GMO corn failing to protect fields from pest damage: report

by jeeg 29. August 2013 22:24
Researchers in the key corn-growing state of Illinois are finding significant damage from rootworms in farm fields planted in a rotation with a genetically modified corn that is supposed to protect the crop from the pests, according to a new report. Evidence gathered from fields in two Illinois counties suggests that pest problems are mounting as the rootworms grow ever more resistant to efforts to fight them, including crop rotation combined with use of the biotech corn, according to the rep... [More]

South African National Assembly approves DNA bill

by jeeg 29. August 2013 22:05
The so-called DNA bill is one step closer to being signed into law after the National Assembly passed it on Thursday afternoon. There was a lengthy delay before the bill was finally approved as the House sought to achieve a quorum. Even after the bells had been rung for five minutes to summon MPs to the chamber, only 193 MPs were present. The required quorum is 201 - 50 percent of 400 plus one. House chairman Ben Skosana postponed the vote and the House continued with other business.... [More]

Invasion of the Cloned Horses

by jeeg 26. August 2013 21:19
The American Quarter Horse Association is “the world’s largest equine breed registry.” Now they’re going to get even larger, because a court has ruled they must accept cloned horses' applications to join their exclusive club.  The saga began last August when horse owner Jason Abraham and two of his companies, Abraham & Veneklasen Joint Venture and Abraham Equine Inc., filed a lawsuit against the AQHA in Amarillo, Texas, because they had rejected cloned pet... [More]

Corporate Genetics

by jeeg 21. August 2013 22:10
In June the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that patents on genes were invalid. Yet corporate intellectual-property claims can still harm patients. The court struck down patents held by Myriad Genetics on two human genes linked to breast and ovarian cancers, BRCA1 and BRCA2. The decision ended the company’s U.S. monopoly on testing those two genes for cancer-related mutations. But Myriad is now using a different tactic that restricts patient choice around genetic testing. The company has c... [More]

The Flaws of Familial DNA Matching

by jeeg 21. August 2013 22:06
It’s always been true that a family member’s guilty conscience could be a criminal’s ultimate downfall. Now, thanks to familial DNA matching, a brother or sister can be a snitch without ever saying a word. But what about that criminal’s cousin? Half-cousin? Third cousin twice removed? Virginia’s Department of Forensic Science confirmed on Monday that it had facilitated the arrest of a suspect through this very new and very controversial forensic tool. “... [More]

As Prenatal Testing For Down Syndrome Increases, So Do Concerns About Counseling

by jeeg 21. August 2013 21:57
Devan Weathers was pulling into her office parking lot from a lunch break when she got the phone call from her doctor. She was 20 weeks pregnant with her second child and had received two abnormal ultrasounds. Her doctor had said she would be a good candidate for a new test called "Harmony," one of the increasingly popular noninvasive prenatal screening tests to enter the market in the past two years. With a simple blood draw, the test can detect certain chromosomal abnormalities in a f... [More]

FTC chief targets firms with vast databases

by jeeg 21. August 2013 21:37
Edith Ramirez, the chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission, said on Monday that her agency will aggressively police companies with control over large databases of personal information. In a speech at the Technology Policy Institute's annual conference, she said that being able to store and analyze vast quantities of data can lead to beneficial innovations in fields such as healthcare, energy and agriculture. But she warned that so-called "big data" also poses a threat to privacy and enhanc... [More]

DNA tests cannot distinguish identical twins on rape charge

by jeeg 20. August 2013 22:42
Prosecutors charged both Mohammed and Aftab Asghar but said it may be "that only one of the defendants faces trial." The pair, aged 22, were expected to enter pleas when they appeared alongside each other in the dock at Reading Crown Court, Berks. But police and the Crown Prosecution Service are still trying to determine whether they should continue to pursue the case against both men, and prosecutor Sandra Beck requested more time for the Crown to pursue particular lines of in... [More]

Rich nations not collaborating in genomics for public health, says OECD

by jeeg 20. August 2013 21:42
The development of genomics for public health is being prioritised mainly by low- and middle-income nations, with richer countries not seeking to collaborate in such research, reports the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Yet while there are to date relatively few examples of genomics being applied successfully for developing stratified medicines, the use of genomics more broadly for infectious disease control is already yielding significant public health benef... [More]

US Judge Asks U.S. horse association will be ordered to allow clones on registry

by jeeg 20. August 2013 01:36
A U.S. horse association soon will be required to add cloned horses and their offspring to its prestigious registry, a federal judge in Texas ruled on Monday. The decision could encourage cloning and open the way for the animals to participate in lucrative horse races. U.S. District Court Judge Mary Lou Robinson said she will sign an order requiring the American Quarter Horse Association to begin allowing cloned animals to be placed on its registry, according to the organization. ... [More]
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