Newborn Screening in America: New report from CRG

by jeeg 21. September 2012 00:23
Before they are even a week old, ninety-eight percent of the 4.3 million babies born annually in the United States have a small sample of blood taken from their heels. These newborn bloodspots (NBS) are then screened by state agencies for a variety of inherited conditions and may later be stored in state-operated databases with access permitted to researchers.  While the benefits of newborn testing are undeniable, there are also troubling consent and privacy issues raised by the screening, ... [More]

California and the Fourth Amendment

by jeeg 20. September 2012 01:42
On Wednesday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is scheduled to reconsider whether California violates the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against searches and seizures by requiring police to take DNA samples from people arrested but not yet convicted of felonies. California’s law is ostensibly aimed at accurately identifying those arrested, solving crimes and exonerating the innocent. It is also, unfortunately, unconstitutional. An appeals court panel ruled ot... [More]

New Research on "Junk" DNA Raises Questions on Eve of Crucial Court Hearing

by jeeg 20. September 2012 01:36
On September 19, the Ninth Circuit is set to hear new arguments in Haskell v. Harris, a case challenging California’s warrantless DNA collection program. Today EFF asked the court to consider ground-breaking new research that confirms for the first time that over 80% of our DNA that was once thought to have no function, actually plays a critical role in controlling how our cells, tissue and organs behave.    This research comes out of a gigantic nine-year, federally-spons... [More]

Study finds tumors in rats fed on Monsanto's GM corn

by jeeg 20. September 2012 01:31
In a study that prompted criticism from other experts, French scientists said on Wednesday that rats fed on Monsanto's genetically modified (GM) corn or exposed to its top-selling weedkiller suffered tumors and multiple organ damage.     Gilles-Eric Seralini of the University of Caen and colleagues said ra]ts fed on a diet containing NK603 - a seed variety made tolerant to dousings of Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller - or given water with Roundup at levels permitted in the United... [More]

Laptop Theft Puts 13,000 Clinical Trial Participants Personal Info at Risk

by jeeg 20. September 2012 01:27
A laptop theft from last week may have placed the personal information of about 13,000 current and previous clinical trial participants from about 50 different studies at risk, says Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. Terry Lynam with North Shore-LIJ Health System says that some of the clinical studies were drug trials, with the largest one being for rheumatoid arthritis.   “But there’s also various other studies involving other diseases such as Alzheimer’s, ... [More]

Uneasy Allies in the Grocery Aisle

by jeeg 18. September 2012 23:43
Giant bioengineering companies like Monsanto and DuPont are spending millions of dollars to fight a California ballot initiative aimed at requiring the labeling of genetically modified foods. That surprises no one, least of all the proponents of the law, which if approved by voters would become the first of its kind in the nation. But the companies behind some of the biggest organic brands in the country — Kashi, Cascadian Farm, Horizon Organic — also have joined the antilabeling... [More]

Corruption at South African forensic lab sabotages convictions

by jeeg 14. September 2012 02:02
ALLEGED wide-scale corruption and theft at the country's leading police forensic science laboratory is leading to massive backlogs in the finalisation of horrific crimes, including sexual assaults. A detailed dossier compiled by the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) has blown open the lid on alleged criminal activities by police working within the national forensic science laboratory in Pretoria. Contained within the dossier is damning information on the alleged irregular deco... [More]

Most of what you read was wrong: how press releases rewrote scientific history

by jeeg 14. September 2012 01:51
This week, the ENCODE project released the results of its latest attempt to catalog all the activities associated with the human genome. Although we've had the sequence of bases that comprise the genome for over a decade, there were still many questions about what a lot of those bases do when inside a cell. ENCODE is a large consortium of labs dedicated to helping sort that out by identifying everything they can about the genome: what proteins stick to it and where, which pieces interact, what b... [More]

Letter Recommends Independent Investigation of NIH’s Failure to Promptly Disclose Superbug Outbreak at Research Hospital

by jeeg 11. September 2012 22:11
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) should open an independent investigation into the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) handling of information related to a deadly outbreak of multi-antibiotic-resistant Klebsiella bacterial infections at the research agency’s hospital facility known as the Clinical Center, in Bethesda, MD, Public Citizen said today in a letter addressed to HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The outbreak, which reportedly started in June 2011 and la... [More]

UK's National Health Service opens up all patient records in its system for medical research

by jeeg 11. September 2012 20:47
A revolution in medical research in Britain is to give academics and the life sciences industry unparalleled access to the cradle-to-grave health records of about 52 million people in England. Studies of NHS records first revealed the dangers of thalidomide; established an association between power lines and childhood leukaemia; showed autism had nothing to do with the MMR vaccine; and more recently highlighted England's poor cancer survival rates, a problem that lay mostly in late diagnosis. T... [More]
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