Some Worry Over a Law to Increase DNA Testing

by jeeg 19. August 2013 22:05
In some Texas counties, it takes six months or longer to get DNA test results from the Department of Public Safety, says William Lee Hon, the Polk County criminal district attorney. Now, Mr. Hon and other prosecutors fear that come Sept. 1, when a new law takes effect requiring DNA analysis of all biological evidence in death penalty cases, the wait could grow longer. “We’re not sure that D.P.S. has the resources currently to adequately comply with that legislation,” he... [More]

India’s Doubting Fathers and Sons Embrace DNA Paternity Tests

by jeeg 19. August 2013 21:52
In 2007, a 28-year-old man was propelled from obscurity to prominence when he turned to the Delhi High Court to seek a public acknowledgement of paternity from a senior Congress Party leader, N.D. Tiwari. Rohit Shekhar, who said that he was the result of an affair between his mother and Mr. Tiwari, spent five years trying to force the politician to take a DNA test, taking his case all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled in Mr. Shekhar’s favor last year. The high-profile nature... [More]

Leicester forensic experts create UK’s first cat DNA database

by jeeg 19. August 2013 21:50
University of Leicester forensic scientists have created the UK’s first cat DNA database – which has already helped convict a killer. Experts in the University’s Department of Genetics have compiled a database of DNA from 152 cats around the country. The database was used to demonstrate the likelihood that cat hairs found on the dismembered torso of Hampshire man David Guy belonged to “Tinker”, a cat owned by main suspect David Hilder. This evidence was use... [More]

Read the Outstanding Review of CRG's book, Genetic Explanations, in DNA and Cell Biology Journal

by jeeg 15. August 2013 21:20
    Are We Listening to Genomic Noise? Book Review: Genetic Explanations: Sense and Nonsense, Harvard University Press   DNA AND CELL BIOLOGY Volume 32, Number 7, 2013 ª Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Pp. 420–421 DOI: 10.1089/dna.2013.2110   Buzzing around us is the promise of a clear understanding of life through the study of genes and DNA sequence. The buzz can be found in media reports and scientific journals alike. We are searching for genes for intell... [More]

Forensic Familial Search Methods Carry Risk of Certain False Matches

by jeeg 15. August 2013 21:17
Forensic DNA-based familial search methods may mistakenly identify individuals in a database as siblings or parents of an unknown perpetrator, when in fact they are distant relatives, according to research published August 14 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Rori Rohlfs and colleagues from the University of California at Berkeley and New York University. Familial searching is a new forensic technique to identify a perpetrator if a crime scene DNA sample has no matches in a DNA databa... [More]

Unhidden Traits: Genomic Data Privacy Debates Heat Up

by jeeg 15. August 2013 21:11
Earlier this year Yaniv Erlich of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology sent bioethicists into a frenzy when he and his team uncovered the names of people whose anonymous genome profiles were published by the 1000 Genomes Project. Erlich and his co-workers found the identities entirely by connecting Y-chromosome data and other information from the database with publicly available records, including genealogy databases and lists of people living in particular locales. Their aim is to m... [More]

Gov. Brown vetoes bill allowing women to sell their eggs to research

by jeeg 14. August 2013 21:02
Writing "not everything in life is for sale nor should it be," Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday vetoed legislation seeking to repeal a California law prohibiting women from selling their eggs for medical research. "The questions raised here are not simple; they touch matters that are both personal and philosophical," the Democratic governor said in a veto message released late in the day. "In medical procedures of this kind, genuinely informed consent is difficult because the long-term risks a... [More]

Would you post your DNA on Facebook?

by jeeg 13. August 2013 02:10
We are all Henrietta Lacks. Or, according to privacy experts, we soon could be. Americans are giving their DNA to companies that research their family origins, scientists say, without thinking through the potential long-term consequences. This week, the National Institutes of Health said it reached a landmark agreement to protect the privacy of the family of Henrietta Lacks, who died in 1951. Since her death, Lacks’s cancer cells and DNA have been used as the basis for as many as 7... [More]

Bursting the Neuro-Utopian Bubble

by jeeg 12. August 2013 22:01
During my graduate studies in the Department of Religion at Columbia, I spent countless hours in the Burke Library of Union Theological Seminary, where I had a spectacular, cater-corner view of the construction and unveiling of the Northwest Corner Building, Columbia’s new interdisciplinary science building. Although the 14-story steel and aluminum tower was designed to complement the brick and limestone gothic tower of Union, its dominating presence on the corner of Broadway and 120... [More]

Lacks Family Post Historic Photo at NIH

by jeeg 12. August 2013 19:03
An image capture from last week's historical moment: As many of you may know today the National Institutes of Health "N.I.H." and the Lacks family reached agreement for the use of the Henrietta Lacks Genome data. "It was an honor to be included in the conversation of the future of Henrietta Lacks Genome and we look forward to working with N.I.H. and the scientific community to continue advancement in science while still having a means of protecting our privacy." Lacks Family   ... [More]
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