GeneWatch--Now a multi-media experience!

by jeeg 29. June 2012 00:14
CRG is excited to announce that GeneWatch magazine has launched its new Youtube video channel: GeneWatch TV.    Each new issue of GeneWatch magazine will have a video component  highlighting the key people and hot topics in its pages.   You can hear noted biologist E.O Wilson describe "the seventh extinction" of species that is happening right now. You'll learn about the strange new world of animal bioengineering: Beefalo today...and tomorrow?... [More]

Lawmakers want CDC info on bioterror lab safety

by jeeg 26. June 2012 23:54
Five members of a congressional watchdog committee sent a letter today calling for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to produce by next week copies of all safety incident reports involving problems at a $214 million bioterror lab at the agency's Atlanta headquarters.   The committee is investigating whether the CDC "is complying with Federal safety requirements in its operation of the Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory, also known as CDC Building 18," t... [More]

Madonna thinks fans want her DNA

by jeeg 25. June 2012 19:43
MADONNA reportedly has a "sterilisation team" tasked with wiping away traces of the Material Girl so fans can't steal her DNA. The music legend apparently orders workers to complete an extreme clean of all her dressing rooms on tour so that any hair, skin or saliva belonging to the 53-year-old cannot be captured. Concert promoter Alvaro Ramos, who is overseeing the ­Portuguese leg of Madonna's MDNA tour, told Britain's Daily Mirror: "We have to take extreme care, like I have never se... [More]

Stop and Frisk -- and DNA Test?

by jeeg 22. June 2012 21:51
Taking DNA samples from people arrested, but not convicted of a crime, has the potential to make our already unfair justice system even less fair. Before we expand the preconviction DNA dragnet, we should think hard about what that means in a racially biased system. Currently, 26 states and federal law enforcement permit pre-conviction DNA collection. However, our recent national conversation about stop and frisk policies should make us cautious. African-Americans already constitute ro... [More]

Court dismisses suit over unethical US experiments

by jeeg 22. June 2012 21:44
A US court has dismissed a lawsuit by Guatemalan citizens against US officials in connection with unethical medical experiments conducted by American researchers in the 1940s. Lawyers representing the plaintiffs vowed to appeal the 14 June decision. The semi-secret research project, which Nature reported on in “Human experiments: First, do harm”, involved a group of US medical researchers who established a lab in Guatemala to study treatments for syphilis, gonorrhea, and ... [More]

The rising risk of electronic medical records

by jeeg 22. June 2012 02:01
It was a low-tech burglary. No one thought that it would blossom into a high-tech security breach. All it took was a rock — a simple, inanimate, probably centuries-old rock. An enterprising thief picked it up, cocked his arm and tossed it through the window of a Sutter Health office building in Sacramento, Calif. It couldn’t have been easier. Once inside, he found what he was looking for: laptops, monitors and desktop computers. Jackpot. The burglary could have ended there... [More]

South African Police back in Parliament to recommend DNA database

by jeeg 21. June 2012 02:57
CONVICTED criminals will have to wait for six years after their release from prison before their DNA samples are removed from a national database, the recently concluded policy on the creation of a DNA database for crime investigation has recommended to Parliament.   Some years ago a draft bill — the Criminal (Forensic Procedures) Bill — was tabled in Parliament but was sent back to the police because of fears that it violated the right to privacy, the right to dignity a... [More]

Top court rejects DNA lab test analyst questioning

by jeeg 19. June 2012 01:03
The Supreme Court on Monday made it easier for prosecutors to use expert testimony about DNA laboratory reports at trial without allowing defendants to confront and question the forensic analysts involved in the tests. By a 5-4 vote, the high court refused to add to a string of decisions since 2004 that have broadly interpreted the constitutional rights of criminal defendants to confront witnesses against them. The case involved a sexual assault in 2000 in Chicago for which the defendant was ... [More]

Studying the bacteria in our bodies: The ethical ramifications

by jeeg 19. June 2012 00:49
Personally, I would have been perfectly happy to have been one of the volunteers for the Human Microbiome Project, in which researchers took a detailed census of all the bacteria, fungi and other microscopic life within us. Nor would I care if the contents of my innards were published for all to see (though I might be perturbed if my friends came to know I was one of the one-third of subjects carrying around Staphylococcus aureus in my nose or on my skin, in case they started treating me like T... [More]

Risk assessment of US agro-biosafety lab found wanting

by jeeg 18. June 2012 19:31
An independent panel reviewing the dangers associated with establishing a high-security laboratory for studying animal diseases in the heart of US cattle country has found that the government has underestimated the risk that livestock will be exposed to microbes escaping from the facility. The largely critical review suggests that the proposed National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF), scheduled to open in 2020, continues to face significant hurdles, even as another committee explores w... [More]
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