For Newtown Killer, a Dangerous DNA Wild-Goose Chase

by jeeg 28. December 2012 19:48
Our attempt to comprehend the horror of the Newtown, Conn., elementary-school massacre took a new turn this week when the office of the Connecticut Medical Examiner announced it would work with experts to determine whether the assailant, Adam Lanza, had any discernible genetic defect that might have led to his inconceivable action. Their hope is that perhaps from the tragedy we can gain some new insight, a knowledge that might help to identify the next mass murderer in advance and stop him b... [More]

Geneticists to Study Adam Lanza’s DNA

by jeeg 27. December 2012 20:18
Connecticut's medical examiner has asked geneticists at the University of Connecticut to study Adam Lanza's DNA for biological clues as to what led him to carry out his shooting spree in Newtown. A school spokesman confirmed the plans but declined to release details of the project, which has not yet begun. Experts say the researchers will likely be looking for gene mutations or abnormalities associated with mental illness and, in particular, an increased risk of violent behavior. However, ne... [More]

A GMO-Free New Mexico? Land of Enchantment to Debate Labeling

by jeeg 27. December 2012 19:42
The push for mandatory GMO labeling may have taken a sucker punch in California, but the debate over genetically modified foods is still simmering. New Mexico state senator Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe) has filed an amendment to the state’s food act to require the labeling of genetically modified food ingredients. Working with the NGO, Food & Water Watch, Wirth drafted the amendment, SB 18, to require that foods sold in New Mexico be labeled if they contain more than one percent of... [More]

FULL DNA SAMPLES TO BE DESTROYED IN UK

by jeeg 26. December 2012 20:29
Complete DNA samples held by the Government will be destroyed over the next five months, ministers have said, to allow the Protection of Freedoms Act to be brought into force. Home Office Minister James Brokenshire said that by May 2013 no complete DNA samples would be held by the Government. Profiles, featuring 20 numbers and two letters, will be retained to allow identification but without revealing a person's genetic make-up.   Additionally, the DNA database is to be scaled back ... [More]

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Poor gathering of forensic evidence lets offenders walk free in India

by jeeg 24. December 2012 20:16
She was just 20 when she accompanied her employer to Mamallapuram, where he allegedly drugged and raped her. It's been two years since the incident, but Nisha (name changed) hasn't got justice, as forensic reports did not back up her claim and the man walked free. Public prosecutors say that the forensic evidence often fails them in court as examining doctors and police do not record medical and material evidence properly. One of the reasons why Nisha's case did not withstand court scrutiny ... [More]

Gene-Altered Fish Moves Closer to Federal Approval

by jeeg 22. December 2012 01:02
Government regulators moved a big step closer on Friday to allowing the first genetically engineered animal — a fast-growing salmon — to enter the nation’s food supply.   The Food and Drug Administration said it had concluded that the genetically engineered salmon would have “no significant impact” on the environment. The agency also said the salmon was “as safe as food from conventional Atlantic salmon.” While the agency&... [More]

Genetics Will Not Explain Newtown

by jeeg 21. December 2012 23:29
The tragedy in Connecticut last week shook all of us to our core, angering us, and pushing us all to find fault somewhere to explain the devastation. As a country, we have pointed fingers at guns, legislatures, school security and mental health care -- anything that could help us make sense of this horrid devastation of our most valuable and vulnerable children. Dr. H. Wayne Carver II, the Connecticut medical examiner in search of a cause, has turned to "genetic clues" to explain Adam Lan... [More]

What we know—and don't know—about the biology of homosexuality

by jeeg 20. December 2012 21:31
The media was abuzz this week after an international group of researchers proposed that scientists may have been looking for the biological underpinnings of homosexuality in the wrong place. Although scientists have spent the last few decades scouring our genome for a “gay gene,” William Rice, Urban Friberg, and Sergey Gavrilets suggest in The Quarterly Review of Biology that homosexuality may have its roots in epigenetics, rather than in genetics. According to the authors, much of ... [More]

Helping Decide Guilt or Innocence

by jeeg 20. December 2012 21:27
  A man will go on trial for attempted murder in Brooklyn. His fate may hang on the handlebars of a bicycle. Prosecutors contend he shot a man from the bike, and may have left a DNA calling card on its surface. He may not have been the only one to touch the bicycle, though. As DNA evidence is increasingly used in courtrooms, forensic scientists are struggling to find more-precise ways to analyze smaller and smaller samples that contain multiple contributors — scraped from, sa... [More]

Canada needs to regulate non-medical use of genetic information

by jeeg 17. December 2012 18:20
While predictive genetic testing holds the promise of advancing the understanding of disease, there is also great potential for the information to be misused. Currently, Canada is the only G-8 country without a policy or legislation on the use and collection of genetic information for non-research or health purposes. This is dangerous and could undermine people’s willingness to take part in Canada’s ambitious Personal Genome Project, which aims to make public the genome of 100,00... [More]
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