DNA Double Take

by jeeg 17. September 2013 21:55
From biology class to “C.S.I.,” we are told again and again that our genome is at the heart of our identity. Read the sequences in the chromosomes of a single cell, and learn everything about a person’s genetic information — or, as 23andme, a prominent genetic testing company, says on its Web site, “The more you know about your DNA, the more you know about yourself.” But scientists are discovering that — to a surprising degree — we contain ... [More]

The final nail in the Jurassic Park coffin: Next generation sequencing reveals absence of DNA in sub-fossilized insects

by jeeg 16. September 2013 21:12
Research just published in the journal PLOS ONE by a team of researchers from the Faculty of Life Sciences at The University of Manchester can now confirm that the existence of DNA in amber fossils is highly unlikely   It is hardly possible to talk about fossil insects in amber without the 1993 movie Jurassic Park entering the debate. The idea of recreating dinosaurs by extracting DNA from insects in amber has held the fascination of the public for two decades. Claims for su... [More]

Opponents of genetically modified foods assail carve-out in House spending bill

by jeeg 16. September 2013 21:09
Food safety advocates are assailing House Republicans for including a controversial carve-out for biotechnology companies in a government funding bill. The stopgap spending bill, which has an uncertain future in the House, would leave intact the so-called “Monsanto Protection Act” that allows biotechnology companies to sell genetically modified seeds, even if a court has blocked them.“Its inclusion is a slap in the face to the American public and our justice system,&rdqu... [More]

Scientists To Launch Genetically Modified Insects Into Fields

by jeeg 16. September 2013 21:01
The plan is to release a large number of genetically modified olive flies that would be used to kill off wild pests that damage the crop. The technology is the brainchild of experts at British company Oxitec, who insist the GM insects are better for the environment that spraying crops with chemical pesticides. However critics fear the development could put human health at risk if people eat the flies or their larvae if they reach food products. The trial would involve releasing genetica... [More]

FGPI Guest Post: Considered and informed debate about a DNA database is vital

by jeeg 12. September 2013 19:22
  THE MINISTER FOR Justice Alan Shatter has published the Criminal Justice (Forensic Evidence and DNA Database) Bill, which legislates for the creation of a DNA database in Ireland. The creation of such a database has long been on the political agenda but a combination of political lethargy and unexplained delays (which have in part been driven by relevant European case law and resource constraints) have hampered progress in this area. On publishing the Bill the Minister observed: &... [More]

Selling the Fantasy of Fertility

by jeeg 12. September 2013 19:17
ON Sunday in New York City, a trade show called Fertility Planit will showcase the latest inventions in the world of reproductive medicine under a banner that reads: “Everything You Need to Create Your Family.” Two dozen sessions will feature many of the sponsors’ products and therapies, with an emphasis on hopeful breakthroughs ranging from genetic testing to embryo thawing techniques to genome sequencing. But the fair’s most powerful strategy is the suggestion t... [More]

Monsanto puts $4.6 million into fight against GMO labeling

by jeeg 11. September 2013 21:26
Monsanto has contributed $4.6 million to fight Initiative 522, the measure on this fall’s ballot that would require labeling of genetically engineered foods sold at retail. The contribution, reported Monday to the state’s Public Disclosure Commission, was made last week and brings the opposition’s war chest to $7.8 million. Monsanto, a major seller of seeds for genetically engineered crops, was the largest donor fighting a similar labeling measure in California last ye... [More]

Stem Cell Treatments Overtake Science

by jeeg 10. September 2013 19:59
Maggie Alejos arrived here in June from St. Anne, Ill., with her husband, her daughter and a cashier’s check for $13,500, payable to the Regenerative Medicine Institute. Rail-thin, with an oxygen tube anchored above her upper lip, Ms. Alejos, a retired Army nurse, has coped with emphysema for a dozen of her 65 years. Once she came close enough to a lung transplant that doctors prepared her for surgery, only to discover that the donor lung was unfit. At a hospital here, doctors af... [More]

DNA database is welcome in Ireland but it will need safeguards

by jeeg 9. September 2013 23:37
THE Irish Innocence Project welcomes the new DNA database bill, last heard of in 2010. In the US and UK, many people have been exonerated by so-called "cold-searching" of DNA databases. In addition, actual perpetrators have also been eventually discovered when a DNA database search matched with the crime-scene DNA. Furthermore, DNA of other individuals found at a crime scene can also assist in showing that someone has been wrongfully incarcerated – particularly if that other DNA ... [More]

Artist creates faces from DNA left in public

by jeeg 9. September 2013 23:32
We leave genetic traces of ourselves wherever we go -- in a strand of hair left on the subway or in saliva on the side of a glass at a cafe. So you may want to think twice the next time you spit out your gum or drop a cigarette butt in public. New York artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg might pick it up, extract the DNA and create a 3-D face that could look like you. Her project, "Stranger Visions," fashions portrait sculptures from bits of genetic material collected in public places. "The id... [More]
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