Experiment Brings Human Cloning One Step Closer

by jeeg 16. May 2013 21:14
  Scientists have used cloning technology to transform human skin cells into embryonic stem cells, an experiment that may revive the controversy over human cloning. The researchers stopped well short of creating a human clone. But they showed, for the first time, that it is possible to create cloned embryonic stem cells that are genetically identical to the person from whom they are derived. These stem cells could go on to differentiate into heart, nerve, muscle, bone and a... [More]

Avoiding “Incidental” Damages

by jeeg 16. May 2013 21:06
                 Presidential panel, ACMG, and experts struggle with what patients should learn, and how. Sarah Hilgenberg, M.D., was a self-described “hard-working, high achieving, strong willed, Type A 20-something” who wanted to help a friend and earn $40 for herself when she volunteered in 2002 for an MRI scan of her brain. During her third scan, doctors found an anomaly. Originally thinking it ... [More]

Defending Genomic Liberty

by jeeg 16. May 2013 01:12
The Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments and examined one of the most pivotal cases in healthcare and personalized medicine: AMP v. Myriad Genetics. The case will determine if patents on human genes should be allowed, and the Court is expected to issue a decision next month. This case is important because Myriad genetics holds patents for the breast cancer associated genes (BRCA1 and BRCA2), and only they can legally examine these fragments of DNA from your body. The Association of ... [More]

Chinese project probes the genetics of genius

by jeeg 16. May 2013 01:07
  The US adolescents who signed up for the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth (SMPY) in the 1970s were the smartest of the smart, with mathematical and verbal-reasoning skills within the top 1% of the population. Now, researchers at BGI (formerly the Beijing Genomics Institute) in Shenzhen, China, the largest gene-sequencing facility in the world, are searching for the quirks of DNA that may contribute to such gifts. Plunging into an area that is littered with failures and ri... [More]

Intellectual Property Rights Gone Wild

by jeeg 14. May 2013 23:54
The Supreme Court recently began deliberations in a case that highlights a deeply problematic issue concerning intellectual property rights: Can human genes—your genes—be patented? Put another way, should someone essentially be permitted to own the right, say, to test whether you have a set of genes that imply a higher than 50 percent probability of developing breast cancer? To those outside the arcane world of intellectual property rights, the answer seems obvious: No. You ... [More]

Jolie’s double mastectomy highlights Supreme Court 'cancer gene' patent battle

by jeeg 14. May 2013 23:46
Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy revelation had the unintended side-effect of boosting the share price for the biotech firm that owns the patent to her “breast cancer gene,” highlighting an ongoing US Supreme Court battle over the right to patent life. On Monday, Jolie told the world she had undergone the procedure after discovering she carries a gene called BRCA1, which drastically increases the risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer.Myriad Genetics, the Utah-ba... [More]

Fabricut to Pay $50,000 to Settle EEOC Disability and Genetic Information Discrimination Lawsuit

by jeeg 14. May 2013 02:13
Federal Agency Files First Suit Enforcing Genetic Discrimination Law Against Fabric Distributor That Requested Family Medical History, Refused to Hire Woman   TULSA, Okla. - Fabricut, Inc., one of the world's largest distributors of decorative fabrics, will pay $50,000 and furnish other relief to settle a disability and genetic information discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. This is the first lawsuit ev... [More]

The DNA in your garbage: up for grabs

by jeeg 13. May 2013 21:29
Imagine you stop by a Starbucks one morning, and the shop is robbed only minutes after you leave. Witnesses say the perpetrator was drinking coffee, so investigators retrieve dozens of cups from the trash, looking for genetic evidence. When they analyze it, they may find the robber’s DNA, but they’re going to find many other people’s as well—including yours. What can they do with that information? Instinctively, it feels like the answer should be “nothing&rdq... [More]

Supreme Court rules for Monsanto in genetically modified soybean case

by jeeg 13. May 2013 21:23
The Supreme Court agreed with Monsanto on Monday that an Indiana farmer’s un­or­tho­dox planting of the company’s genetically modified soybeans violated the agricultural giant’s patent. The court unanimously rejected farmer Vernon Hugh Bowman’s argument that he was not violating Monsanto’s patent because the company’s pesticide-resistent “Roundup Ready” soybeans replicate themselves. Justice Elena Kagan said there is no s... [More]

The Next Pandemic: Not if, but When

by jeeg 10. May 2013 21:51
TERRIBLE new forms of infectious disease make headlines, but not at the start. Every pandemic begins small. Early indicators can be subtle and ambiguous. When the Next Big One arrives, spreading across oceans and continents like the sweep of nightfall, causing illness and fear, killing thousands or maybe millions of people, it will be signaled first by quiet, puzzling reports from faraway places — reports to which disease scientists and public health officials, but few of the rest of... [More]
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