Does Ebola Belong In The South End? Inside The BU Biolab

by admin 10. October 2014 20:26
  The current Ebola outbreak has added urgency to research into the deadly disease — and it’s put a spotlight on Boston University’s controversial biolab in the South End. Activists have called the lab a danger to the neighborhood — but after years of delays, researchers there could soon be taking critical steps toward advancing our understanding of Ebola. The National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory has been 11 years in the making. Constructed by BU in... [More]

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How Monsanto Crashed SXSW—and Brought the Drama to My Panel

by admin 10. October 2014 20:24
  Let's face it: While panels at conferences can be fun, interesting, even provocative, rarely do they provide drama, intrigue, or surprise. On Wednesday at South by Southwest Eco in Austin, my colleague Kiera Butler and I sat on a panel that counts as a genuine exception. And it had nothing to do with our own oratorical skills or those of our excellent co-panelists, author and agriculture researcher Raj Patel and Texas A&M cotton breeder Jane Dever. So here's what happene... [More]

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Poaching war gets DNA boost

by admin 9. October 2014 22:22
  The UN has injected R30-million into law enforcement and DNA-testing to help South Africa fight rocketing rhino poaching. Environment Minister Edna Molewa said at a briefing on Wednesday her department had signed a co-operation agreement with the UN Environmental Programme (Unep) to formalise the programme. The UN’s Global Environment Facility (GEF) has allocated $2.7-million (R30m) to the project over four years. Called the UNEP-GEF Rhino Project, it’s designed to stren... [More]

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NSW Police take DNA from hundreds of ex-offenders to build crime-solving database

by admin 8. October 2014 22:06
  New South Wales police are collecting DNA samples from thousands of criminals with spent convictions to help solve cold cases and future crimes. Police are planning to take a further 2,000 samples over the next 12 months, adding to 1,000 already collected, to build a comprehensive DNA database. Civil liberties advocates have criticised the program for casting too wide a net and taking samples from people who were, in many cases, rehabilitated. David Porter from the Redfern Legal Cen... [More]

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Most Foods Labeled 'Natural' Actually Contain GMOs

by admin 7. October 2014 21:05
  A majority of U.S. packaged foods labeled as "natural" and tested by Consumer Reports actually contained a substantial level of genetically modified ingredients, according to a report issued Tuesday by the non-profit product testing group.Consumers are being misled by the "natural" label, said Urvashi Rangan, executive director of Consumer Reports Food Safety and Sustainability.Consumer Reports said it had conducted a survey of more than 80 different processed foods containing ... [More]

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Flawed Ohio DNA law targeting those not yet convicted of a crime needs to be reformed

by admin 7. October 2014 21:02
  Ohio lawmakers should revisit a flawed 2011 Ohio law that requires that DNA be collected from all adults arrested -- but not yet convicted -- for felony crimes. Recent reported inconsistencies and gaps in how the law is being applied, in Cleveland and elsewhere, underscore the difficulty that some jurisdictions are having in finding a workable way to enforce this law -- which is not to excuse the Cleveland police department's apparent failure to keep adequate records&nb... [More]

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We Want Privacy, but Can’t Stop Sharing

by admin 6. October 2014 23:03
  IMAGINE a world suddenly devoid of doors. None in your home, on dressing rooms, on the entrance to the local pub or even on restroom stalls at concert halls. The controlling authorities say if you aren’t doing anything wrong, then you shouldn’t mind. Well, that’s essentially the state of affairs on the Internet. There is no privacy. If those creepy targeted ads on Google hadn’t tipped you off, then surely Edward J. Snowden’s revelations, or, more recently... [More]

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Can Big Data Tell Us What Clinical Trials Don’t?

by admin 6. October 2014 23:00
  When a helicopter rushed a 13-year-old girl showing symptoms suggestive of kidney failure to Stanford’s Packard Children’s Hospital, Jennifer Frankovich was the rheumatologist on call. She and a team of other doctors quickly diagnosed lupus, an autoimmune disease. But as they hurried to treat the girl, Frankovich thought that something about the patient’s particular combination of lupus symptoms — kidney problems, inflamed pancreas and blood vessels — rang... [More]

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Three-parent babies are 'genetic engineering' and be banned

by admin 6. October 2014 22:56
  Three parent babies created with genetic material from three people would be the result of 'genetic engineering' and should not be allowed, a group of scientists will say. A change in the law to allow doctors to use genetic material from a third person to avoid serious and life threatening diseases is being debated. In a letter seen by the Sunday Times to the Commons science and technology committee, which is holding a one-day inquiry into three parent embryos on Oc... [More]

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More Women Skip Some Prenatal Tests After Learning About Risks

by admin 3. October 2014 23:12
  For decades, OB-GYNs have offered prenatal tests to expectant moms to uncover potential issues, including Down syndrome, before they give birth. However, some tests, such as amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling, carry health risks, including miscarriage. For some women, the risks can be greater than the potential benefits from information they would gain. Evidence now suggests that women who are well-informed about the pros and cons are more likely to decline testing, even when... [More]

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