You Don’t “Own” Your Own Genes
Researchers Raise Alarm about Loss of Individual “Genomic Liberty” Due to Gene Patents That May Impact the Era of Personalized Medicine.
Humans don’t “own” their own genes, the cellular chemicals that define who they are and what diseases they might be at risk for. Through more than 40,000 patents on DNA molecules, companies have essentially claimed the entire human genome for profit, report two researchers who analyzed the patents on human DNA. Their study, published March 25 in the journal Genome Medicine, raises an alarm about the loss of individual “genomic liberty.”
“If these patents are enforced, our genomic liberty is lost,” says Dr. Mason, an assistant professor of physiology and biophysics and computational genomics in computational biomedicine at the Institute for Computational Biomedicine at Weill Cornell. “Just as we enter the era of personalized medicine, we are ironically living in the most restrictive age of genomics. You have to ask, how is it possible that my doctor cannot look at my DNA without being concerned about patent infringement?”
Environmentalists Sign Petition to Ban Water
April 11, 2013
In a nod to a 10 year old Penn and Teller Skit, Infowars reporter Lee Ann McAdoo asks Austin residents if they would like to ban water.
The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change?
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The Air Quality Egg was named one of Kickstarter’s best projects of 2012.
South Dakota Students Testing Fingerprint-Based Payment System
More than 50 students and faculty members at the School of Mines and Technology in South Dakota are part of that pilot programme which uses biocryptology – biometrics and cryptology combined – to allow them to buy items at campus shops.
Users must first set up an account in person, bringing with them identification, banking information and their index fingers. To buy an item, students enter their birthday, as an extra identification step, and then put their index finger into scanner, which encrypts the fingerprint and sends the data over the intranet to a secure system that checks it against their records.
The scan goes beneath the top layers of skin to detect haemoglobin in the blood, meaning a pulse must be detected before the purchase is allowed.
As demonstrated in the video above, lasers can be used to excite molecules into a higher energy state, which will decay via the emission of photons, causing the medium to glow. This laser-induced fluorescence is utilized in several techniques for measurements in fluid dynamics, including planar laser-induced fluorescence (PLIF) and molecular tagging velocimetry (MTV). In these techniques a flow is usually seeded with a fluorescing material—nitric oxide is popular for super- and hypersonic flows—and then lasers are used to excite a slice of the flow field. The resulting fluorescence can be used for both qualitative and quantitative flow measurements. Here are a couple of examples, one in low-Reynolds number flow and one in combustion. (Video credit: L. Martin et al./UC Berkeley)