Geneticists say popular book misrepresents research on human evolution

by admin 11. August 2014 23:09
  More than 130 leading population geneticists have condemned a book arguing that genetic variation between human populations could underlie global economic, political and social differences. “A Troublesome Inheritance“, by science journalist Nicholas Wade, was published in June by Penguin Press in New York. The 278-page work garnered widespread criticism, much of it from scientists, for suggesting that genetic differences (rather than culture) explain, for instance, why Wes... [More]

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Facing Consumer Pressure, More Firms Are Jettisoning GMOs From Their Foods

by jeeg 11. August 2014 19:53
  Two years ago, Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc. initiated a plan to eliminate genetically modfied ingredients from its ice cream, an effort to address a nascent consumer backlash and to fulfill its own environmental goals. This fall, nearly a year behind schedule, it expects to finish phase one, affecting its flavorful "chunks and swirls" like cookie dough and caramel. The only part left to convert: the milk that makes ice cream itself. Thanks to the complexities of sou... [More]

Protecting privacy while gathering health data

by jeeg 11. August 2014 19:50
  As health care goes digital, data is an increasingly valuable commodity. Correctly crunched, the massive amount of patient health information now online could lead to big improvements in medicine. But few agree on a way to acquire, see, share and use the data that satisfies everyone who wants a piece. That debate took a turn this week when rival insurers Blue Shield of California and Anthem Blue Cross said they would team up to create an health information sharing network w... [More]

Thailand Pushes to Ban Commercial Surrogacy

by jeeg 11. August 2014 19:48
  Thailand pushed to ban commercial surrogacy Thursday as a case involving nine surrogate babies allegedly with the same Japanese father emerged just days after a furor over the alleged abandonment of a surrogate-born baby with Down syndrome. The discovery of the nine babies being cared for by nannies in a Bangkok condominium followed accusations by a Thai surrogate that an Australian couple had left the boy with Down syndrome to be raised by her, while taking home his healthy twin sist... [More]

New CRG Report Biological Laboratories Risks and Regulations

by jeeg 8. August 2014 01:41
  Recent high profile incidents at the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes have brought the discussion of biosafety back to the forefront of the public conscious. In June 2014, the CDC reported that eighty-four personnel were exposed to live anthrax spores that were supposed to have been killed. The sample had left the lab twenty four hours after it went though a killing procedure, instead of the forty eight-hour window that is recommended. While no one was infected, ... [More]

BU biohazard lab is an empty fortress

by jeeg 8. August 2014 01:32
  Boston University’s $200 million biohazard lab in the South End is like no other building in the city. The lab is visible from Albany Street but its entrance isn’t, which is part of the security plan for a place where scientists could eventually perform research on some of the most hazardous materials on earth. Walls and floors are roughly twice the thickness of a normal building. It is built to withstand hurricanes, and its director brags that it will be the safest bui... [More]

Should We Resurrect Extinct Animals?

by jeeg 7. August 2014 22:46
  De-extinction is a subject which has fascinated people for many years, and what was once the subject of science fiction and hypothetical debate is now a very real possibility and one which requires some serious discussion. Scientists say that they now have the technology to begin the genetic reconstruction from DNA taken from the bodies of extinct animals. The concept is almost identical to that shown in the cult classic film Jurassic Park, but before fans get too excited, it’s ... [More]

Appeals court upholds retention of volunteered DNA

by jeeg 5. August 2014 21:49
  An appeals court on Wednesday sanctioned the police's use of genetic material obtained in one investigation to solve other crimes, but agreed with attorneys for a burglar that questions surround the little known practice. Three judges of the Court of Special Appeals upheld the burglary conviction of George Varriale, a homeless Anne Arundel County man, which was based in part on DNA that he had voluntarily given to police to clear himself in a rape investigation. Genetic material obta... [More]

GMOs Have Never Been Proven Safe

by jeeg 4. August 2014 22:35
  Proponents of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) often proclaim that the technology has been fully vetted in terms of human safety, and that anyone objecting to the continued unlabeled use of GMOs in the food supply is somehow dredging up unfounded conspiracy theories. But the truth of the matter is that GMOs have never been proven safe in humans, as no long-term safety studies involving humans have ever taken place. The biotechnology industry rarely divulges this fact, instead flo... [More]

Huntington man deals with mitochondrial disease as preventive measures debated

by jeeg 4. August 2014 22:31
  Ted Tiller gets around his Huntington home in a wheelchair, battling a rare disease that has left him with weakened legs, brain lesions and failing vision. Since 2009, Tiller, 23, has suffered from mitochondrial disease, a debilitating, often-fatal condition that affects how energy in the body is generated. Now, on his left wrist, Tiller wears a green band representing the need to conquer his mitochondrial disease. "It's hard to deal with but I've done that for years," said Tiller, ... [More]
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