists and even politicians debated the ethics of the research and of the broader goal of creating a... [More]

Don't Let Monsanto Buy Out Public Radio!

by jeeg 13. May 2011 20:47
If you listen to NPR, you might have been surprised to hear a story that ran last week on the program Marketplace that sounded as if it were written by Monsanto itself. The report, entitled "The Non-Organic Future," claimed that the only way to feed the world is to give poor farmers fertilizers, pesticides and genetically modified seeds. Pedro Sanchez, a proponent of industrial agriculture who works as a soil scientist at Columbia University, is the mouthpiece for the absurd proposition... [More]

Our biochemical romance: Osama bin Laden and DNA

by jeeg 12. May 2011 00:54
Last week, officials said that DNA from multiple family members was used to confirm that its years-long hunt for Osama bin Laden had ended in success. But even as politicians criticized President Obama’s decision not to release photos of the dead bin Laden, nobody questioned the assertion that, thanks to DNA, US officials are “99.9” percent certain that the man they shot and killed in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, was the long-sought al Qaeda leader. Instead, Repu... [More]

Racial Labels Have Limited Use In Personalizing Medicine

by jeeg 11. May 2011 22:57
For all the fanfare around personalized medicine, the idea has been fairly slow to take off. Boosters have said if doctors had a patient’s DNA information it would be revolutionary: They could look for genetic risk of certain diseases or mutations that determine whether certain drugs are likely to work or not. The cost of DNA sequencing keeps falling, yet genetic sequencing for medical use isn’t commonplace. In the meantime, doctors can, in theory, consider a patient’s ... [More]

In memory of those who have lost their lives in laboratory accidents

by jeeg 10. May 2011 23:23
* Dr. Nanaj Bhamare            2011, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, Contractor dies following lab explosion * Michelle Dufault                  2011, Yale University, Chemistry Department lathe * Nilamma                         ... [More]

Indigenous Peruvian Tribe Blocks DNA Sampling by National Geographic

by jeeg 9. May 2011 20:05
Complaints by indigenous leaders and local officials have blocked a plan by geneticists with the National Geographic Society to collect DNA from the remote Q'eros tribe in Peru as part of the Genographic Project, which seeks molecular clues to humankind's migrations over the globe. Population geneticist Spencer Wells, head of the Genographic Project, along with other expedition members, had planned to collect DNA in the Q'eros communities tomorrow, 7 May, as part of the ongoing project to ... [More]

Genetic tests moratorium for UK insurance renewed again

by jeeg 6. May 2011 23:45
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has announced another extension of an existing moratorium on the use of genetic test results for insurance purposes.  First established in 2001, the agreement between the ABI with the UK Department of Health means that individuals are not obliged to disclose the results of predictive genetic tests to insurers. The Concordat and Moratorium on Genetics, last renewed in 2008 until 2014, has now been extended further to 2017; the next r... [More]

USDA moves to let Monsanto perform its own environmental impact studies on GMOs

by jeeg 5. May 2011 23:20
Last August, Federal Judge Jeffrey White issued a stinging rebuke to the USDA for its process on approving new genetically modified seeds. He ruled that the agency's practice of "deregulating" novel seed varieties without first performing an environmental impact study violated the National Environmental Policy Act. The target of Judge White's ire was the USDA's 2005 approval of Monsanto's Roundup Ready sugar beets, engineered to withstand doses of the company's own herbicide. White's ruli... [More]
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