28. February 2014 22:32
Today it is easy for long-forgotten photos or personal information to live online indefinitely. But what if the most personal data about you – your genetic makeup – lived online? An individual's genome contains a vast amount of information about inherited diseases and physical traits, all stored in strands of DNA. The consequences of being able to search, cross-reference, and analyze this information are profound, experts say.
Hundreds of thousands of people have already had ... [More]
27. February 2014 20:57
A former member of the editorial board of Food and Chemical Toxicology, the journal that published and then retracted the Séralini study on GM maize and Roundup, has written a letter to the editor of the journal condemning the retraction.He writes, "Your decision which can be interpreted as a will to eliminate scientific information that does not help supporting industrial interests is, in my view, unacceptable."Meanwhile 129 scientists have signed a statement opposing the retractio... [More]
26. February 2014 19:47
The Food and Drug Administration is weighing a fertility procedure that involves combining the genetic material of three people to make a baby free of certain defects, a therapy that critics say is an ethical minefield and could lead to the creation of designer babies.
The agency has asked a panel of experts to summarize current science to determine whether the approach — which has been performed successfully in monkeys by researchers in Oregon and in people more than a decade ago &mdas... [More]
26. February 2014 19:43
Should doctors be allowed to tinker with genes to produce a healthy baby?
That's the question a Food and Drug Administration panel will consider this week when it holds hearings on whether to allow a controversial fertility technique to be tested on women with mitochondrial disease.
The field's leading U.S. researcher, Shoukhrat Mitalipov, will be on hand Tuesday to explain and defend his work.
The FDA meeting was prompted by Mitalipov's research at Oregon Health & Science University in... [More]
24. February 2014 18:41
In this week’s episode of “TechKnow,” we highlight the latest advances in forensic technology that are helping law enforcement agencies identify suspects and solve crimes with increasing accuracy. Cases that were left cold for years are being revisited with fresh eyes—and, more importantly, fresh technology. Where we have seen some of the largest leaps in the past decade is in the analysis of contact trace DNA or “Touch DNA.” A person sheds about 400,000 ski... [More]
24. February 2014 18:35
Mail-away genetic testing promises to revolutionize the way that people learn about and manage their health. Already half a million Americans have sent their saliva to find out their risk of genetic disease -- no doctors needed.
Splashed across TV sets nationwide this past summer was 23andMe's invitation to discover " hundreds of things about your health," including that you "might have an increased risk of heart disease, arthritis, [or] gallstones."
Since the company's inception in 2007, th... [More]
24. February 2014 18:27
"It's a miracle," she told me. "We can now have a baby that won't have Huntington's disease. I thought I'd never be able to have any kids -- because of the disease." Her father had died from this disorder, which results from a gene mutation. She feared that she might have the mutation, too. But she was too scared to undergo testing for it. She also worried that if she had it, she might pass it on to her children.
This disease causes severe neurological and psychiatric problems, and eventual d... [More]
24. February 2014 18:21
An advisory committee of the Food and Drug Administrationis set to begin two days of meetings tomorrow to consider radical biological procedures that, if successful, would produce genetically modified human beings. This is a dangerous step. These techniques would change every cell in the bodies of children born as a result of their use, and these alterations would be passed down to future generations.
The F.D.A. calls them mitochondrial manipulation technologies. The procedures involve r... [More]
21. February 2014 01:23
In a public meeting scheduled for February 25-26, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will consider approval of experiments to produce children by the in vitro fertilization of an egg containing DNA derived from both the intended mother and another woman. Although such large-scale genetic engineering has never before been attempted in humans, the procedure -- to create "three-parent babies" -- is paradoxically being touted by its developers as a relatively trivial tweaking of the rep... [More]
19. February 2014 16:31
A plan to share NHS patient records with academics, medical charities and drug companies has been postponed for six months in an attempt to convince the public that privacy fears are unfounded.
The giant data base, seen as a likely fillip to Britain’s bioscience industry, was to have been launched in the spring.
David Cameron, the prime minister, had said it would “make the NHS the best place in the world to carry out medical research”.
However privacy campaigners had rais... [More]