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bridging the gaps

DNA sequencing for mass data collection may lower consumer costs to zero

A well-organized, highly curated database of genetic data from millions of people is a potential goldmine for drug company researchers ...
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Autistic children and their siblings less likely to be vaccinated

Children with autism spectrum disorder are significantly less likely to be fully vaccinated than children unaffected by autism, new research ...
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Viewpoint: Consumers gain little from 23andMe’s screening for BRCA cancer genes

This month [March], the FDA granted the genetics company 23andMe permission to offer direct-to-consumer testing for three of the more than 1,000 ...
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Popular fluoroquinolones antibiotic can go haywire in rare cases, causing irreversible nerve damage

Miriam van Staveren went on holiday to the Canary Islands and caught an infection. Her ear and sinuses throbbed, so ...
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Bayer-Monsanto merger reflects larger trends in global agrochemical industry

The progress of the Bayer-Monsanto mega-takeover, which [recently] secured regulatory approval from European Union (EU) competition authorities, is only the ...
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Ars Technica decision to reject reporting on latest cellphone scare study illustrates how journalists apply science literacy

[Recently], a fellow editor emailed me a link to yet another study purporting to show that cellphone use could be ...
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Kosher pork? Meat from cloned pigs and lab-grown meat are Kosher, prominent Israeli rabbi says

Prominent Israeli Rabbi Yuval Cherlow says meat from a cloned pig would be considered kosher under Jewish dietary laws. Cherlow, ...
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GMO maize could halt devastating fall army worm invasion in Uganda—if it gets approved

Mary Yangi trekked a long journey from South Sudan to Uganda’s West Nile region to settle as a refugee and, ...
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What’s stopping us from using CRISPR to gene edit humans to fight disease?

Emerging clinical applications of CRISPR editing include delivery of CRISPR systems into the body to repair genetic sequences. This is ...
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Controversial CRISPR paper claiming widespread ‘off-target mutations’ retracted by Nature Methods journal

Nature Methods has retracted a 2017 paper suggesting a common gene editing technique may cause widespread collateral damage to the ...
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Viewpoint: Why you shouldn’t clone your dog: Costs ‘go far beyond money’

If you spend enough time reading about pet cloning, you’ll see that adjective come up over and over again: beloved ...
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Viewpoint: Consumer genetic tests may reinforce ‘fiction’ of race concept

After what feels like a decade of hype and underwhelming sales, direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing seems to be taking off, for ...
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First GMO crop in UK? Anti-biotech activists protest Rothamsted Research’s camelina field trials

Crops which have been genetically modified so they produce industrial products could be grown in Britain for the first time ...
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Uganda’s GMO law expected to pass now that president’s ‘concerns’ have been addressed, officials say

Some Ugandan officials are optimistic that the nation’s biotechnology biosafety bill will soon pass, saying that President Museveni’s concerns have ...
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Viewpoint: Why are universities paying ‘anti-GMO liar’ Vandana Shiva tens of thousands of dollars to speak?

Vandana Shiva is coming to my hometown to lie. Not cool. For those unaware, Shiva is one of the world’s ...
With growing season nearing, concerns rise over more potential dicamba damage as Missouri lawsuit proceeds

With growing season nearing, concerns rise over more potential dicamba damage as Missouri lawsuit proceeds

Eyes on wide swaths of the nation's farmland are sure to look out for continued damage from dicamba – divisive ...
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Viewpoint: How politics pollutes the FDA’s genetically modified animal regulations and stifles innovation

AquaBounty's fast-growing salmon and Oxitec's disease-fighting mosquitos are two examples of why genetically modified animals should be regulated by the ...
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USDA has ‘no plans’ to regulate CRISPR gene-edited crops, says agriculture secretary Sonny Perdue

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue ... issued a statement making it clear that USDA does not regulate, or have any plans ...
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Viewpoint: It’s time to fix flawed regulations and labels based on ‘utterly meaningless’ GMO term

“GMO” is an utterly meaningless term -- which is remarkable considering that if you Google it, you get about 21,000,000 ...
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Calyxt’s gene-edited high-fiber wheat won’t be regulated as a GMO, USDA confirms

Calyxt, Inc., a consumer-centric, food- and agriculture-focused company, announced that the Company’s high fiber wheat product has been declared a ...
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Sri Lankan government split on whether to lift ban on glyphosate herbicide

The Cabinet [the council of ministers that form the central government of Sri Lanka] is to decide whether the ban on ...
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Woman’s death blamed on bee-sting acupuncture promoted by Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop

A 55-year-old Spanish woman has died following repeated exposures to an acupuncture method that uses live, stinging bees instead of ...
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The human cost of the anti-GMO movement: Why one scientist is quitting GE crop research

Constantly confronting people who think my research will harm them is profoundly distressing ...
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Philippine anti-GMO groups step up attacks on Golden Rice as governments around the world affirm its safety

A regional coalition of farmers, consumers, and environment activists [in the Philippines] has called on the government to reject “foreign ...
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GMOs are ‘substantially equivalent’ to conventional foods. So should they face reduced regulations?

If there is a single concept that drives much of the divide in the GMO debate, it's substantial equivalence. Having ...
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Does CRISPR cause unintended mutations? Authors of controversial study reverse their findings

[Editor's note: The authors of a controversial report in Nature in May 2017 suggested that the popular CRISPR gene-editing technique ...
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Viewpoint: Why the ‘right to know’ argument for GMO labeling is nonsense

The USDA is set to review GMO labeling again. Apparently, the idea is to put QR codes on foods that contain genetically ...
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Viewpoint: Human rights are about more than ‘bioethics’—it’s about inalienable dignity

[W]e’ve grown accustomed to using the timid term of “bioethics” to debate certain subjects that are, in reality, philosophical and ...