31. March 2014 22:15
Scientific advances promise less-invasive ways to screen for diseases in unborn children. But are we on the road to an age of 'designer babies'?
Will your child become obese one day? Finding out may be as easy as testing your youngster's blood. But this type of testing is raising concerns about how far science should go to detect genetic conditions and diseases—and the ethics of giving that information to expectant parents.
Researchers at the Universities of Southampton, Exeter, and Pl... [More]
29. March 2014 00:24
You hear a lot these days about genetically modified organisms, with many people arguing that they’ll be a necessity in the not-so-distant future, as climate change stresses agriculture, and as a growing, and increasingly affluent, population consumes more food, and more inefficient animal-based foods. Others argue that we’ll need GMOs to reduce global warming emissions, harm to biodiversity from pesticides, pollution from fertilizers (such as coastal “dead zones&r... [More]
28. March 2014 20:35
The AFL-CIO, in a 2012 survey of chief executive wages, found that the average CEO in the United States was compensated 354 times what the average worker received — the highest level of wage disparity among all of the nations the AFL-CIO examined. At a time when the real value on employee pay is on the decline, the idea that Lawrence Ellison, CEO of Oracle Corp., made $96 million in 2012 frustrates many concerned by the growing wealth gap.
Five-time presidential candidate and no... [More]
27. March 2014 23:50
Recent advances in genetic science have raised the possibility that whole genome-sequencing, or WGS, will soon become a staple of newborn screening programs — a development some say could revolutionize preventive care and personalized medicine.
WGS proceeds by “decoding” the DNA nucleotides, or bases, that make up a person’s genetic blueprint. From this information, researchers can infer a wide range of details about the patient’s overall health profile a... [More]
27. March 2014 21:04
The Minnesota Department of Health would regain broad authority to test and store blood samples from newborn babies under legislation that has pitted medical privacy activists against advocates of public health and medical research.
The bill, which has passed key committees in the House and Senate, would reverse the direction of recent court rulings, allowing the Health Department to retain blood samples for medical research unless parents specifically say no.
Physicians and state he... [More]
26. March 2014 20:38
Googling a person is about to take on a completely new meaning.
The Mountain View search giant recently invited geneticists to upload information to the company's cloud infrastructure. Google also provided scientists with instructions on how to import, process, store and, of course, search DNA data that could unlock clues to curing diseases.
Google's foray into genomics could open big markets for a company that has already made substantial investments in health care.
23. March 2014 19:43
IT'S being dubbed "molecular photofitting": producing an image of a suspect's face from DNA left at the crime scene. New research suggests that such reconstructions may soon be possible, giving police another investigative tool.
Until now, DNA has been used to predict only a few physical characteristics, such as certain shades of hair colour, and to draw broad conclusions about genetic ancestry. Concerns have been raised about these predictions being used for crude profiling, potentially raci... [More]
23. March 2014 19:39
The Nebraska Supreme Court on Friday nixed a request for DNA testing of evidence gathered in the case of a man serving life in prison for shooting another man to death at an Omaha restaurant drive-thru.
Antoine Young, 40, was convicted in 2008 of first-degree murder and a weapons count for the death of 33-year-old Ray Webb, who was shot in August 2007 as he sat in his car in a Taco Bell drive-thru.
Young appealed last year after a Douglas County District Court in 2012 denied his requ... [More]
21. March 2014 20:46
A federal appeals court says California can continue to enforce its voter-approved DNA law, which requires police to take genetic samples of anyone arrested for a felony. But — to the relief of a Bay Area political protester and other opponents of the law — the court says their legal challenge can continue as well.
The law was part of a 2004 ballot measure but didn’t take effect until 2009. It requires officers to swab an inner cheek of all felony arrestees for ... [More]
20. March 2014 21:36
A state law that would require genetically engineered food and seeds to be labeled on packages and on shelves has cleared a major hurdle.
The Massachusetts Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture approved the Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act during an executive session on Wednesday, the final day for the legislation to be approved by the committee before the next session.
At the Berkshire Co-op Market in Great Barrington on Tuesday, dozens of pe... [More]