Jurassic Park Impossible Because of Stupid Laws of Physics

by jeeg 12. October 2012 22:53
The lesson of the Jurassic Park tragedy was clear — man and dinosaur were not meant to coexist. It’s lucky then that dinosaur fossils are far too old to contain any genetic material that could be used for cloning. DNA breaks down over time, even when kept in ideal conditions, and a study of extinct moa bones has revealed an estimate of the half-life for our genes.   It might be odd to think of DNA having a half-life, as it’s usually associated with radioact... [More]

Will Private DNA Services Replace State Crime Labs?

by jeeg 12. October 2012 22:28
The days of police sending genetic evidence to state crime labs for DNA processing could soon be over.   A new cloud-based DNA service has been specifically designed so local law enforcement officials can better access, search and reference DNA profiles collected from their agencies. Instead of using state labs, police can take a genetic sample, run it against a private database and find out if there’s a match — all in in roughly 90 minutes.   Called Local Entry Acces... [More]

Vote for the Dinner Party

by jeeg 12. October 2012 20:09
One of the more interesting things we will learn on Nov. 6 is whether or not there is a “food movement” in America worthy of the name — that is, an organized force in our politics capable of demanding change in the food system. People like me throw the term around loosely, partly because we sense the gathering of such a force, and partly (to be honest) to help wish it into being by sheer dint of repetition. Clearly there is growing sentiment in favor of reforming American agric... [More]

‘DNA experts (in India) could also be guilty of giving false results’

by jeeg 12. October 2012 00:39
In an in-depth interview to Firstpost, GV Rao, DNA analyst and former chief staff scientist at the Hyderabad-based Centre For DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics discussed of critical issues facing the DNA testing in India, the problems with the DNA profiling Bill, and his experience as an expert witness in some of the most sensational cases that have dominated headlines in the last two decades. Excerpts from the interview: Has the use of DNA tests in crime investigations become more prevalen... [More]

Citing privacy concerns, U.S. panel urges end to secret DNA testing

by jeeg 11. October 2012 18:20
They're called discreet DNA samples, and the Elk Grove, California, genetic-testing company easyDNA says it can handle many kinds, from toothpicks to tampons.   Blood stains from bandages and tampons? Ship them in a paper envelope for paternity, ancestry or health testing. EasyDNA also welcomes cigarette butts (two to four), dental floss ("do not touch the floss with your fingers"), razor clippings, gum, toothpicks, licked stamps and used tissues if the more standard cheek swab or t... [More]

Could better DNA testing facilities in India have saved the Talwars?

by jeeg 11. October 2012 18:17
Over the last decade, the use of DNA tests to solve crimes has seen a significant rise in crime investigation in India. But forensic experts warn that the absence of standard practices, quality checks and regulation has resulted in irresponsible and inaccurate application of the technology.The use of outdated technology and lack of expertise to competently collect and analyse DNA samples from the crime scene has compromised investigation and  led to instances where courts have rejected DN... [More]

Infant DNA Tests Speed Diagnosis of Rare Diseases

by jeeg 5. October 2012 21:31
From the day she was born, the girl had seizure after seizure. Doctors at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., frantically tried to keep her alive. Weeks passed and every medication failed. Finally, her family decided to let their baby go, and the medical devices were withdrawn. She was 5 weeks old. Her doctors suspected a genetic disorder, and as it happened the hospital had just begun a study of a new technique for quickly analyzing the DNA of newborns, zeroing in on mutation... [More]

FGPI travels to India

by jeeg 4. October 2012 21:49
The Forensic Genetics Policy Intiative (FGPI), a project of the Council for Responsible Genetics, GeneWatch UK and Privacy International, is an international project to raise awareness of the privacy and human rights issues associated with the global growth of forensic DNA databases.  FGPI works with civil society organizations in countries around the world to build their capacity to engage in public policy on this issue.  FGPI recently returned from a very successful 5 day trip to ... [More]

Event this Thursday in Berkeley-Questioning the "Green Agenda"

by jeeg 2. October 2012 21:42

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Proposed DNA database greatly expands scope of surveillance in India

by jeeg 2. October 2012 00:08
A new version of a draft law that proposed to set up a national DNA fingerprint database of criminals, including rapists, murderers and kidnappers, plans to substantially expand the type of offenders it covers to include people convicted of drunk driving and adultery.   The expanded list covers a host of offences including violations of the Motor Vehicles Act and dowry deaths, according to the ‘work-in-progress’ version of the draft reviewed by Mint. Mint has independent... [More]
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