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| April 23, 2018
The ETC Group is an international environmental non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Canada whose stated purpose is to monitor "the impact of emerging technologies and corporate strategies on biodiversity, agriculture and human rights.” The group publicly campaigns against genetically modified crops (GMOs), gene drives and other applications synthetic biology, which...
| | April 23, 2018
The House Agriculture Committee approved a group of 15 Republican amendments to the panel’s farm bill that would modify a crop insurance restriction while addressing broadband, biotechnology, organic food standards and other issues. ... An amendment by Neal Dunn, R-Fla., would create a Biotechnology and Agricultural Trade Program to advocate...
| | April 23, 2018
Polygenic scores ... can predict a person’s intelligence or performance in school. Like a credit score, a polygenic score is statistical tool that combines a lot of information about a person’s genome into a single number. Fears about using polygenic scores for genetic discrimination are understandable, given this country’s ugly...
| April 23, 2018
Friends of the Earth Canada is calling on Ontario Minister of the Environment Chris Ballard to investigate the sale of flowering plants containing organic pesticides. Their trial lawyer group Ecojustice filed an application under Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights, requesting the Minister of the Environment investigate the sale of plants containing organic...
If the US were to draw up a new AI master plan, what should it aim to do? Funding AI research is the biggest priority, says Jason Furman, one of Obama’s top economic advisors. … While AI can drive economic growth, it may also accelerate the eradication of some occupations, transform...
| | April 23, 2018
As China’s advances in biotechnology come closer to the secrets of life, they pose tantalizing prospects for the future. But when standards for research on the latest technological frontiers are being set by a government that has always prioritized power over ethics, there’s also plenty of cause for concern. It was not...
| | April 23, 2018
A state appeals court on [April 19] backed California’s listing of the widely used herbicide glyphosate as a possible cause of cancer and the state’s prohibition against discharging it into public waterways. ... Citing new findings by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, state health officials added glyphosate to...
The advances made possible by CRISPR could bring vast benefits to society, but the technology also poses risks. An out-of-control gene drive could drastically alter or even threaten a species. And editing the human genome raises risks both for individuals and for society as a whole. To head off those dangers, governments...
| | April 23, 2018
A disease that kills millions of pigs a year may soon meet its match — if two federal agencies can agree on the idea. Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus is one of the latest examples of a condition that scientists believe they can beat with genetic engineering, and one...
| | April 23, 2018
Over 150 experts in AI, robotics, commerce, law, and ethics from 14 countries have signed an open letter denouncing the European Parliament’s proposal to grant personhood status to intelligent machines. The EU says the measure will make it easier to figure out who’s liable when robots screw up or go...