Wait, Did the USDA Just Deregulate All New Genetically Modified Crops?

by jeeg 11. July 2011 21:31
It's a hoary bureaucratic trick, making a controversial announcement on the Friday afternoon before a long weekend, when most people are daydreaming about what beer to buy on the way home from work, or are checking movie times online. But that's precisely what the US Department of Agriculture pulled last Friday.   In an innocuous-sounding press release titled "USDA Responds to Regulation Requests Regarding Kentucky Bluegrass," agency officials announced their decision not to regulat... [More]

New Study Implicates Environmental Factors in Autism

by jeeg 7. July 2011 23:29
A new study of twins suggests that environmental factors, including conditions in the womb, may be at least as important as genes in causing autism. The researchers did not say which environmental influences might be at work. But other experts said the new study, released online on Monday, marked an important shift in thinking about the causes of autism, which is now thought to affect at least 1 percent of the population in the developed world.   “This is a very significant... [More]

Drug war bodies expose flaws in Mexican forensics

by jeeg 6. July 2011 18:45
Alejandro Espinoza knew his brother and nephew were dead when he saw the photo in the newspaper, their bloodied bodies slumped in a pile of 72 migrants massacred in northern Mexico by the Zetas drug gang. But his pain was only made worse when Mexican investigators shipped the wrong body home to his family in Honduras. Thousands of drug war corpses have exposed the gaps in Mexican forensic science, where teams struggle to identify victims, vital evidence is often overlooked and most murde... [More]

Bayer Settles With Farmers Over Modified Rice Seeds

by jeeg 5. July 2011 23:48
A Bayer AG unit will pay $750 million to settle claims with about 11,000 United States farmers who said a strain of the company’s genetically modified rice tainted crops and ruined their export   The settlement, announced on Friday, ends scores of lawsuits filed against the Bayer CropScience unit of the company by farmers in Texas, Louisiana, Missouri, Arkansas and Mississippi. The Agriculture Department said in August 2006 that trace amounts of the company’s experiment... [More]

Twelve nations and European Union join UN protocol on sharing genetic resources

by jeeg 2. July 2011 14:50
Twelve nations and the European Union today added their signatures to a United Nations treaty on the equitable sharing of the planet’s genetic resources in a ceremony at UN Headquarters. Representatives from Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Sweden, United Kingdom and the European Union signed the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing, which calls for “fair and equitable sharing” of the util... [More]

New CRG Special Report: Non-Invasive Prenatal Genetic Diagnosis (NIPD)

by jeeg 2. July 2011 00:52
Whether you view Non-Invasive Prenatal Genetic Diagnosis (NIPD) positively as a way to better inform decision making and reduce human suffering, or with caution as part of a movement towards eugenic practices, it's clear that NIPD raises new issues of social and ethical consequence and makes others more complicated. It’s time to start preparing ourselves for the medical and social ramifications of this burgeoning technology.    The Council for Responsible Genetics new re... [More]

Is DNA Testing Of Dog Poop Forensic Science Gone Too Far?

by jeeg 1. July 2011 22:47
If a dog poops in the forest and no one sees it, does it make a smell? Such philosophical musings aside, dog poop is one of many contentious issues in our highly concentrated urbanized and suburbanized society, where dog owners are often separated from their neighbors by nothing more than an invisible fence. Virtually every communal space, from sidewalks to beaches to parks to hiking trails has become a battleground between dog owners and non-dog owners, but perhaps more importantly, a ci... [More]
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