Monthly Archives: June 2009

Ag Biotech Minus the Genetic Modification Part

Not all agricultural biotech involves genetic modification. Check out this press release from Genome British Columbia, about a research project based at my alma mater, the University of British Columbia, that will use biotech tools to attempt to develop a … Continue reading

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Monsanto, Dole, and NON-Genetically-Modified Foods

One key complaint about GM foods is that, so far, none of them has been engineered to have any properties that consumers much care about. Mostly they’ve been engineered to be herbicide-resistant, drought-resistant, and so on — all of which … Continue reading

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Cities and States Bet Big on Biotech

I wonder sometimes: is biotech is just too sexy for governments to turn down? I mean, setting aside the qualms some people have about some kinds of stem cell research, biotech is just cooler than cool. It’s new. It’s hip. … Continue reading

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Biotech: A Serious Energy Source?

I don’t know much about biofuels, but I’m usually skeptical when I hear it proposed as a really significant source of energy. Could biofuel be produced on a scale similar to the production of petroleum-based fuels? I usually picture a … Continue reading

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“Skeptically Speaking” Interview

Last Friday, I did a 45-minute live interview on CJSR’s Skeptically Speaking, (“the world’s only skeptical talk show” — FM88.5 in Edmonton, Alberta). The topic was ethical issues in biotech. The conversation covered ethical issues personal genomics and gene patenting, … Continue reading

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Illumina: Whole-Genome Sequencing, But Only By Prescription

Barriers to access to your own genetic info is a big issue right now, and likely to get bigger. From Genomeweb’s Pharmacogenomics Reporter: Illumina’s New DTC Sequencing Service Addresses Ethical Quandary by Requiring Prescription In launching its consumer whole genome … Continue reading

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Genetic Discrimination (Maybe) in Canada

From CTV News: Some Canadians suffering ‘genetic discrimination’ With medical advances, Canadians can now learn whether they carry the genetic risk for devastating diseases. But that knowledge could come at a price, suggests a study that looked at the growth … Continue reading

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PatientsLikeMe & 23andMe: Community-Based Personal Genomics

What happens when 2 of the world’s hottest technologies — social networking and personal genomics — come together? Dig this press release, via Marketwire: PatientsLikeMe Teams Up With 23andMe to Help Parkinson’s Patients Health 2.0 Pioneers Work Together to Accelerate … Continue reading

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Foreign Policy on Human Engineering

From Foreign Policy: The Next Big Thing: A New You, by Juan Enriquez. As countries and industries grow increasingly overwhelmed by wave after wave of bankruptcies, layoffs, restructurings, botched contracts, and embarrassing bonuses, they might lose sight of a second, … Continue reading

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Biotech Firms and Electoral Politics

Not all biotech ethics stories are about biotech. From the Denver Post: Biotech ad draws fire from Colorado lawmaker A newspaper advertisement that commends Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter for pushing biotech industries rankled a Republican lawmaker who says he thinks … Continue reading

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