Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The World Bank and Globalizing Biotech

According to a press release from the ETC Group:

Two World Bank projects, with funding from the GEF (Global Environmental Facility), propose to introduce genetically modified crops such as maize, potatoes, cassava, rice and cotton into five Latin American and four African countries that are centers of origin or diversity for these and other major food crops. Civil society organizations warn that DNA contamination from genetically modified crops poses an unacceptable risk to stable crops that are the basis of peasant economies in these regions. The multi-million dollar projects are being promoted under the guise of scientific biosafety research, but civil society organizations on both continents are calling for their immediate rejection because they threaten food sovereignty and farmer-controlled seed systems.

posted by ryan griffis  # 2:14 PM 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Genes in the era of globalization?

A while back, I posted on a story using the phrase fertility tourism... Here's another article discussing the phenomenon of the wealthy around the world flocking to the US in order to have designer babies. Mostly, the US is the nation of choice, not because of advanced science, but due to the lack of regulation. According to the article, these services are now advertised in airline magazines.

posted by ryan griffis  # 9:38 PM 0 comments links to this post

DNA identifies Florida accountant as a descendant of Genghis Khan

What a headline. And what was the fiscal manager's response to the potential similarities:

When I practiced as a CPA I ran the department.

Yeah, just like Ghengis Kahn.

posted by ryan griffis  # 9:31 PM 0 comments links to this post

The Stem Cell Discourse

Another article in the Scientist, on the efforts to progress stem cell research... this particular line is quite interesting.

The public's lack of understanding of the science behind the research was highlighted during a talk by Stephen Levick, professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, on Sunday when he noted that Irv Weissman had recently asked several people to draw a picture of a blastocyst; each of the respondents drew a fetus.

I don't know that I could draw a blastocyst either. But it's interesting how much the image of the fetus figures into the discussions of stem cells.

posted by ryan griffis  # 9:15 PM 0 comments links to this post

New rule permits experimental in vitro diagnostic testing in emergencies

The Scientist reports on a recent FDA authorization that permits in vitro testing without the patient's consent in the event of a public health emergency.

Of course, this puts women's bodies back in domain of legislation again. While many may find good arguments for the case of "public health" here, it's important contextualize this within the larger history of experimentation and subjugation of certain people's bodies.

posted by ryan griffis  # 9:11 PM 0 comments links to this post

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