Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Gene wars only a few years away, say doctors

href="http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,8122-1329478,00.html" target=_blank>The warning comes after a report by the
British Medical Association (BMA), which stated that within a decade
genetic research would unleash new and terrifying biological weapons
capable of killing only people of specific ethnic groups.
This is
similar to a href="http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0120/baard.php"
target=_blank>Village Voice article
from a few years ago - only
that article ridiculously juxtaposed the destruction of GMO crops by
direct-action activists with the imagined "ethnic" weapons discussed
here.

posted by ryan griffis  # 4:36 PM 0 comments links to this post

Friday, October 22, 2004

Both the biotechnology and pharmaceutical indexes closed lower on Friday

href="http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story.asp?
siteid=mktw&dist=moreover&guid={5A3C2B48-2BBD-4881-92C3-466AA2E3CE41}"
target=_blank>From CBS Marketwatch


posted by ryan griffis  # 3:19 PM 0 comments links to this post

Stem cell patent dispute

target=_blank>The German arm of the environmental lobby group
Greenpeace is disputing a patent awarded earlier this year to a leading
researcher on the grounds that it allows the commercial exploitation of
human stem cells.


posted by ryan griffis  # 3:14 PM 0 comments links to this post

The Monsanto conquest of South America continues

Now Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay and 13+ other countries have agreed
to the planting of Monsanto's Round-Up Ready (c) varieties of crops.
/>
target=_blank>article on the Paraguayan decision from SeedQuest

posted by ryan griffis  # 3:12 PM 0 comments links to this post

Appeals Court Upholds Genentech Verdict

target=_blank>A state appellate court Thursday upheld a $500 million
verdict against biotechnology company Genentech Inc. for failing to pay
royalties on some drugs manufactured under a 1976 agreement with City
of Hope National Medical Center. Genentech, based in South San
Francisco, is recognized as the first biotech company, and currently
the second largest company.


posted by ryan griffis  # 3:07 PM 0 comments links to this post

Monsanto Canada to defend Roundup Ready canola in organic farmers' class action claim

target=_blank>On November 1-2, 2004 in the Court of Queen's Bench,
Saskatoon, Justice Gene-Ann Smith will hear arguments from Monsanto
Canada, Bayer Crop Science and counsel representing Larry Hoffman, L.B.
Hoffman Farms Inc. and Dale Beaudoin regarding the proposed class
action claim that organic farmers have been harmed by the introduction
of genetically modified (GM) canola.


posted by ryan griffis  # 3:01 PM 0 comments links to this post

Genes alone do not cause Down Syndrome

href="http://www.123bharath.com/health-india-news/index.php?
action=fullnews&id=31377" target=_blank>...researchers have used
genetically engineered mice to disprove the theory. Researchers found
that in mice at least, having just a few genes present in three copies
is not enough to cause key features of Down syndrome.


posted by ryan griffis  # 3:01 PM 0 comments links to this post

Samoa nabs gene rights

href="http://www.heraldsun.news.com.au/common/story_page/
0,5478,11153724%255E663,00.html" target=_blank>SAMOA has claimed sole
rights to an AIDS and cancer fighting gene that also grows in trees
found in Australia and several Pacific nations. Using the 1992
international Convention on Biodiversity, Samoa has became the first
country to claim such rights over a native plant, the mamala
tree.


href="http://www.scidev.net/news/index.cfm?
fuseaction=readnews&itemid=1645&language=1" target=_blank>Another
article discussing the profit sharing partnership between Somoa and UC
Berkely.


posted by ryan griffis  # 3:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Ignacio Chapela's Last Stand

href="http://www.eastbayexpress.com/issues/2004-10-13/news/cityside_print.html" target=_blank>"Chapela, a microbial ecologist, was
an outspoken critic of a $25 million agreement between the UC
Berkeley's College of Natural Resources and Swiss biotech giant
Novartis. He was also the first to report the contamination of backyard
maize plots in the Mexican state of Oaxaca with DNA from genetically
modified corn -- part of a controversial paper that was published and
later essentially retracted by the journal Nature." In September 2001,
his application for tenure was overwhelmingly approved by all the
authoritative committees until it got to the one that is usually just a
formality - a campus budget committee.


posted by ryan griffis  # 11:38 AM 0 comments links to this post

Lively Capital: Biotechnologies, Ethics and Governance in Global Markets

This
workshop will investigate how new legal, social, cultural and
institutional mechanisms are regulating the global emergence of
biotechnologies. "Lively Capital" refers to the ways in which the life
sciences are literally incorporated into market regimes, as well as to
the lively affects “ the emotions and desires“ at play when
technologies and research impinge upon experiences of embodiment,
kinship, identity, disability or citizenship.

(November 5-7, 2004 - Sponsored by the University of California, Irvine
Dept. of Anthropology)

posted by ryan griffis  # 11:17 AM 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Offensive Biology: Is Bio-Defense A Bust?

href="http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?
SectionID=57&ItemID=6443" target=_blank>A biodefense lab may soon be
coming to a campus or community near you, if one hasn't already. In
actuality much of the work being done at these so-called "hot" labs
threatens international treaties, public health and, at current levels
of funding, is wasteful. Enveloped in a shroud of secrecy and missing
proper oversight, public debate on whether or not the labs are
fulfilling their mission is squelched. The truth is that what's being
justified as making us safer and more secure may be achieving the
opposite.


posted by ryan griffis  # 2:58 PM 0 comments links to this post

Monday, October 18, 2004

Brazilian farmers can legally grow GM soy this season

target=_blank>Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva signed an
executive order Thursday night to allow the planting and trade of
genetically modified soy for the 2004-2005 season only. The order
allows farmers to plant the GM beans until December 31st, 2004. The
resulting crop may be sold until January 31st, 2006, but that deadline
may be extended another 60 days.


posted by ryan griffis  # 4:41 PM 0 comments links to this post

Race & Genetics on the web

Race and genetics are once again in the spotlight of social and genetic
sciences (the previous posted NY Times article discusses one of the
reasons why - href="http://threehegemons.tripod.com/threehegemonsblog/id139.html"
target=_blank>medicines developed specifically for racialized genetic
bodies
).

On October 4, 2004, Johns Hopkins held ahref="http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/Press_releases/2004/09_22_04.html"
target=_blank> conference
on the href="http://bhblog.jhsph.edu/blog.cfm?id=6"
target=_blank>subject
.

href="http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/health/bal-
te.medicine11oct11,0,3646000.story?coll=bal-health-headlines"
target=_blank>A recent article in the Baltimore Sun
.

target=_blank>Report from an April conference at the Univ. of Wisc,
Madison


The HGP has included a href="http://www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/elsi/
minorities.shtml" target=_blank>public discussion
of this from the
beginning, and it's instructive to look back at how this topic was
viewed preemptively in terms of the obvious history of eugenics. But
it's always good to look at the source of any research that is cited in
this area - as the href="http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/45/049.html"
target=_blank>connections between the Pioneer Fund and the infamous
1994 book The Bell Curve made clear
.

posted by ryan griffis  # 4:37 PM 0 comments links to this post

For job stimulus, Boston mulls direct investments

href="http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2004/10/18/
for_job_stimulus_boston_mulls_direct_investments/" target=_blank>Boston
officials are considering plans to invest city funds directly into
biotechnology companies, part of a broader effort to stimulate the hot
industry within city limits and create jobs.


posted by ryan griffis  # 4:33 PM 0 comments links to this post

The Genome in Black and White (and Gray)

href="http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/10/magazine/10GENETIC.html?
ei=5040&en=a561bafcf007888f&ex=1098590400&adxnnl=1&partner=MOREOVER&adxn
nlx=1098140457-1PrZLVbvVvVYrCMknXVHjA" target=_blank>Imagine that you
have heart failure. What can medicine do for you? It depends: are you
white or black? If you're white, your doctor may prescribe one of the
drugs that seem to ease the symptoms, maybe a beta-blocker or an ACE
inhibitor. And if you're black, your doctor may still prescribe those
drugs, but they might not really help.


posted by ryan griffis  # 4:03 PM 0 comments links to this post

BIOTECH & CREATIVITY: How many trillions for a drug miracle?

href="http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/
archive/2004/10/17/ING3Q98R2G1.DTL" target=_blank>Actually, the
question is, would we be willing to nearly bankrupt ourselves, and pass
on a staggering debt to our children, so we can live longer and rid the
world of major dread diseases?


posted by ryan griffis  # 3:59 PM 0 comments links to this post

‘Ignore call to ban human cloning' Royal Society urges UN

target=_blank>The Royal Society, UK, is urging the UN to ignore George
Bush's call to ban all forms of human cloning. A Costa Rican proposal
to ban both reproductive and therapeutic cloning has been backed by
George Bush, who told the UN that member countries should support this
ban.


posted by ryan griffis  # 3:56 PM 0 comments links to this post

One humanity, but two types of cloning

href="http://www.mg.co.za/content/l3.asp?cg=Insight-
CommentandAnalysis&ao=123928" target=_blank>Unlike many topics at the
complex interface between science and politics, the key issues in the
cloning debate are relatively straightforward. Proponents of the use of
stem cells taken from human embryos argue that, in principle, these
could eventually be used as replacement human tissue in the treatment
of diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, as well as damage to
the central nervous system. Critics of the research argue that even
though the embryo from which the stem cells are taken has been
fertilised for less than 14 days -- and hence is still a bundle of
undifferentiated cells -- it should be considered a human being, with
full human rights.


posted by ryan griffis  # 3:53 PM 0 comments links to this post

Study to probe gene role in breast cancer

href="http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/biotech/2004-10-18-sister-
study_x.htm" target=_blank>The Sister Study, conducted by the National
Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the government's
National Institutes of Health, is the largest trial of its kind.


posted by ryan griffis  # 3:50 PM 0 comments links to this post

Bush suppresses GM crop warnings

href="http://www.greenpeace.org/international_en/news/details?
item_id=617830" target=_blank>Monsanto and the US Government have been
telling the world that genetically modified crops pose no contamination
threat to natural indigenous species. But Greenpeace has learned from a
leaked report that NAFTA disagrees and is recommending steps to avoid a
genetic threat to natural maize in Mexico.


posted by ryan griffis  # 3:46 PM 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Anthrax Slip-Ups Raise Fears About Planned Biolabs

href="http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2004-10-13-anthrax-
labs_x.htm" target=_blank>About 50 maximum-containment labs nationwide
harbor the deadliest of bacteria, viruses and toxins. Forty more
biodefense research labs are planned in cities such as Atlanta and
Boston. In addition to the furor over the plans in Boston, opponents
have also taken aim at a lab to be built at the University of Texas
Medical Branch in Galveston, citing concerns about excessive secrecy
and biosafety.


posted by ryan griffis  # 9:25 AM 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

EPO revokes patent on Indian wheat

target=_blank>In a clear victory for Indian farmers, the European
Patent Office has revoked the patent on Indian Nap Hal wheat variety
following a legal opposition filed by Greenpeace at the EPO in
February.


posted by ryan griffis  # 5:59 PM 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Biopresence & Transgenic Tombstones

target=_blank>DIY DNA DAY - if you missed it, was on April 10th and
celebrated at a UK conference with a wide range of biotech and
transgenic art demonstrations and tutorials. Aside from learning how to
extract your own DNA, or the DNA from anything living, attendees were
also introduced to a new way for remembering those who have passed away
- storing their DNA within a living plant! Believing that 'a growing,
living tree has the ability to comfort in a completely different way
than cold gravestones', Georg Tremmel and Shiho Fukuhara of Biopresence
were happy to wax on about their 'Transgenic Tombstones'


posted by ryan griffis  # 6:57 PM 0 comments links to this post

Monday, October 11, 2004

Monsanto Leaves Costa Rica

href="http://www.nwrage.org/modules.php?
op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=77&mode=thread&order=1&thold=0"
taget=_blank>Monsanto – the company responsible for more than 90% of
industrial releases of transgenic organisms in the world – has decided
to withdraw its request to release genetically modified corn (maiz) in
Costa Rica and to pull out of the country. Environmentalists in Costa
Rica are still working to strengthen the campaign for an GMO-free
country.

posted by ryan griffis  # 12:48 PM 0 comments links to this post

Brazilian Government Probes Online Trade of Brazilian Indian Genetic Samples

href="http://www.nwrage.org/modules.php?
op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=74" target=_blank>The Brazilian
government has investigated the presumed sale of genetic samples of
Brazilian Indians through the Internet, local press reported on
Saturday. President of state-run National Indigenous Peoples Foundation
(Funai), Mercio Pereira, has requested the federal police to
investigate the case and the Foreign Ministry to take measures in view
of the severity of the situation.


posted by ryan griffis  # 12:46 PM 0 comments links to this post

BIOMEDIALE. Contemporary Society and Genomic Culture

A new
anthology/reader on the culture of genomics. The book is divided into
several parts: Science, technology and perspectives (the newest
trends); Society and genomic culture (philosophic and social aspects);
Art and genomic culture (historical aspects, mass culture);
Contemporary art and new art strategies (ALife, Ars Genetica, Ars
Chimaera, Tissue culture and Art)


posted by ryan griffis  # 12:05 PM 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Genome Model Applied to Software

href="http://www.wired.com/news/infostructure/0,1377,65191,00.html?
tw=wn_story_page_prev2" target=_blank>Beddoe explained his methodology
in a presentation at ToorCon, last week's San Diego security and hacker
conference, showing how biologists' work can make the often tedious
task of reverse-engineering network software a little simpler.


posted by ryan griffis  # 10:06 AM 0 comments links to this post

Few attend BioShield II hearing

target=_blank>At a sparsely attended Senate hearing Wednesday (October
6) on potential improvements to the BioShield legislation signed into
law in July, several pharmaceutical manufacturers pleaded for stronger
liability protection, while an infectious disease expert urged a
broadening of the provisions to encourage antibiotic development. Only
a handful of senators attended the hearing off and on, as Congress is
busily trying to finish its business before the election.


posted by ryan griffis  # 10:05 AM 0 comments links to this post

Brazil delays GM crops and cloning bill

href="http://www.scidev.net/News/index.cfm?
fuseaction=readNews&itemid=1618&language=1" target=_blank>Brazil has
postponed the creation of a regulatory framework for a range of
biological procedures, including human cloning and genetic modification
of crops. But Brazilian farmers are saying they plan to plant GM seeds
with or without legal approval.


posted by ryan griffis  # 9:57 AM 0 comments links to this post

GM Food Makers Refuse to Disclose Untested Ingredients to Americans, But They Do It in Europe

The
majority of corn and soy in the United States is now grown from
genetically modified seeds, altered to increase their resistance to
pests or reduce their need for water, for example. In the past decade,
Americans have unknowingly gobbled down hundreds of millions of
servings of genetically modified foods. The U.S. Food and Drug
Administration claims there have been no adverse effects, and there is
no specific labeling.


posted by ryan griffis  # 9:47 AM 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Bovine genome assembled

target=_blank>The first draft of the bovine genome sequence has been
deposited into free public databases for use by biomedical and
agricultural researchers around the globe, leaders of the Bovine Genome
Sequencing Project announced today.


posted by ryan griffis  # 10:55 PM 0 comments links to this post

Friday, October 01, 2004

Bush and Kerry Offer Their Views on Science

target=_blank>The two major party candidates for U.S. president,
incumbent Republican George W. Bush and his Democratic challenger,
Senator John Kerry, and their representatives have sparred repeatedly
over issues ranging from embryonic stem cell research to global
warming.


posted by ryan griffis  # 12:23 PM 0 comments links to this post

Bioshield act helps propel startups to market

target=_blank>The tools for molecular biology and genetics have allowed
scientists like NanoBio’s founder, medical researcher James Baker, to
explore not only microbes and cells but also the tiny parts and
pathways within them. Adding to that capability is money, lots of
money. The crossroads of biotech and nanotech are being well paved by
government, particularly as concerns grow about terrorist attacks.

posted by ryan griffis  # 12:20 PM 0 comments links to this post

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