Genomic sequencing’s value challenged in Stanford study

by jeeg 16. January 2015 20:54
  The environment may be a much bigger driver of human health than genetics, which raises questions about the value of genomic sequencing and the push toward personalized medicine, says a team of Stanford scientists studying the immune system. “Genomics technology has advanced so much that we’re seeing an explosion in sequencing and analyzing this and that. Everything starts to look like genetics. And yet, it isn’t, really,” said Mark Davis, lead author of the st... [More]

New DNA technique may reveal face of killer in unsolved double-murder

by jeeg 15. January 2015 22:32
  There were no witnesses to the gruesome murder of a South Carolina mother and her 3-year-old daughter inside a busy apartment complex four years ago. But a new technology that can create an image of someone using DNA samples left at crime scenes might bring police closer to catching the killer. Reston, Va.-based Parabon Nanolabs, with funding from the Department of Defense, has debuted a breakthrough type of analysis called DNA phenotyping which the company says can predict a person's... [More]

Spray-On DNA "Barcode" Tracks Harmful Chemicals

by jeeg 14. January 2015 22:52
  Everything from food, to air to water runs the risk of becoming contaminated. Now chemists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California have developed a technology that can detect and track dangerous particles in food and in the air. “The DNA in the material can be used to identify those particles," said George Farquar, a chemist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. With the technology, called DNA Trax, researchers create tiny sugar-based particles and lab... [More]

How drug companies will mine your genes

by jeeg 13. January 2015 00:45
  Imagine a world where genetic sequencing is free, like Gmail. That’s where we’re headed. Genetic data is going the way the rest of our data has gone on the web. Companies will mine it, repackage it, and find a way to make money off it. For eight years, personal genomics company 23andMe has been giving consumers access to their genes. It started off costing $999. Today it’s $99. In 2012, the company allowed consumers to share their data with t... [More]

23andMe turns spit into DNA data sales to Pfizer

by jeeg 12. January 2015 22:05
  23andMe Inc., the genetic-testing startup backed by Google, is sharing DNA data on about 650,000 individuals with Pfizer to help find new targets to treat disease and to design clinical trials. The collaboration with Pfizer is the broadest announced so far in 23andMe’s ambitious plan to become a repository for humanity’s genetic makeup, and to turn data gathered from $99 saliva tests sold to consumers into multimillion-dollar deals with drugmakers. The agreement unveiled ... [More]

Discovery, Guided by Morality

by jeeg 8. January 2015 22:36
  Ann Lam delicately places a laboratory slide holding a slice of brain from a living human onto a small platform in a room the size of a walk-in refrigerator. She closes a heavy door and turns to a row of computers to monitor her experiments. She is using one of the world’s most sophisticated and powerful microscopes, the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, to learn about the distribution of metals in the brains of epilepsy patients. But she has another reason for being h... [More]

Screening companies pitch genetic testing for all couples planning to have children

by jeeg 8. January 2015 21:45
      Carrier screening is a type of genetic testing performed on couples who are expecting or planning for a baby to see if they may be at risk for passing a genetic disorder on to their children. Carrier screening was previously targeted at people from certain ethnic groups, for example Ashkenazi Jews, who are at higher risk for some diseases including Tay-Sachs disease and Canavan disease. But companies who offer these screening options are now promoting them for ... [More]

23andMe’s New Formula: Patient Consent = $

by jeeg 7. January 2015 22:21
    Facebook generates about $8 a year in revenue from each of its users. But what if you offered a company not just your photos and updates, but your entire genome? Then you could be worth as much as $20,000. That’s my rough calculation for what Genentech could pay direct-to-consumer gene testing company 23andMe for the chance to trawl the DNA of each of several thousand of its customers for genetic clues to Parkinson’s disease. The deal between the two compani... [More]

Multiple researchers potentially exposed to biological warfare agent at USAMRIID

by jeeg 6. January 2015 23:40
  While sitting in a boiling hot water bath in a Fort Detrick lab, a plastic tube holding a biological warfare agent popped open. Steam rose up out of the bath. A microbiologist walked into the room. And another. One stood in the room for 10 minutes as they discussed what to do, the steam spreading through the lab. In all, six people were potentially exposed to Burkholderia mallei, a bacteria that causes an infectious disease called glanders. The bacteria can be spread via aeros... [More]

The Future of Criminal DNA Collection in 2015

by jeeg 6. January 2015 23:05
  DNA can reveal an extraordinary amount of private information about you, including familial relationships, medical history, predisposition for disease, and possibly even behavioral tendencies and sexual orientation. While DNA testing in a criminal context has some benefits—such as supporting innocence claims—the mass, suspicionless collection, testing, and storing of genetic material from large populations creates a danger for privacy that only grows with each new scient... [More]
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