Privacy fear for DNA dragnet in New Zealand

by jeeg 21. January 2013 21:35
A district court judge who is a world expert in forensic DNA has called for a public debate on the use of familial DNA testing, as police reveal they have now used the "last resort" method 38 times.     Judge Arthur Tompkins, an honorary member of Interpol's DNA monitoring expert group, says there needs to be a debate about the technique - which involves crime-scene samples being compared to the national DNA databank to search for relatives of an offender - before the techniqu... [More]

Fetal Genome Screening Could Prove Tragic

by jeeg 18. January 2013 20:49
In a few years you will be able to order a transcript of your entire genetic code for less than $1,000. Adults cannot do much to alter their biological lot, but what if parents could examine their unborn child's genome? Without proper guidance, they might decide to take drastic measures—even to end the pregnancy—based on a misguided reading of the genetic tea leaves.   Two different university laboratories have developed tests that will reveal the entirety of a fetus's g... [More]

Study Highlights the Risk of Handing Over Your Genome

by jeeg 18. January 2013 00:52
If you contribute your genome sequence anonymously to a scientific study, that data might still be linked back to you, according to a study published today in the journal Science. The researchers behind the study found they could deanonymize genomic data using only publicly available Internet information and some clever detective work.   The study points to rising issues concerning genetic privacy and the need for better legal protection against genetic discrimination, experts say, ... [More]

UK police demand DNA samples from gay men

by jeeg 16. January 2013 22:18
Men convicted of victimless homosexual offences three decades ago are threatened with arrest if they refuse to provide samples for the national DNA database. The convictions were under a "gross indecency" law that has now been abolished.  Manchester, London, Northumbria and West Midlands police are visiting the homes of men convicted of consenting same-sex behaviour and demanding they provide DNA samples. The convictions date back three decades and were under the homophob... [More]

The Case for Paternalism in Genetic Testing

by jeeg 15. January 2013 22:13
“So,” the journalist interviewing me asked, “you are for paternalism, then?”   Pause.  I feel the linguistic walls closing in on me.  Are you for paternalism?  Are you against life?  When did you stop beating your wife? The case against paternalism in genetics is a cause célèbre among many scientists and science writers.  The argument generally paints a picture of the medical professional as some sort of hybrid nanny-th... [More]

New York Examines Over 800 Rape Cases for Possible Mishandling of DNA Evidence

by jeeg 11. January 2013 18:48
The New York City medical examiner’s office is undertaking an unusual review of more than 800 rape cases in which critical DNA evidence may have been mishandled or overlooked by a lab technician, resulting in incorrect reports being given to criminal investigators.   Supervisors have so far found 26 cases in which the technician failed to detect biological evidence when some actually existed, according to the medical examiner’s office. In seven of those cases, full DNA p... [More]

DNA Bill expected next month in Jamaica

by jeeg 10. January 2013 22:57
THE revised draft of the DNA Bill should be among the first pieces of legislation ready for tabling when Parliament resumes next month.   A draft of the Bill was sent to the Ministry of National Security for review last month. Permanent secretary in the ministry Dr Ann-Marie Barnes confirmed that the draft was received and said that it was reviewed by ministry officials, along with the police and forensic experts. She said some amendments were made before the revised draft was se... [More]

Stem Cell Lawsuit Finally Over

by jeeg 10. January 2013 21:03
The Supreme Court today rejected a request to ban U.S.-funded research on human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). The decision brings to an end a long legal battle that has cast a shadow over hESC studies for over 3 years.   Two scientists who study adult stem cells filed their suit, Sherley v. Sebelius, in August 2009. They argued that new National Institutes of Health (NIH) guidelines lifting restrictions on hESC research violated a law banning federal funds for research that destroys... [More]

Study on safety of proposed BU biolab didn’t examine terror risk

by jeeg 10. January 2013 19:52
IN ITS Jan. 7 editorial “BU biolab’s passing grade on risk evaluation should reassure skeptics,” the Globe seems to be satisfied with the assurances from National Institutes of Health scientists that the Boston University biolab on Albany Street in the South End does not pose a significant danger to the community. Furthermore, the Globe is much too willing to dismiss the concerns of neighbors, like me, who strongly oppose the plans to permit research on dangerous biological... [More]

DNA pioneer James Watson takes aim at "cancer establishments"

by jeeg 10. January 2013 19:45
A day after an exhaustive national report on cancer found the United States is making only slow progress against the disease, one of the country's most iconic - and iconoclastic - scientists weighed in on "the war against cancer." And he does not like what he sees.   James Watson, co-discoverer of the double helix structure of DNA, lit into targets large and small. On government officials who oversee cancer research, he wrote in a paper published on Tuesday in the journal Open Biolo... [More]
Log in