30. June 2011 20:28
Some of the DNA traces used to convict American student Amanda Knox of murdering Briton Meredith Kercher may have been contaminated, independent experts say.
The review by two court- appointed experts was requested by the defence and has been eagerly awaited. Its conclusions could boost Knox's chances of overturning her conviction.Knox was foundy guilty in 2009 of sexually assaulting and murdering Miss Kercher, from Coulsdon, Surrey - with whom she shared an apartment whil... [More]
29. June 2011 21:12
The international forum tasked with countering piracy off the coast of Somalia, plans to set up a DNA database of pirates by the end of next year, as part of its efforts to cut off illicit funds that finance pirates.
To effectively disrupt the flow of illegal funds that finance pirates, a database containing pirates' DNA profiles, names, passport numbers and other information will be set up by 2012," Moon Ha-yong, South Korea's ambassador for global counter-terrorism told Yonhap n... [More]
28. June 2011 23:39
When Minnesota Democrat Al Franken and Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown line up on the same side of an issue, my first guess would usually be that it’s to vote on some meaningless resolution in favor of apple pie.
Or, like now, it could be a sign that a controversial, potentially transformative piece of legislation is brewing.
Some strange political bedfellows are sending signals that big things are cooking this week as the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) kicks off it... [More]
27. June 2011 22:49
Kevin Douglas, whose mother and two brothers succumbed to rare genetic ailment Huntington’s disease, has seen discrimination first-hand.
The Guelphite said he well understands the current drive to change the Canadian Human Rights Code to ban genetic discrimination that is making it difficult for families to seek gainful employment and private life or health insurance.
“That’s a problem. I have tried to get insurance and it is difficult,” Douglas said Thursday, adding ... [More]
23. June 2011 22:09
What kills socially useful journalism is an ideological agenda and a stupid hunt for "news" often manufactured at the news desk.
In the New York Times of June 20, 2011, buried in the Arts section (at least in the Midwest edition), you will find a sterling example of one reason why print newspapers will soon be dead meat: the prevalence of news distortion without immediate rebuttal and commentary.
The story in NYT is about genetics and crime, the "news" provoked by a meeting of criminolog... [More]
23. June 2011 01:06
The U.K. Border Agency (UKBA) has completely abandoned its widely scorned investigation into DNA and isotope testing of human tissues as a means to verify the nationality claims of asylum seekers. The Times broke the news today, labeling the so-called Human Provenance Pilot Project an "expensive flop" (subs. required for story). UKBA reportedly spent £ 190,000 on the effort.
ScienceInsider first detailed the scientific criticisms of the little-known project in 2009. For example, ge... [More]
22. June 2011 22:35
Two bills allowing Israel police to build and expand use of identifying details in criminal investigations passed through Knesset committees this week.The Knesset Committee on Foreign Workers recommended on Wednesday that the police should keep records of migrants so they can be identified in criminal matters.
Committee chair MK Ya’acov Katz (National Union) – along with 11 other MKs – proposed an additional clause in the 1953 Law to Prevent Infiltration, which states: &... [More]
21. June 2011 20:28
The U.S. Supreme Court, accepting a case that will shape the burgeoning business of personalized medicine, agreed to consider what types of diagnostic medical tests can be patented.
The justices agreed today to hear an appeal from the Mayo Clinic, which is challenging a lower court decision backing two patents for determining the dosage of medicines to treat stomach diseases. The ruling cleared the patents’ owner, Prometheus Laboratories Inc., to press an infringement suit against two M... [More]
20. June 2011 23:44
China established its first national gene bank on Friday in south China's city of Shenzhen with the support of the Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI), officials said.
With the establishment of the National Gene Bank in Shenzhen, China will be able to better protect, research and utilize its precious genetic resources, boosting the genetics industry and safeguarding the country's genetic information, said Qi Chengyuan, head of the high-tech industry department of the National Development and... [More]
15. June 2011 22:47
If you don't look before crossing roads you will, before long, be hit by a truck. Even if you do look but neglect to account for bends in the road, sooner or later you will still be hit by a truck.
Precaution is a simple lifesaving logic that some governments have attempted to codify as "the precautionary principle" to reduce the probability that new technologies and industrial products will later bite back. It is a logic, however, that many industries, scientists and (notably) the US gov... [More]