Too Much Information

by jeeg 18. December 2013 21:34
Pregnant women and their partners can already peer at an unborn child’s chromosomes: with amniocentesis, they can learn about the presence or, more likely, absence of large-scale genetic defects, often gaining peace of mind. But only a small percentage of parents-to-be take the opportunity, because the procedure is invasive and uncomfortable—a large needle is inserted into the amniotic sac—and causes miscarriage in roughly one in 400 cases.  Researchers have long ho... [More]

Three Biological Parents and a Baby

by jeeg 17. December 2013 19:12
Alana Saarinen sat at the piano, playing smoothly and with feeling. Behind her, plastic toys shared floor space with a book of plays she’d been writing. Her mother beamed. Alana is apparently a normal, well-adjusted 13-year-old. But there is something extraordinary about her — every cell in her body is different in a way that is nearly unprecedented. Alana was conceived with genetic material from three parents: Sharon and Paul Saarinen, who provided the egg and sperm, and a s... [More]

Going too far on DNA searches

by jeeg 16. December 2013 22:11
The Supreme Court erred grievously this year when it permitted Maryland police to collect DNA samples from people who had been arrested and charged with serious crimes — samples that could then be used to match that person's genetic profile with evidence from unrelated unsolved crimes. As Justice Antonin Scalia pointed out in a scathing dissent, the 5-4 decision upholding Maryland's law undermined the 4th Amendment's ban on "searching a person for evidence of a crime when there is no... [More]

In Israel, a Push to Screen for Cancer Gene Leaves Many Conflicted

by jeeg 16. December 2013 21:58
Ever since she tested positive for a defective gene that causes breast cancer, Tamar Modiano has harbored a mother’s fear: that she had passed it on to her two daughters. Ms. Modiano had her breasts removed at 47 to prevent the disease and said that the day she found out her older daughter tested negative was one of the happiest of her life. Now she wants her younger daughter, Hadas, 24, to be tested so she can start a family early if she is positive and then have a double mastecto... [More]

Food Fight in China Over GM Crops

by jeeg 13. December 2013 20:05
  OF THE many thousands of usually small protests that break out in China every year, few relate to national policy. Many consider the risk of challenging the central government too great. But the entrance to the agriculture ministry is a gathering spot for occasional demonstrations. Their complaints are about an issue dear to the ministry: genetically modified (GM) crops. At one protest this year, a group chanted slogans calling for the eradication of “traitors” who su... [More]

Presidential Panel Urges Researchers to Plan for Incidental Findings

by jeeg 13. December 2013 19:56
Researchers, clinicians, and other generators of medical data beyond the stated goals of procedures or lab tests should plan for the possibility they’ll come back with “incidental findings,” then plan in advance whether and how to deliver such information to patients or consumers, a White House advisory panel concluded. The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues called for shared decision making between practitioners and recipients of health in... [More]

New questions raised about mandatory DNA swabbing by police in California

by jeeg 11. December 2013 22:00
Lily Haskell was arrested while attending a peace rally in San Francisco in March 2009. Police took her fingerprints and swabbed the inside of her cheek to collect a sample of Haskell’s DNA, which was entered into a state database and shared with a federal database run by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. She was never charged with a crime and was soon free to go. But her most private, biological data will remain with the state indefinitely. All 50 states and the federal government ... [More]

Red flags raised after local drivers asked for DNA samples at police checkpoint

by jeeg 11. December 2013 00:01
Drivers in St. Charles County, MO were asked to take part in a government survey that involved the odd request of blood and saliva samples. One driver who emailed News 4 said a deputy and others dressed in safety vests directed drivers to take part and answer questions about alcohol and driving. The study is being conducted by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and is supposed to be voluntary.  Constitutional Law attorney Bob Herman said the study does r... [More]

Utah’s Myriad Genetics ramps up gene patenting dispute

by jeeg 10. December 2013 23:17
In the wake of a case that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, Salt Lake City-based Myriad Genetics is now enveloped in a new spate of lawsuits over its gene patents, this time sparring with companies that want to erode its dominant position in testing of genes related to breast and ovarian cancer. At stake for Myriad is whether the company can maintain the parts of its patents that the Supreme Court and a lower appeals court did not invalidate. Myriad uses the patents for tests ... [More]

Launch of the California Genetic Privacy Network

by jeeg 9. December 2013 22:41
Consumers today are faced with almost daily risks to their genetic privacy.   A tsunami of personal genetic data is being created as genetic testing increasingly becomes an integral part of medical research and health care. The vast amount of genetic data being generated raises serious medical privacy concerns.  Many Californians are afraid that their genetic information will be used against them and are unwilling to participate in medical research or to be tested clinically... [More]
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