BRCA patent dispute may head to US Supreme Court

by jeeg 30. January 2012 20:04
  The long-running dispute over patents for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes granted to Myriad Genetics may finally be laid to rest by the US Supreme Court. Sharmila Devi reports.   US physicians, scientists, and patients challenging the validity of commercial patents on human genes are moving closer to a possible hearing in the US Supreme Court, which they hope will uphold a general prohibition on patenting laws of nature.   On Jan 13, Utah-based Myriad Genetics, a company th... [More]

New York firm proposes using plant DNA to thwart SAT testing fraud

by jeeg 26. January 2012 22:55
Talk about turning over a new leaf in the classroom. As New York lawmakers consider a bill that would make cheating on the SAT college entrance exam a felony, one company thinks the answer to thwarting testing fraud can be found in molecules of plant DNA embedded into a secure identification card. Dr. James Hayward, president and CEO of Long Island-based Applied DNA Sciences, Inc., said the "absolutely unbreakable" system features a counterfeit-proof identification card that uses molecul... [More]

Saratoga and Washington county officials hail Gov. Cuomo's DNA database proposal

by jeeg 25. January 2012 22:55
Public safety officials and crime victims’ advocates are rallying around a proposal to expand the state’s DNA database, saying it would help solve cases and exonerate the innocent.The proposal, included in the executive budget Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo unveiled earlier this month, would require those who are convicted of any felony or any penal law misdemeanor charge to submit a DNA sample. Officials say that person’s unique genetic material would be stored in the state’... [More]

Improved genetic mapping leads to privacy concerns - B.C. Civil Liberties Association

by jeeg 24. January 2012 23:54
The federal government's tough on crime agenda and better-than-ever genetic mapping technologies means more legal protections are needed to protect the privacy of Canadians, according to a report commissioned by the B.C. Civil Liberties Association. Improved genetic mapping technologies can help screen for diseases and create effective treatment plans, but that sensitive, personal information could also prevent people from getting certain jobs or insurance, according to the report titled ... [More]

Scientists to Pause Research on Deadly Strain of Bird Flu

by jeeg 23. January 2012 23:04
The scientists who altered a deadly flu virus to make it more contagious have agreed to suspend their research for 60 days to give other international experts time to discuss the work and determine how it can proceed without putting the world at risk of a potentially catastrophic pandemic. Suspensions of biomedical research are almost unheard of; the only other one in the United States was a moratorium from 1974 to 1976 on some types of recombinant DNA research, because of safety co... [More]

Newborn screening program helps save twins' lives

by jeeg 20. January 2012 22:26
When Megan and Ricky Gonzales' girls were born in September 2010, the San Mateo couple had no reason to suspect anything was wrong. Megan Gonzales had a normal pregnancy and delivered seemingly healthy identical twins at 38 weeks.   But that changed quickly. Sophia and Charlotte Gonzales appeared lethargic and had trouble feeding, and the parents were advised to keep them in the hospital a few more days. As the babies' condition worsened, results of the state's newborn blood screenin... [More]

BASF to Stop Selling Genetically Modified Products in Europe

by jeeg 20. January 2012 22:03
BASF, the German chemical group, has abandoned efforts to sell genetically modified products in Europe, including its Amflora potato, because of overwhelming opposition to the technology, the company said Monday. “There is still a lack of acceptance for this technology in many parts of Europe — from the majority of consumers, farmers and politicians,” said Stefan Marcinowski, a board member with responsibilities for plant biotechnology. “Therefore, it does n... [More]

Training gaps cited in update on lab-linked Salmonella outbreak

by jeeg 19. January 2012 22:42
Gaps in biosafety training likely played a role in a Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak linked to lab exposure that sickened 109 people in 38 states, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said yesterday.   The outbreak involved a commercially available Salmonella Typhimurium strain used in laboratories, and health officials believe students or lab employees may have carried the bacteria home on contaminated lab coats, pens, cell phones, or other items. Some of the pat... [More]

'All crimes' registry? Not yet

by jeeg 16. January 2012 20:23
Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants an "all crimes" DNA database for New York. That would authorize the police to take a DNA sample from every person convicted of any crime in our state, no matter how small. The governor should rethink this radical proposal. Evidence shows that when it comes to DNA databases, bigger just isn't better. New Yorkers should know that a similar expansion already failed in the United Kingdom. Why? Because the public discovered that people were being added... [More]

NY Contemplates Expanded DNA Database

by jeeg 12. January 2012 21:58
The state of New York is considering a dramatic expansion of its DNA collection. New Yorkers who find themselves under arrest for anything may soon have to give up a sample. “I propose it be expanded to 100-percent of all crimes. Let’s provide justice for all and let’s be the first state in the union to do that,”  Gov. Andrew Cuomo said recently. But critics are already sounding the alarm. “My worst fear is that innocent people will go to jail because ... [More]
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