Fix the Flaws in Forensic Science

by jeeg 21. April 2015 23:57
  THE F.B.I. stunned the legal community on Monday with its acknowledgment that testimony by its forensic scientists about hair identification was scientifically indefensible in nearly every one of more than 250 cases reviewed. But the conclusion should come as no surprise to scientists. It is the culmination of a collision between law and science that began in 1989 in a Bronx courtroom with the murder trial of a janitor. The case was the first to carefully evaluate the use of DNA... [More]

FBI admits flaws in hair analysis over decades

by jeeg 20. April 2015 23:56
  The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000. Of 28 examiners with the FBI Laboratory’s microscopic hair comparison unit, 26 overstated forensic matches in ways that favored prosecutors in more than 95 percent of the 268 trials reviewed so far, according to ... [More]

IBM and Apple want to share how you are with others

by jeeg 15. April 2015 22:46
  IBM has launched a health unit to make sense of the wealth of data created by the boom in fitness trackers and apps. Watson Health aims to create "a secure, cloud-based data sharing hub" that can feed analytic technologies, it said. It could provide diagnoses or health alerts which could also be sent to doctors, carers, or insurers for example, with the user's permission. IBM has teamed up with Apple and wants to launch "new employee health and wellness management solutions". The c... [More]

Human genetic engineering demands more than a moratorium

by jeeg 15. April 2015 22:41
  On April 3 2015, a group of prominent biologists and ethicists writing in Science called for a moratorium on germline gene engineering; modifications to the human genome that will be passed on to future generations. The moratorium would apply to a technology called CRISPR/Cas9, which enables the removal of undesirable genes, insertion of desirable ones, and the broad recoding of nearly any DNA sequence. Such modifications could affect every cell in an adult human being, includin... [More]

CRG Board Member Patricia Williams-Who’s Getting Rich Off Your Genes?

by jeeg 15. April 2015 22:25
  For those unaware of how much biotechnology is changing the very nature of human identity, now is the time for a quick game of catch-up. A good place to start might be Bregtje van der Haak’s documentary film, DNA Dreams. It highlights the resources being expended, globally, to pursue utopian visions of “curing” just about every social misery, through genetic manipulation. Disease, hunger, stupidity… it will all be edited out of the genome; whilst harmony, ... [More]

DNA Testing Is a Slippery Slope

by jeeg 14. April 2015 23:01
Money shark Mark Cuban set off a firestorm on Twitter after recommending blood tests for “everything available.” Genetic testing has value, but it’s not for commercial use. Let’s say you have a whole lot of money. Let’s say you have so much money that, even after you’ve purchased a basketball team and a chain of movie theaters, you still have enough cash left over to invest in a maverick approach to your own health care. Should you sink an unspec... [More]

Senator proposes DNA sampling -- of some middle school kids

by jeeg 13. April 2015 21:46
  An Alaska state senator suggested in a hearing Tuesday that criminal behavior -- and the need for future DNA testing -- could be predicted as early as middle school. Sen. Charlie Huggins, R-Wasilla, offered what he called a “completely seat of the pants” observation at a Senate State Affairs Committee meeting during the introduction of a criminal justice reform bill. “With some degree of confidence, I think that by the time particularly young men, but maybe young me... [More]

Ancestry.Com Is Quietly Transforming Itself Into A Medical Research Juggernaut

by jeeg 6. April 2015 21:59
  In 1984, a genealogy geek named John Sittner published The Source, a book meant to unearth and analyze never-before-seen records that genealogists could use to put together family histories with unprecedented detail. Several years later, he founded Ancestry magazine to teach people how they could use public archives and technology -- which, back then, meant CD-ROMS and primitive websites and search engines -- to build out their family trees. Sittner sold the company long ago, but... [More]

14 states ask Congress to investigate the herbal supplement industry after DNA barcoding inquiry

by jeeg 3. April 2015 17:48
  Attorneys general from 14 states are calling on Congress to investigate the herbal supplements industry after a report from New York’s top prosecutor that alleged many products contained ingredients that were not listed on their labels and that could pose serious health risks. The group, led by New York Atty. Gen Eric T. Schneiderman and Indiana Atty. Gen. Greg Zoeller, asked Congress to give the Food and Drug Administration more authority to oversee the industry. “We bel... [More]

Fetal DNA tests prove highly accurate but experts warn of exceptions

by jeeg 2. April 2015 20:48
  A Roche blood test to screen fetuses for Down syndrome worked far better than standard prenatal screening tests in younger, low-risk women, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday, setting the stage for more widespread use. The new study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, is the largest to show the tests are accurate in even low-risk women. But experts warned that women who test positive still need to confirm the result through more invasive diagnostic testing such as amnio... [More]
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