Japanese Institute Opens Investigation Into Its Stem-Cell Breakthrough

by jeeg 18. February 2014 22:41
A Japanese government-funded science institute said it has opened an investigation in response to questions raised about images in a groundbreaking study on stem cells. The Riken research institute said Monday that it began the investigation Thursday, after allegations of irregularities in images used in two pictures posted in the British journal Nature.    The study was carried out by an international team that was led by Haruko Obokata of the Riken Center for Developmental B... [More]

New Encryption Technique Promises to Keep Your Genetic Data Secure- For Now

by jeeg 18. February 2014 17:09
Our genetic codes — the string of nucleotide “letters” that comprise our genomes — contain information about which diseases we may be susceptible to, or, what health conditions we have a predisposition for. However, this information is not absolute; having a gene or series of gene mutations that are biomarkers for a given disease, or spectrum of diseases, does not mean that our fate is sealed. Genetic information only provides an indication of probabilities — thou... [More]

Disgraced Scientist Granted U.S. Patent for Work Found to be Fraudulent

by jeeg 18. February 2014 16:55
Korean researcher Hwang Woo-suk electrified the science world 10 years ago with his claim that he had created the world’s first cloned human embryos and had extracted stem cells from them. But the work was later found to be fraudulent, and Dr. Hwang was fired from his university and convicted of crimes. Despite all that, Dr. Hwang has just been awarded an American patent covering the disputed work, leaving some scientists dumbfounded and providing fodder to critics who say the Patent Of... [More]

Gay genetics research still causes irrational fears

by jeeg 17. February 2014 20:46
Why does a “gay gene” paper still cause a stir? A similar paper on any other topic would probably have passed unnoticed. But this is sex research – where public interest is huge but real funds and real science are very scarce and stories get recycled. A study which is not even yet a paper was presented in preliminary form on Valentine’s Day by sex researcher Mike Bailey at a conference in Chicago saying that there is a genetic component to homosexuality. In fact, ... [More]

Should scientific fraud be treated as a crime?

by jeeg 13. February 2014 23:11
Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa — known for his tough questions for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) — wants to know why a former researcher at Iowa State University wasn’t prosecuted more vigorously after he was found to have deliberately spiked rabbit blood samples in a federally-funded HIV vaccine study. As Tony Leys of the Des Moines Register reports: In a pointed letter Monday, the Iowa Republican asked why the culprit, Dong... [More]

The Path to Reading a Newborn’s DNA Map

by jeeg 11. February 2014 01:40
What if laboratories could run comprehensive DNA tests on infants at birth, spotting important variations in their genomes that might indicate future medical problems? Should parents be told of each variation, even if any risk is still unclear? Would they even want to know? New parents needn’t confront these difficult questions just yet. The more than four million babies born in 2014 in the United States will likely be screened in traditional ways — by public health programs that ... [More]

Utah poll shows Americans still wary of genetic testing for cancer

by jeeg 11. February 2014 01:34
Most Americans would consider undergoing genetic testing to predict their risk for certain cancers, but confusion persists over the benefits and risks, according to a University of Utah poll. The U.’s Huntsman Cancer Institute has invested heavily in genetics in recent months and sponsored a poll last fall to understand the public’s perception of genetic testing. The online survey of 1,202 insured adults found nearly two-thirds would be at least somewhat likely to seek genetic tes... [More]

Genetically Modified Foods: Questions Remain

by jeeg 10. February 2014 18:43
Contrary to the assertions of Jayson Lusk and Henry I. Miller, genetically modified crops have perpetuated the need for ever-larger amounts of harmful pesticides, worsening the development and spread of herbicide-resistant weeds and destroying the food sources for beneficial insects like the monarch butterfly. Moreover, engineered traits have produced only modest to no gains in yield depending on the crop in question and are falling behind productivity improvements in more traditional breedin... [More]

Giraffe put down at Copenhagen Zoo to keep population "genetically sound"

by jeeg 10. February 2014 00:41
A bid to save a young giraffe from destruction at Copenhagen Zoo has failed, and the giraffe was put down on Sunday morning. Thousands of people had signed an online petition appealing for a change of heart over the two-year-old called Marius. The zoo said it had no choice because of its duty to avoid in-breeding. Marius was killed by a bolt gun, not a lethal injection, which would contaminate the meat. A post-mortem examination was broadcast live on the internet. A crowd of visitors, inc... [More]

Uzbekistan Is Using Genetic Testing to Find Future Olympians

by jeeg 7. February 2014 23:14
The idea of using genetic testing to spot future world-class athletes has been bandied about for years. Now, Uzbekistan hopes to get a jump on the competition by testing children as young as 10 to determine their athletic potential. Rustam Muhamedov, director of the genetics laboratory at Uzbekistan's Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, announced the program for "sports selection at the molecular genetic level" on January 5 in the government-owned Pravda Vostoka newspaper. He said in an i... [More]
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