San Bernardino County district attorney asks Congress to make DNA collection part of immigration reform

by jeeg 31. January 2013 20:53
One of Southern California's top prosecutors is urging Congress to require immigrants to submit DNA samples as a condition to staying in the United States. San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos sent a hand-delivered letter to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., asking that pending immigration reforms include provisions allowing immigrants' DNA samples to be cross-checked against the FBI's database in order to prevent criminals... [More]

A Brave New World of Prenatal DNA Sequencing

by jeeg 30. January 2013 23:01
Prenatal testing could become safer and more informative in the coming years thanks to technologies developed to survey a fetus’s genome from the mom’s blood.   Illumina, the world’s leading manufacturer DNA sequencing machines, is now moving aggressively into the field of prenatal sequencing. Earlier this month, the company announced that it would purchase startup Verinata, which launched its prenatal chromosome counting system last spring. The acquisition follows... [More]

San Bernardino district attorney wants government to collect immigrants' DNA as part of reform deal

by jeeg 30. January 2013 22:47
San Bernardino District Attorney, Michael A. Ramos, drafted a hand-delivered a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner and the Senate majority leader Senator Harry Reid asking for DNA collection to be added to a proposed immigration reform package.   "With this request, I tepidly put my toe in the water of the complex issues related to immigration reform. As a second generation Latino and law enforcement professional, I have a keen interest in immigration reform legislation that... [More]

The DNA you left behind

by jeeg 30. January 2013 22:40
The next time you comb your hair in a public restroom or aimlessly pick a stray strand off your coat while waiting for the subway, take a moment to think about the personal information you’re leaving behind. If you’ve seen enough crime shows on television, you know that hair follicles contain unique DNA sequences, from which a crafty scientist (or, increasingly, a savvy hobbyist) can glean all kinds of personal information about you. And while leaving your locks all over town isn&rsq... [More]

3 Years After Inception, a DNA Technique Yields Little Success for the Police

by jeeg 29. January 2013 00:51
The robber fled through a backyard in Queens, dropping a jacket and gloves and with them, genetic material. Detectives failed to find a suspect in tests comparing the material against a DNA database of convicted criminals. But the search yielded a near match to a convict with an unusually similar DNA profile. The convict may not have been the robber, but perhaps one of his relatives was. The process of turning crime-scene DNA into a family tree of possible leads has been quietly undertake... [More]

Sickle Cell Test Gets NCAA OK Despite Docs Claim its "Medically Groundless"

by jeeg 28. January 2013 23:29
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has approved mandatory confirmation of sickle cell trait status in Division III student athletes, despite the objections of the American Society of Hematology (ASH).   NCAA delegates voted 254 to 200 in favor of the measure at the 2013 NCAA convention over the weekend. Confirmation of sickle cell status will be required of all incoming student athletes in the 2013-2014 school year and for all athletes by 2014-2015. Mandatory sickl... [More]

Royal College of Physicians of Ireland warns against destruction of DNA database

by jeeg 25. January 2013 00:48
The RCPI has expressed "serious concern" at what it termed HSE plans to permanently destroy the DNA records of every baby born in Ireland between 1984 and 2002. "This will result in the permanent loss of a genetic database of the Irish population, a unique bio-historical archive of pre-immigration Ireland that would be of interest to scientific investigators for generations to come and that should be used to carry out life-saving medical research," the College stated last week. "We urg... [More]

Neanderthal Baby Idea Floated By Harvard Geneticist Sparks Ethics Debate Over Cloning

by jeeg 23. January 2013 22:58
In a controversial interview that has ignited commentary across the world, a respected Harvard professor of genetics has suggested an "extremely adventurous female human" might someday serve as surrogate mother for a cloned Neanderthal baby.   Besides saying that the cloning of a live Neanderthal baby would be possible in our lifetime, George Church told Der Spiegel magazine that using stem cells to create a Neanderthal could have significant benefits to society. "The first thing yo... [More]

British police bosses tell cops: don’t target gays in DNA roundup

by jeeg 23. January 2013 22:17
British police bosses have ordered officers not to demand DNA samples from gay men who are only guilty of victimless sex crimes.   Police around the country are currently collecting DNA samples for a national database in an exercise called Operation Nutmeg. The round-up is for people who have committed crimes since 1995. But veteran gay activist Peter Tatchell has accused some of carrying out a ‘homophobic witch hunt’. He says they are collecting samples from gay men wh... [More]

It's Legal For Some Insurers To Discriminate Based On Genes

by jeeg 22. January 2013 02:52
Getting the results of a genetic test can be a bit like opening Pandora's box. You might learn something useful or interesting, or you might learn that you're likely to develop an incurable disease later on in life.   There's a federal law that's supposed to protect people from having their own genes used against them, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, or GINA. Under GINA, it's illegal for an employer to fire someone based on his genes, and it's illegal for health insur... [More]
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