25. August 2011 21:04
Myriad Genetics retained its monopoly on a lucrative genetic test for breast cancer risk when a federal appeals court recently upheld the company’s patents on two human genes — and the validity of gene patents in general.
But it is only a matter of time before the company’s business faces severe challenges, some experts say, because that $3,340 test is technologically outmoded, incomplete and too costly.
“Science has moved beyond what these folks do,” said... [More]
24. August 2011 00:37
California Senate Bill 559, a landmark civil rights protection bill authored by Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) was approved with strong bipartisan support by the State Senate yesterday by a vote of 24-10. This follows passage by the California State Assembly in a similar bipartisan fashion just a few days ago. The bill protects Californians by prohibiting discrimination based on genetic information in areas not currently covered by existing legislation from housing and e... [More]
22. August 2011 21:00
Courts need to be the keepers of the Constitution. But the Federal Circuit has failed its duty in the current battle over the patentability of isolated genes and gene sequences that are crucial to the fight against breast and ovarian cancer.
First some history.
The BRCA genes, which contain proteins that inhibit tumor growth, currently occupy center stage in the legal fight over the patentability of isolated genes and gene sequences.
Scientists at the University of Utah first cloned the... [More]
22. August 2011 18:59
THIS month brought news that could alter the landscape of American pregnancy.
Tests using DNA to determine a fetus’s sex were shown to be remarkably accurate, able to tell with 95 percent certainty as early as seven weeks into pregnancy, if a woman is carrying a boy or girl. The tests, which detect the fetus’s DNA in a mother’s blood or urine, are available in drugstores and online, and reports about their accuracy are likely to increase their popularity.
But the test... [More]
20. August 2011 01:56
California Senate Bill 559, a landmark civil rights protection bill authored by Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) was approved with strong bipartisan support by the State Assembly yesterday. The bill protects Californians by prohibiting discrimination based on genetic information in areas not currently covered by existing legislation from housing and education to public accommodations and elections.
“This bill enhances the civil rights of ever... [More]
17. August 2011 23:34
A piece of lab machinery that killed a Yale University student when it ensnared her hair was missing required safeguards, and the accident exposed problems with the school's safety policies, federal safety investigators said in a letter to the school.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration didn't fine Yale, saying it lacked jurisdiction because there was no employer-employee relationship. But in a letter obtained by The Associated Press, OSHA told school officials that it ... [More]
17. August 2011 19:24
A controversial Boston University laboratory building that has stood empty since construction finished in 2008 may open this fall to biomedical research involving pathogens less hazardous than those that sparked opposition to the project.
BU officials plan to announce today that they will seek a waiver from the state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs to begin work on biosafety level-2 research - defined by the federal government as “involving agents that pose mode... [More]
16. August 2011 21:20
While issues relating to job creation and environmental impacts of building have dominated the debates around proposed lab sites for the much discussed LBNL lab expansion, scrutiny around the type of research actually to be conducted at the lab has been minimal at best.
I am very concerned that this issue isn't being raised (let alone addressed) because there are serious public and environmental health and safety threats arising from the synthetic biology research to be... [More]
15. August 2011 22:06
The state should compensate victims sterilized under a eugenics program and provide them with mental health services, a task force recommended Monday.
In a preliminary report to Gov. Bev Perdue, the task force also recommended funding for an N.C. Eugenics exhibit and keeping the N.C. Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation. The final report is due in February.
From the 1920s to the 1970s, the N.C. Board of Eugenics oversaw the sterilization of nearly 7,600 people. Most are no longer... [More]
12. August 2011 20:42
Almost 1000 acres of maize found to have been grown with genetically modified seeds have been destroyed throughout Hungary deputy state secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development Lajos Bognár said. The GMO maize has been ploughed under, but pollen has not spread from the maize, the minister added.
Unlike several EU members, GMO seeds are banned in Hungary. The checks will continue despite the fact that seed traders are obliged to make sure that their products are GMO free, Bogn... [More]