US House holds hearing on Familial DNA searching

by jeeg 30. April 2012 19:34
On April 25,  the US House of Representatives Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security held a hearing on on H.R. 3361, the "Utilizing DNA Technology to Solve Cold Cases Act of 2011. The proposed legislation  instructs the FBI to: * Create a system whereby a state can request a familial search of the national DNA database; * Implement a number of procedures to protect the privacy and civil liberties of individuals, and ensure that familial searching is implement... [More]

Md. high court strikes down DNA collection at arrest

by jeeg 26. April 2012 21:11
Maryland's highest court on Tuesday blocked police in most cases from collecting DNA samples when they arrest suspects in violent crimes and burglaries, dealing a blow to one of Gov. Martin O'Malley's signature initiatives. The Court of Appeals ruled 5-2 that the state violated Alonzo Jay King Jr.'s constitutional rights by using DNA evidence taken from him after a 2009 assault arrest. That sample led to his conviction in a six-year-old rape case, but the court said it also ran afoul of p... [More]

Dow Corn, Resistant to a Weed Killer, Runs Into Opposition

by jeeg 26. April 2012 19:07
To Jody Herr, it was a telltale sign that one of his tomato fields had been poisoned by 2,4-D, the powerful herbicide that was an ingredient in Agent Orange, the Vietnam War defoliant. “The leaves had curled and the plants were kind of twisting rather than growing straight,” Mr. Herr said of the 2009 incident on his vegetable farm in Lowell, Ind. He is convinced the chemical, as well as another herbicide called dicamba, had wafted through the air from farms nearly two miles... [More]

White House Promotes a Bioeconomy

by jeeg 26. April 2012 19:01
The Obama administration is expected to announce a broad plan on Thursday to foster development of the nation’s “bioeconomy,” including the use of renewable resources and biological manufacturing methods. The National Bioeconomy Blueprint, as the plan is called, discusses a variety of measures and strategies to spur research and development of medical treatments, crops, biofuels and biological manufacturing processes that would replace harsher industrial methods. Us... [More]

California Genetic Privacy Bill Moves Forward – Padilla’s SB 1267 to Protect a Person’s DNA

by jeeg 25. April 2012 22:42
California’s Senate Judiciary Committee today passed Senate Bill 1267, authored by Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima). The bill would establish the California Genetic Information Privacy Act. The measure now goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration. Presently, there are no laws that prevent surreptitious taking, testing and disseminating an individual’s genetic material and information. Specifically, SB 1267 would provide that no genetic material can be collected,... [More]

Genetic testing and disease: Would you want to know?

by jeeg 25. April 2012 19:19
Kristen Powers feeds her rescue dog, Jake, before heading to school in Chapel Hill, N.C.   "I drive but always let him pick the music," she says, smiling.   He gives her a gentle nudge and they set off to the car.   Nothing like having a kid brother behind you, especially when you are embarking on a courageous journey. Kristen, 18, is having blood work done May 18 to find out whether she inherited the defective gene for Huntington's disease, a fatal, neurodegenerative ... [More]

Residents Voice Anger, Concerns Over BU Biolab

by jeeg 20. April 2012 21:59
Upwards of 100 concerned citizens turned out Thursday night for a public hearing at Roxbury Community College to voice their disapproval and anger over a controversial Boston University laboratory in the South End. Known as the BU Biolab, the University wants to begin creating and studying the world’s deadliest pathogens at the facility—a Level 4 bio-containment lab—which is located on Albany Street, in the heart of a densely packed residential neighborhood. The Natio... [More]

Why 23andMe’s Anne Wojcicki Trusts the Crowd Over the System

by jeeg 19. April 2012 22:03
Last night, co-founder and CEO of personal-genetics company 23andMe, Anne Wojcicki, came to Harvard, preaching the virtues of crowd-sourced science and DNA sequencing. Many in the audience were already converts. Before diving in, Wojcicki asked for a show of hands of how many in the crowd already had their DNA sequenced. A wave of hands shot up. “My kind of audience,” she said. Earlier this month, the company published the results of its latest foray into crowd-sourced scie... [More]

Is Forensic DNA 100% Accurate?

by jeeg 19. April 2012 00:04
Forensic DNA is quite unique and follows a different process compared to genealogy DNA or familial DNA. The main goal of genealogy DNA is to check the background and genetic history of people, but forensics deals more with the solving of cases and can gather evidence from deceased individuals. Several people rely on forensics to gain answers to different mysteries. Investigators, detectives, physicians, the police, the victim’s family members and court judges will ask for results fr... [More]

NIH Unperturbed by New Way of Peering Into Personal Genomic Data

by jeeg 17. April 2012 23:20
In a provocative paper published this week, researchers say they have figured out a way to link a person's DNA to their anonymous genetic data in a certain kind of public research database. But the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which hosts one of the largest such databases, says it's not taking any new steps to prevent someone from using the method to breach privacy. That contrasts with NIH's response 4 years ago, when a similar study prompted the agency to pull genetic data from its pu... [More]
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