Consumer gene tests poised for regulatory green light

by jeeg 11. September 2012 20:34
When US lawmakers hauled direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing companies into congressional hearings in July 2010, it seemed clear that the industry was in for a shakedown. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had already mailed stern letters to 20 different firms warning that their genetic testing services appeared to meet the definition of a device. The agency also invited company representatives to meet with FDA officials to discuss ways to make their products legit in the eyes of the... [More]

Big Data in Your Blood

by jeeg 11. September 2012 20:30
Very soon, we will see inside ourselves like never before, with wearable, even internal , sensors that monitor even our most intimate biological processes. It is likely to happen even before we figure out the etiquette and laws around sharing this knowledge. Already products like the Nike+ FuelBand and the Fitbit wireless monitor track our daily activity, taking note of our steps and calories burned. The idea is to help meet an exercise regimen, perhaps lose some weight. The real-world results ... [More]

Ninth Circuit En Banc Argument in Arrestee DNA Collection Case – September 19!

by jeeg 10. September 2012 21:04
On Wednesday, September 19, in the circuit headquarters courthouse in San Francisco, the Ninth Circuit will hold a reargument en banc of Haskell v. Harris.  In that case, people arrested challenged  California’s statute requiring them to provide DNA samples for inclusion in the state’s DNA profile database.  The plaintiffs, represented by Michael Risher of the ACLU (a Stanford Law grad), lost at the district court and lost again at the panel stage on a divided 2-1 ... [More]

Genetic Testing Shows Fins of Endangered Sharks Found in U.S. Soup Bowls

by jeeg 7. September 2012 22:43
Genetic testing of shark fin soup from cities across the United States has found DNA from eight endangered and threatened shark species.   In the first nationwide analysis of shark fin soup, bowls of the Asian delicacy served in 13 out the 14 U.S. cities tested were found to contain species at risk of extinction.   A bowl of soup sampled in Boston contained fin meat of a scalloped hammerhead shark, which is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. ... [More]

South Carolina to collect DNA after every felony arrest

by jeeg 6. September 2012 21:59
South Carolina’s law enforcement agency will soon collect DNA samples from people when they’re arrested for a felony – rather than post-conviction – four years after legislators passed a law requiring the state’s DNA database to expand. State Law Enforcement Division Lt. David McClure, a lab department supervisor, explains how forensic scientists read the printouts of a DNA analysis. The 2012-13 budget allows SLED to hire 87 people after years of budget cuts. That ... [More]

Bits of Mystery DNA, Far From ‘Junk,’ Play Crucial Role

by jeeg 6. September 2012 21:46
Among the many mysteries of human biology is why complex diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and psychiatric disorders are so difficult to predict and, often, to treat. An equally perplexing puzzle is why one individual gets a disease like cancer or depression, while an identical twin remains perfectly healthy. Now scientists have discovered a vital clue to unraveling these riddles. The human genome is packed with at least four million gene switches that reside in bits of DNA that once... [More]

NIH collects input from community on biolab safety levels

by jeeg 4. September 2012 22:53
Community members near the Boston University biolab submitted their final comments to the National Institutes of Health last week, rounding up a battle over clearance for biosafety Levels 3 and 4 in the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories.   The NIH will consider community input to determine if the biolab will operate at these levels, which include research on pathogens such as Ebola. The NIH’s final supplementary risk assessment, released in July, follows two ... [More]
Log in