Genetics for the People?

by jeeg 7. February 2014 22:59
“Your genetic information should be controlled by you,” declares an advertisement for the American direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic-testing firm 23andMe. Amid the current furor over electronic eavesdropping, the notion that individuals should decide who can access their personal data is particularly appealing. But whether 23andMe is practicing what it preaches remains dubious, at best. In fact, even some “techno-libertarians,” who believe that government should not reg... [More]

Appeals Court Says Stem Cells May be Regulated as Drugs, Affirming Low Court's Decision

by jeeg 6. February 2014 20:40
The US District Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has ruled that a lower court was correct when it ruled that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could legally regulate stem cells as drugs. Background In July 2012, the US District Court of DC ruled that FDA may legally regulate stem cell therapies as drug products. The decision was viewed by many as an opening salvo in what was likely to be a lengthy court battle between the agency and a company accused of violating fed... [More]

Americans Excited Over DNA Breakthroughs, But Many Worry About The Implications: Poll

by jeeg 5. February 2014 20:59
A new poll from the Huffington Post and YouGov finds that although most Americans are excited by the possibility of the scientific breakthroughs made possible by DNA research, many of them worry that research could go too far — and the scientists could begin “playing God.” The possibility that DNA research could create major scientific and medical breakthroughs is exciting to most Americans (71 percent). However, 44 percent also worry that DNA research involves dangers that ... [More]

Direct-to-Consumer Testing’s Constitutional Appeal

by jeeg 5. February 2014 20:43
The First Amendment may not protect someone yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater, but should shield 23andMe and other direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing companies from “overcautious” FDA regulation, two longtime supporters of test providers argue, reopening the debate over agency dealings with the company. Robert C. Green, Ph.D., and Nita A. Farahany, Ph.D., J.D., urged FDA to avoid restricting consumer genomic testing “unless faced with empir... [More]

Exonerations On The Rise, And Not Just Because Of DNA

by jeeg 4. February 2014 22:18
2013 was a record-breaking year for exonerations in the United States, according to statistics compiled by the National Registry of Exonerations. At least 87 people were set free for crimes they did not commit last year, the highest number since researchers began keeping track more than 20 years ago. Some of those people spent decades in prison before release. And it's no longer just DNA evidence that's driving exonerations, finds. It's because police and prosecutors have been more willi... [More]

Ethics Questions Arise as Genetic Testing of Embryos Increases

by jeeg 4. February 2014 22:14
Her first thought after she heard the news, after she screamed and made her mother and boyfriend leave the room, was that she would never have children. Amanda Baxley’s doctor had just told her, over a speakerphone in her psychiatrist’s office, that she had the gene for Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker disease, or GSS, which would inevitably lead to her slow and terrible death. This rare neurological disease had stalked her family for generations. Her father, 56, was even then i... [More]

Food Companies Take Fight Against GMO-Labeling To Federal Level

by jeeg 4. February 2014 22:10
The GMO fight is expensive. California and more than two dozen other states are considering mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods. The food industry has spent more than $70 million to quash those high profile efforts in places like California and Washington State.   Now big food is making its presence felt at the U.S. Capitol.   The train that runs under the Capitol grounds brings lawmakers to work in the Senate and the lobbyist follow. Louis Finkel is one of them ... [More]
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