genes & biotech

UK: ‘Three-parent baby’ fertility technique could be made legal

UK: ‘Three-parent baby’ fertility technique could be made legal

The Telegraph – Members of the public are being asked whether families with a genetic risk of incurable conditions like muscular dystrophy should be allowed to use the DNA of a third party to create healthy children. Although the resulting babies would inherit a small fraction of their DNA from the donor and not their mother or father, the procedure would spare all future generations from a host of rare and debilitating conditions. Read article

‘Agent Orange Corn’ Debate Rages As Dow Seeks Approval Of New Genetically Modified Seed

Huffington Post – A new kind of genetically modified crop under the brand name of “Enlist” — known by its critics as “Agent Orange corn” — has opponents pushing U.S. regulators to scrutinize the product more closely and reject an application by Dow AgroSciences to roll out its herbicide-resistant seeds. The corn has been genetically engineered to be immune to 2,4-D, an ingredient used in Agent Orange that some say could pose a serious threat to the environment and to human health. Approval by the United States Department of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Agency would allow farmers to spray it far and wide without damaging their crops, boosting profits for the agribusiness giant. Read article

Antibiotic for plague approved by the FDA

CBS/AP – A plague outbreak could be extremely deadly, so much so that officials warn it can be used in a bioterror attack. Now U.S regulators have approved use of a powerful Johnson & Johnson antibiotic to treat and prevent the extremely rare but potentially deadly bacterial infection. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also approved Levaquin, known generically as levofloxacin, to reduce risk of people getting plague after exposure to the bacteria that causes it, called Yersinia pestis. Read article

Mitt Romney, Monsanto Man

TheNation – Though Mitt Romney has been campaigning for president since 2006, it’s alarming how little is known about critical chapters of his business biography. Nothing spells that out more clearly than his ties to Monsanto—the current target of a mid-September Occupy nationwide action—whose dark history features scandals involving PCBs, Agent Orange, bovine growth hormone, NutraSweet, IUD, genetically modified (GM) seed and herbicides, reaching back to the 1970s and ’80s. That’s when Monsanto was the largest consulting client of Romney’s employer, Bain & Company, and when Romney helped move Monsanto from chemical colossus to genetic giant, trading one set of environmental controversies for another. Read article

Australia: GM crop could cause liver failure: scientist

The West Australian – A world-renowned scientist has warned that one of the CSIRO’s genetically modified wheat varieties has the potential to cause a deadly disease that attacks the liver. In his report on GM wheat that is expected to be released today, New Zealand genetics lecturer Jack Heinemann, from the University of Canterbury, said the CSIRO’s technology suppressed an enzyme in the wheat which was similar to the human enzyme that produces glycogen. Humans eating the wheat could find the technology suppresses glycogen production in their bodies, leading to liver failure. Read article

Australia: Scientists wary of CSIRO GM crop

The Australian – Scientists from three countries are warning a CSIRO-led push to make Australia the first nation in the world to introduce genetically modified wheat crops could pose a significant health threat to humans and other animals. The wheat crop in question, believed to be undergoing field trials in Western Australia, NSW and the ACT, is genetically modified to produce a grain with a lower glycaemic index, which is touted as healthier because the carbohydrates are more gradually absorbed. This in turn delays the return of hunger pangs, and helps reduce sudden swings in blood sugar, which is particularly good for diabetics. Read article

Editorial Note: You will have to log in/register/subscribe to The Australian website to view the remainder of this article. The Australian is owned by News Limited.

Monsanto’s Failure in Agriculture | Brainwash Update

RT – Monsanto is the biggest producer of pesticides and genetically modified seeds in the world, and one of their arguments is that they save farmers a ton of money and improve crop yields. But are their GMO foods only serving to create super-bugs that are practically invincible? Read article

How China and US ‘secretly tested genetically modified golden rice on children’

Daily Mail – China’s health authorities are investigating allegations that genetically modified rice has been tested on Chinese children as part of a research project.
A recent scientific publication suggested that researchers, backed by the US Department of Agriculture, fed experimental genetically engineered golden rice to 24 children in China aged between six and eight years old. Read article

Gene Linking Cataracts and Alzheimer’s Disease Identified

ScienceDaily — In a recent study, investigators at Boston University Schools of Medicine (BUSM) and Public Health (BUSPH) identified a gene linking age-related cataracts and Alzheimer’s disease. The findings, published online in PLoS ONE, contribute to the growing body of evidence showing that these two diseases, both associated with increasing age, may share common etiologic factors. Read article

Blood test closer for mad cow disease, Alzheimers and Parkinson’s

The Australian – Blood tests to diagnose Alzheimers disease, Parkinson’s and the human form of mad cow disease could be closer thanks to new Australian research. Research by University of Melbourne scientists, published in the Nucleic Acids Research journal this week, has identified specific particles (exosomes) released by cells infected with prions, the pathogen that causes diseases such as human variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Read article

Brazil Soy Group Warns Farmers Against Monsanto Seed

Fox – The grains producers’ association in Brazil’s top soybean-growing state, Mato Grosso, warned farmers this week not to plant a new variety of transgenic soy it says Monsanto Co. (MON) has been distributing. The soybean variety, Intacta RR2 Pro, hasn’t been approved in China, where more than two-thirds of Brazil’s exports of the oilseed are shipped. Mato Grosso state soybean and corn producers’ association Aprosoja said in a statement Monday that farmers using Intacta RR2 seeds could accidentally contaminate shipments of approved soybean varieties, putting exports to China at risk of being refused. Read article

Decoding the Black Death: Anthropologist Finds Clues in Medieval Skeletons

ScienceDaily — Each time Sharon DeWitte takes a 3-foot by 1-foot archival box off the shelf at the Museum of London she hopes it will be heavy. “Heavy means you know you have a relatively complete skeleton,” said DeWitte, an anthropologist at the University of South Carolina who has spent summers examining hundreds of Medieval skeletons, each time shedding new light on the dark subject of the Black Death. Read article

Controversial GM potato trial to yield results in weeks

Irish Times – A CONTROVERSIAL study into the environmental impact of genetically modified (GM) potatoes in Oak Park, Co Carlow, is expected to start showing results within weeks. Almost two weeks ago, the agricultural development body Teagasc planted 24 GM potato plants that have improved resistance to late potato blight alongside conventional potato plants. Read article

Stem cells bring back feeling for paralysed patients

NS – For the first time, people with broken spines have recovered feeling in previously paralysed areas after receiving injections of neural stem cells. Three people with paralysis received injections of 20 million neural stem cells directly into the injured region of their spinal cord. The cells, acquired from donated fetal brain tissue, were injected between four and eight months after the injuries happened. The patients also received a temporary course of immunosuppressive drugs to limit rejection of the cells. Read article

News Archive In Focus – Genes & Biotech (721 articles)

We are now well into the era of biotechnology. It is an era in which scientists have made significant advances in discovering the structures and functions of genes and in manipulating them for a wide variety of purposes. Read about many of these discoveries and their ramifications in our Genes and Biotech news archive of 721 articles on the topicCLICK HERE

How fathers who had stressful lives as youths are more likely to have anxious daughters

Daily Mail – A woman’s risk of anxiety may depend on how stressed out her father’s life was when he was young, new research has found. A new study suggests the stress a man experiences when he is young can contribute to genetic changes in his sperm that can result in psychiatric disorders in female offspring. Read article

Gene Matching May Cut AML Relapse

MedPage Today – Patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) had a significantly lower risk of relapse when they received allogeneic stem cell transplants containing genes involved in natural killer (NK)-cell activation, investigators reported. The relapse rate was 24% lower among patients who received donor cells containing at least one allele for activating killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) 2DS1. Read article

Roche drug helped breast cancer patients survive longer

Reuters – Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG said its “armed antibody” T-DM1 drug significantly extended the lives of women with an aggressive type of breast cancer compared with those receiving the standard drug cocktail. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide, with about 1.4 million new cases diagnosed each year and more than 450,000 women dying of the disease annually, according to the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer. Read article

Documentary Of The Week – Why in the World are They Spraying?

People around the world are noticing that our planet’s weather is dramatically changing. They are also beginning to notice the long lingering trails left behind airplanes that have lead millions to accept the reality of chemtrail/geoengineering programs. Could there be a connection between the trails and our severe weather? While there are many agendas associated with these damaging programs, evidence is now abundant which proves that geoengineering can be used to control weather. In this documentary you will learn how the aerosols being sprayed into our sky are used in conjunction with other technologies to control our weather.

While geoengineers maintain that their models are only for the mitigation of global warming, it is now clear that they can be used as a way to consolidate an enormous amount of both monetary and political power into the hands of a few by the leverage that weather control gives certain corporations over the Earth’s natural systems. This of course, is being done at the expense of every living thing on the planet.

Father’s Age Is Linked to Risk of Autism and Schizophrenia

NY Times – Older men are more likely than young ones to father a child who develops autism or schizophrenia, because of random mutations that become more numerous with advancing paternal age, scientists reported on Wednesday, in the first study to quantify the effect as it builds each year. The age of mothers had no bearing on the risk for these disorders, the study found. Read Article

Targeting Inflammation to Prevent, Treat Cancers

Science Daily – Laboratory mice bred without the gene lacked a pro-inflammatory protein called TREM-1 and protected them from developing liver cancer after exposure to carcinogens. The study, published in Cancer Research, a journal for the American Association for Cancer Research, could lead to drug therapies to target TREM-1, said Dr. Anatolij Horuzsko, an immunologist at the GHSU Cancer Center and principal investigator on the study. Read Article

Australia: GM crops sneak into 43 varieties of food we eat

The Australian – Dozens of crops genetically engineered to survive herbicide spray are being used in Australian food without the knowledge of consumers. Food Standards Australia New Zealand has approved 43 varieties of genetically modified canola, corn, potato, rice, soybean and sugarbeet for human consumption. Read Article

Court Rules Gene Patents Valid

The Scientist – The biotech industry won a partial victory yesterday, when a US federal appeals court ruled that Myriad Genetics’ patents on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes—mutations in which are associated with a higher risk of breast, ovarian, and other cancers—are valid. According to the court’s decision, Myriad’s patents on the BRCA genes should legally stand “because each of the claimed molecules represents a non-naturally occurring composition of matter,” meaning that they were based on isolated and amplified DNA sequences, and not on naturally occurring products of nature. Read Article

Monsanto spends millions to fight labeling of genetically modified food

RT – Activists in California are fighting to pass Proposition 37, a law that would legally require genetically modified foods to be labeled as such. Biotech giant Monsanto doesn’t like that idea, though, and has donated over $4.2 million to oppose it.If the majority of voters in California can come together to support Proposition 37 on Election Day, companies such as Monsanto will be forced to advertise products created through genetic engineering and modification as being exactly that. And although the initiative is being touted by activists who demand a right to know what is being sold in supermarkets and grocery stores across the state, Monsanto and other GMO corporations are condemning the legislation. No on 37, a “coalition against the deceptive food labeling scheme, sponsored by farmers and food producers,” has been put together to push back the proposition. According to campaign records publically available on the California State Department’s website, Monsanto has handed over $4,208,000 so far to support the movement aimed against Prop 37. Read Article