Cornyn wants federal funds to help clear rape kits backlog

by jeeg 31. May 2012 23:58
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn has introduced legislation that would help clear the staggering number of untested rape kits in Houston Police storage - some 6,663 at the agency's last count - and help eliminate a nationwide backlog.   During a Wednesday news conference, city and police officials along with victims' rights advocates pledged support for the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Registry or SAFER Act, bipartisan legislation intended to reduce what is an estimated national rape ... [More]

Gene test results to be passed on without consent

by jeeg 31. May 2012 20:55
PEOPLE tested for predisposition to a genetic disease will no longer have a say in whether their results are given to their close relatives, under proposed changes to NSW laws. The NSW Health Minister, Jillian Skinner, has introduced legislation to allow doctors to inform a patient's blood relatives they are at risk of having or developing a serious illness. Such tests can be used to identify whether people are at increased risk of cancer or heart disease. Professor Ron Trent, a genetics exper... [More]

New Issue of GeneWatch Magazine: Genetics and Animal Biodiversity

by jeeg 29. May 2012 23:22
Genetic technologies are increasingly useful for understanding and protecting biodiversity, but they can also drain limited resources and some have the very real potential to do harm.       The new issue of GeneWatch magazine, now available online, brings together a diverse group of experts from the American Museum of Natural History and San Diego Zoo to the Max Planck Institute to explore varying technologies that  impact the biodiversity of our planet's animal... [More]

Battle Brewing Over Labeling of Genetically Modified Food

by jeeg 25. May 2012 17:54
On a recent sunny morning at the Big Y grocery here, Cynthia LaPier parked her cart in the cereal aisle. With a glance over her shoulder and a quick check of the ingredients, she plastered several boxes with hand-designed stickers from a roll in her purse. “Warning,” they read. “May Contain GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms).”   For more than a decade, almost all processed foods in the United States — cereals, snack foods, salad dressings &mda... [More]

Rhino DNA project sees arrests

by jeeg 24. May 2012 23:43
A project to build a central DNA profile database for rhinos across Africa has seen 380 arrests and 25 prison sentences. The project is being run at the University of Pretoria's Faculty of Veterinary Science's Onderstepoort facility.   This is according to Dr Joseph Okori, head of the World Wide Fund for Nature's African Rhino Programme (ARP). Dr Cindy Harper, who is in charge of establishing the database, known as RhODIS (rhino DNA index system), says it is being used to provide... [More]

Auction of vial said to contain Reagan's blood canceled

by jeeg 24. May 2012 23:36
A vial purportedly containing dried blood from former President Ronald Reagan after a 1981 assassination attempt will not be auctioned online, but donated to Reagan's presidential foundation, officials said Thursday. The online sale by PFC Auctions, based on the island of Guernsey, a British dependency, drew national headlines -- and a threat of legal action from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. The foundation's executive director, John Heubusch, called it "a craven act." "We a... [More]

Kids’ DNA collection? Possible with Homeland Security

by jeeg 21. May 2012 19:25
The US Department of Homeland Security is considering collecting DNA from anyone fingerprinted, including children aged 14 and up, with the prospect of lowering the age limit, recent reports reveal.   ­The FBI’s DNA database can now be boosted by over 1 million new records every year, estimates the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Still, these people should not be necessarily involved in criminal activity – an administrative detention or arrest will do the tr... [More]

California Considers DNA Privacy Law

by jeeg 21. May 2012 19:21
California lawmakers are weighing a bill aimed at protecting their state's citizens from surreptitious genetic testing but scientists are voicing their growing concerns that, if passed, such a law would have a costly and damaging effect on research.   The bill, dubbed the Genetic Information Privacy Act, would require an individual's written consent for the collection, analysis, retention, and sharing of his or her genetic information—including DNA, genetic test results, and e... [More]

Gene Patent Case Heads Back to Court

by jeeg 17. May 2012 22:01
On July 20, 2012, the battle over the patenting of genetic discoveries will resume. That is when the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is set to hear another round of arguments over the validity of patents Myriad Genetics holds on isolated gene sequences in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 cancer gene and on screening potential cancer therapeutics via changes in cell growth rates. The federal government has granted thousands of patents on similar genetic discoveries.   In the end, the ... [More]

College or Funeral Is Mother’s Wish Denied on DNA Results

by jeeg 17. May 2012 21:30
Camilla Grondahl asked genetics researcher Gholson Lyon a simple, heartbreaking question: Was she carrying a lethal gene that might kill her unborn baby?   Grondahl, 29, didn’t want to terminate her pregnancy, which began in 2010. She just wanted to know what the scientist knew. “It was just more stress and worry while I was waiting for my baby to be born,” Grondahl recalled. “What do you plan for? Do you plan for him going to college or for a funeral?&rdqu... [More]
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