31. October 2012 17:16
In the court room, forensics and science can be extremely powerful. Forensic chemists can tell the jury whether DNA was present, what drug the victim was given or what cleaning solution was used to hide the evidence. But what happens when the trusted scientist is a fraud?
In September, Annie Dookhan, a chemist in Boston, was arrested for scientific fraud. What might have been be a standard academic fraud case is complicated by the fact that Dookhan isn’t just any chemist, she’s a fo... [More]
30. October 2012 21:04
Chhattisgarh has approached the National Dairy Research Institute to clone its state animal ban bhainsa (wild buffalo) and throw the endangered species a lifeline. Once found in abundance in central India, wild buffaloes, which bear a striking resemblance to bisons, are now restricted to a few places in forests of Chhattisgarh.
We are working on the basic modalities before kicking off the project," Dr SK Singla, principal scientist of the NDRI biotechnology department, s... [More]
30. October 2012 20:59
Tulsa police are asking family members of missing people to visit their booth at the Tulsa State Fair. The Tulsa Police Department’s crime scene unit will be available Friday and Saturday at the west end of the QuikTrip Center’s upper level to provide information on open missing-persons cases. Investigators will also be taking DNA samples from “as many family members of missing persons as possible” using a swab inside the individual’s mouth, according to a news re... [More]
26. October 2012 23:34
Pfizer Inc.'s appeal of a Hartford jury's decision to award a former company scientist $1.37 million in a whistleblower case will be heard today by a three-judge panel at the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan.
Becky McClain, a longtime molecular biologist at Pfizer's Groton laboratories who won a jury decision in U.S. District Court two years ago after claiming the company retaliated against her for raising safety concerns, said in an email that the hearing is expected to... [More]
24. October 2012 21:35
Supporters of ingredients derived from "genetically modified foods," which hereafter I'll call G.M.O.'s - genetically modified organisms - are mostly the chemical companies who make them or other people who make money from them. They assert that a) there's no proof that G.M.O.'s are harmful to humans, and b) studies demonstrating that they might be are largely flawed. Point B might even be true, although since the chemical companies largely control the research, it's hard to tell.
But even if... [More]
24. October 2012 21:29
DNA testing has taken dangerous criminals off the streets, solved decades-old homicides, exonerated the falsely accused and freed the wrongly imprisoned.
“It’s an exciting time,” Ed Wall, administrator of the state Justice Department’s Division of Criminal Investigation, said of its seemingly endless potential.
But while law enforcement hails the ever-expanding reach of DNA evidence, others in the justice system fear that the constitutional rights of the accused could... [More]
22. October 2012 21:36
Panel recommends that it should ensure right to privacy to individuals
A government-appointed committee has underlined several loopholes in a controversial bill that seeks to legalise DNA profiling in the country, recommending that the proposed legislation must ensure the right to privacy of the individuals.
The bill, piloted by the department of Biotechnology, ministry of Science and Technology, intends to legalise the collection and analysis of DNA samples of offenders or suspects of cri... [More]
20. October 2012 00:11
By all accounts, Colman Chadam is a healthy, active 11-year-old boy who fit right in at Palo Alto's Jordan Middle School as a new kid in town.
Except now, school officials believe his genetic makeup means he is a health risk to some of its other students and ordered that he be moved to another district middle school 3 miles away.
Colman carries the genetic mutations for cystic fibrosis - but his doctor and parents say he does not have the disease. His parents, out of an abundanc... [More]
18. October 2012 23:50
CIVIL society groups yesterday petitioned the government to ensure that genetically modified food in the country is labelled to protect consumers.
The activists, who marched from Uhuru Park's Freedom Corner to Harambee House and the Office of the Prime Minister before proceeding to Parliament, said research has shown that GM food is harmful to human health.
The group included farmers representatives, organisations, animal welfare activists, religious organisations, consumer networks an... [More]
15. October 2012 22:56
The numbers are shocking: 1,100 people are in jail on the basis of evidence that may have been tampered with, and 34,000 criminal cases could be affected. The fallout stems from the work of just one forensic chemist, who is alleged to have faked test results on suspected drug samples.
The revelations and the subsequent arrest on 28 September of Annie Dookhan, who worked at a state-run laboratory in Boston, Massachusetts, have rattled the US forensics community and raised questions about ov... [More]