F.B.I. Audit of Database That Indexes DNA Finds Errors in Profiles

by jeeg 27. January 2014 20:34
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, in a review of a national DNA database, has identified nearly 170 profiles that probably contain errors, some the result of handwriting mistakes or interpretation errors by lab technicians, while New York State authorities have turned up mistakes in DNA profiles in New York’s database. The discoveries, submitted by the New York City medical examiner’s office to a state oversight panel, show that the capacity for human error is ever-present... [More]

NYPD Brew: Beer Cans Found in Stationhouse Spark CSI Probe

by jeeg 23. January 2014 22:30
After four empty beer cans and a chilled six-pack were discovered inside a Bronx police stationhouse, top NYPD brass called in a team of forensic experts to try to detect DNA and fingerprints, DNAinfo New York has learned. Chief of Detectives Phil Pulaski’s Inspections Unit summoned the scientific firepower about two weeks ago, after they were informed that Budweisers were found in a wastebasket and refrigerator in the 47th Precinct dormitory, where officers catch a few winks while ... [More]


by jeeg 23. January 2014 22:17
No, I don't literally mean that we should stop believing in, or collecting, Big Data. But we should stop pretending that Big Data is magic. There are few fields that wouldn't benefit from large, carefully collected data sets. But lots of people, even scientists, put more stock in Big Data than they really should. Sometimes it seems like half the talk about understanding science these days, from physics to neuroscience, is about Big Data, and associated tools like "dimensionality reduction"... [More]

The FDA Is Not Anti-Genetics

by jeeg 22. January 2014 21:54
When the FDA shut down biotech company 23andMe’s direct-to-consumer Personal Genome Service, many in the biotech community worried that the FDA was risking the survival of a nascent industry that would revolutionize medical care with new genetic technologies. But lost in the story about 23andMe was the news that the FDA had just issued its very first approval for a next-generation DNA analysis machine, clearly signaling that the agency recognizes the growing significance of genetic t... [More]

DNA test proves Titanic survivor was a fraud

by jeeg 21. January 2014 22:23
  What some have called the last great mystery of the Titanic disaster has been solved, and it's all thanks to a DNA test. When the massive "Unsinkable Ship" hit an iceberg and sank more than 100 years ago, only one child in first class had reportedly died in the accident — 2-year-old Loraine Allison. (Via History Channel ) CNET reports Loraine apparently didn't get in a lifeboat because her parents were desperately trying to find her younge... [More]

China cloning on an 'industrial scale'

by jeeg 20. January 2014 17:30
You hear the squeals of the pigs long before reaching a set of long buildings set in rolling hills in southern China. Feeding time produces a frenzy as the animals strain against the railings around their pens. But this is no ordinary farm. Run by a fast-growing company called BGI, this facility has become the world's largest centre for the cloning of pigs. The technology involved is not particularly novel - but what is new is the application of mass production. The first shed contains 90 ... [More]

A fish census in a glass of water? DNA offers clues.

by jeeg 17. January 2014 21:28
Researchers can now carry out a fish survey using just a glass of the water in which the fish live. A group of researchers collected about two pint glasses of water from California's Monterey Bay Aquarium's 1.2 million-gallon open sea tank. They then analyzed the DNA in the water samples to determine what fish species were present in the tank.  Researchers compared this DNA to primers – short bits of DNA – from earlier studies. If a match was found, then the specific typ... [More]

Top 5 health threats in 2014

by jeeg 17. January 2014 21:24
The disease detectives at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named the top five global health threats they expect to tackle in 2014: 1. The emergence and spread of new microbes While it’s rare, CDC scientists do come across new diseases each year. In 2013, the new Heartland virus carried by ticks was confirmed in northwest Missouri. Federal health investigators collected samples in the state after two farmers from St. Joseph were sickened by the virus that carried a nov... [More]

Organic food and farm groups ask Obama to require GMO food labels

by jeeg 16. January 2014 20:11
Four U.S. lawmakers joined with more than 200 food companies, organic farming groups, health and environment organizations and other groups on Thursday to urge President Barack Obama to require manufacturers to label food products that contain genetically engineered ingredients. The groups delivered a letter to the president dated January 16 reminding Obama of a campaign pledge the groups said he made in 2007 as he campaigned in Iowa to work to label so-called GMO foods. The issue ... [More]

Health records of every NHS patient to be shared in vast database

by jeeg 15. January 2014 01:01
The medical notes of every NHS patient are to be pooled in a vast database to improve research. In the coming days every household in Britain will receive a letter advising them that, from April, their medical histories will be shared with researchers and pharmaceutical companies unless they opt out. Today leading charities including Cancer Research UK, Diabetes UK and the British Heart Foundation launch a campaign to highlight the importance of allowing the notes to be accessed ... [More]
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