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Keyword: biotech

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  • Monsanto to Cut 2,600 Jobs in Restructuring

    10/08/2015 11:08:25 AM PDT · by Lorianne · 5 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | 07 October 2015 | Jacob Bunge
    Biotech seed giant also gives a downbeat forecast for its fiscal year, as quarterly loss widens ___ Monsanto Co. , buffeted by a slumping global farm economy, outlined plans to slash 12% of its workforce and restructure its business as it reported a larger quarterly loss. The biotechnology-seed maker plans to cut 2,600 jobs while “streamlining and reprioritizing” commercial and research efforts as it grapples with declining crop prices that have pinched incomes for farmers, its main customers. Monsanto projected earnings in its fiscal 2016 that fell below analysts’ expectations. The St. Louis company also Wednesday unveiled a new stock-buyback...
  • Novartis steps in to help bankroll CRISPR-Cas9 pioneer Caribou

    04/05/2015 11:20:58 AM PDT · by E. Pluribus Unum · 5 replies ^ | 04/02/2015 | John Carroll
    Pharma heavyweight Novartis has stepped in to help bankroll Berkeley, CA-based Caribou Biosciences, one of the upstart leaders in the race to develop the cutting-edge CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology. The pharma giant joined a group of backers that includes Fidelity Biosciences, Mission Bay Capital, and 5 Prime as well as company founder Jennifer Doudna, a key player among a small group of investigators which has spawned a lineup of closely watched biotechs.All together the group, which was also joined by an unnamed investor, provided $11 million in an A round to Caribou, which plans to use the cash to further...
  • BioTech Firm Plans to Harvest Organs From Aborted Babies for Organ Transplants

    08/13/2015 7:31:05 AM PDT · by Morgana · 10 replies ^ | Aug 12, 2015 | Rebecca Taylor
    Will organ transplants be coming from aborted babies? They will if Ganogen Inc., a California Company, has their way. And Planned Parenthood and Stem Express will likely be partners in that chain that provides organs for transplant taken from aborted babies. Ganogen’s vision to deal with the shortage of transplant organs is to the harvest organs from aborted fetuses and transfer them into animals to get them to grow large enough to use as a replacement organs for needy patients. Ganogen announced earlier this year that they were able to take a kidney from an aborted fetus and transplant it...
  • DARPA Wants to Create Synthetic Organisms to Terraform and Change the Atmosphere of Mars

    06/27/2015 8:25:48 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 60 replies
    Hacked ^ | 6/25/15 | Giulio Prisco
    DARPA Wants to Create Synthetic Organisms to Terraform and Change the Atmosphere of Mars Biotech, Space, Synthetic Biology June 25, 2015 by Giulio Prisco 435SHARES TwitterLinkedinFacebook The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) believes that it's on the way to creating synthetic organisms capable of terraforming Mars into a planet that looks more like Earth, Motherboard reports.Speaking at a recent biotech conference hosted by DARPA, Alicia Jackson, deputy director of DARPA’s Biological Technologies Office (BTO) said: For the first time, we have the technological toolkit to transform not just hostile places here on Earth, but to go into space not...
  • The Dissolving Family and the Bio Tech Revolution

    06/02/2015 11:06:39 AM PDT · by NYer · 8 replies
    Standing on my head ^ | June 1, 2015 | Fr. Dwight Longenecker
    This week’s article for National Catholic Register explores the seismic upheaval that has been the bio tech revolution. We seem blind to the fact that we are living in the midst of the most astounding technological revolution the world has ever seen. Biotechnology is the umbrella term for all the advances we have made in medical know-how, and reproductive technology is the most socially revolutionary subdivision of biotechnology. To put it simply, we no longer approach the transmission of human life as a sacred mystery — but, rather, have reduced it to the status of a baby-making machine that we’ve learned how...
  • Genetically Modified Crops Protected By New Budget Bill

    03/27/2013 8:56:43 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 36 replies
    Last Resistance ^ | March 27, 2013 | Dave Jolly
    Genetically modified crops are not just those that have been selectively bred, but they have had their DNA modified in some way as to make them more pest resistant and produce better yields. In many cases genes from other plants or even bacteria have been added to the DNA of a specific plant.This process has caused great concern among some that question whether the plants with modified genes are safe for human consumption or if there may be any long-term effects from the continual eating of these plants. There have been numerous challenges to the use of genetically modified crops...
  • The business of polo Cloney ponies

    01/04/2013 1:31:21 PM PST · by jmcenanly · 17 replies
    The Economist ^ | Jan 5th 2012
    IMAGINE a football match pitting 11 clones of Wayne Rooney against 11 more clones of the same spud-faced Manchester United striker. Even avid Wayne-watchers might find it a bit dull. But polo fans may one day be treated to something similar. No one is proposing to clone the stallions who wield the mallets, of course. But the stallions they sit on are another matter. Outstanding polo horses are hard to find and horribly expensive. Each world-class rider may have dozens, the best of which may cost more than $200,000 each. So breeding great mounts is big business. It used to...
  • The Man Who Defused the 'Population Bomb'

    05/03/2012 5:24:43 AM PDT · by jmcenanly · 15 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | September 16, 2009, 5:35 a.m. ET | GREGG EASTERBROOK
    Norman Borlaug arguably the greatest American of the 20th century died late Saturday after 95 richly accomplished years. The very personification of human goodness, Borlaug saved more lives than anyone who has ever lived. He was America's Albert Schweitzer: a brilliant man who forsook privilege and riches in order to help the dispossessed of distant lands. That this great man and benefactor to humanity died little-known in his own country speaks volumes about the superficiality of modern American culture.
  • Insects Find Crack In Biotech Corn's Armor

    12/05/2011 8:02:28 PM PST · by Rabin · 37 replies
    NPR ^ | December 5, 2011 | Dan Charles
    Hidden in the soil of Illinois and Iowa, a new generation of insect larvae appears to be munching happily on the roots of genetically engineered corn… It's (also) bad news for the biotech company Monsanto, which inserted the larvae-killing gene in the first place. In fact, the gene's apparent failure… may be the most serious threat to a genetically modified crop in the U.S. since farmers first started growing them 15 years ago. The economic impact could be huge.
  • OECD and IEA recommend reforming fossil-fuel subsidies to improve the economy and the environment

    10/04/2011 1:51:23 PM PDT · by larry hagedon · 7 replies
    IEA website ^ | Oct 4th, 2011 | IEA staffers
    04 October 2011 Paris --- Governments and taxpayers spent about half a trillion dollars last year supporting the production and consumption of fossil fuels. Removing inefficient subsidies would raise national revenues and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, according to OECD and IEA analyses.
  • Among the Biotech Conventioneers - A dispatch on the value of failed drugs, new vaccines against...

    07/01/2011 10:36:46 PM PDT · by neverdem · 3 replies
    Reason ^ | June 28, 2011 | Ronald Bailey
    A dispatch on the value of failed drugs, new vaccines against superbugs, and the prospect of a molecular stethoscope. Fifteen thousand conventioneers are gathering this week at the Washington, D.C., convention center for the Biotechnology Industry Organization’s annual convention to talk science, deals, and policy. At such sprawling meeting, a reporter can only get glimpse of what is going on in this vast industry. But many of the most interesting sessions and conversations revolved around ways to insure that future medicines are better targeted, more personalized, and faster to market. The keynote talk by National Institutes of Health director Francis...
  • Mass. company making diesel with sun, water, CO2

    02/27/2011 3:56:19 PM PST · by Eleutheria5 · 60 replies
    Daily Finance/AP ^ | 27/2/11 | Jay Lindsay
    CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -A Massachusetts biotechnology company says it can produce the fuel that runs Jaguars and jet engines using the same ingredients that make grass grow. Joule Unlimited has invented a genetically-engineered organism that it says simply secretes diesel fuel or ethanol wherever it finds sunlight, water and carbon dioxide. The Cambridge, Mass.-based company says it can manipulate the organism to produce the renewable fuels on demand at unprecedented rates, and can do it in facilities large and small at costs comparable to the cheapest fossil fuels. What can it mean? No less than "energy independence," Joule's web site tells...
  • The dark side of biotech: expert details grisly fate of fetal body parts

    12/14/2010 4:14:47 PM PST · by NYer · 20 replies
    Life Site News ^ | December 9, 2010 | KATHLEEN GILBERT
    Dr. Theresa Deisher speaks at the HLI conference last weekend. WASHINGTON, D.C., December 8, 2010 ( - Every day in America, countless packages are carefully transferred for use by government, university, pharmaceutical and other biotechnology laboratories. Some of these end up advancing development of products such as cosmetics and food additives; others are used directly as a form of therapy. The material in those packages are human body parts - eyes, ears, limbs, brain, skin - now an indispensable commodity for many U.S. researchers and scientists, and a lucrative export of America’s abortion clinics. To see an example of an...
  • U.S. may end patents on DNA: report

    10/31/2010 7:56:21 AM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 7 replies · 1+ views
    MarketWatch ^ | Oct. 30, 2010, 1:12 p.m. EDT | Christopher Hinton
    NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- The U.S. may put an end to patents for human DNA and other genes, potentially changing the way biotechnology companies develop new drugs, the New York Times reported late Friday. In a brief filed by the Department of Justice, the U.S. concluded genes are a part of nature, and therefore not an invention, the newspaper reported.
  • Biotech Company to Patent Fuel-Secreting Bacterium

    09/15/2010 1:09:11 PM PDT · by neverdem · 39 replies
    NY Times ^ | September 13, 2010 | MATTHEW L. WALD
    A biotech company plans to announce Tuesday that it has won a patent on a genetically altered bacterium that converts sunlight and carbon dioxide into ingredients of diesel fuel, a step that could provide a new pathway for making ethanol or a diesel replacement that skips several cumbersome and expensive steps in existing methods. The bacterium’s product, which it secretes like sweat, is a class of hydrocarbon molecules called alkanes that are chemically indistinguishable from the ones made in oil refineries. The organism can grow in bodies of water unfit for drinking or on land that is useless for farming,...
  • Biotech Lab in Malaysia Raises Security Concerns, Despite U.S. Connection

    09/07/2010 4:30:55 PM PDT · by Nachum
    Politics Daily ^ | 9/7/10 | Christopher Weber
    A ProPublica investigation published Tuesday raises concerns about a biotech laboratory being built in Malaysia that will handle deadly pathogens such as anthrax, plague, SARS and the Ebola virus. The stated mission of lab, developed by the Malaysian government with the Maryland-based firm Emergent BioSolutions, is to produce vaccines against fatal and contagious agents that could be used in terrorist attacks. But critics worry that the facility could be used for offensive, instead of defensive, purposes in a country that has been tied to several terrorist plots over the past decade. They question "the security, safety and wisdom of building...
  • Biotech Beets Banned - Beet ban will hurt farmers while strengthening massive seed monopolies

    08/17/2010 2:20:27 PM PDT · by neverdem · 27 replies · 1+ views
    Reason ^ | August 17, 2010 | Ronald Bailey
    Last week, a federal district court judge in northern California issued an injunction against planting biotech sugar beets next year. Why? He accepted the activist argument that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) must issue a full environmental impact statement (EIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act before permitting the improved sugar beets to be grown. An EIS is required when a federal government agency engages in actions that might be "significantly affecting the quality of the human environment." So how are biotech sugar beets (already approved by the USDA, mind you) significantly affecting the human environment? Activists at the...
  • Tooth Regeneration Gel Could Replace Painful Fillings

    08/01/2010 10:05:39 PM PDT · by neverdem · 29 replies · 1+ views
    Discovery ^ | Jun 28, 2010 | Eric Bland
    Could this new gel be the biggest dental breakthrough since the introduction of fluoride? THE GIST A new gel could soon eliminate painful fillings and root canals. The technology doesn't prevent cavities; it heals teeth by regenerating them. Although this is good news for teeth, the research could also be applied to heal bones and other tissues in the body. Dentists could soon hang up their drills. A new peptide, embedded in a soft gel or a thin, flexible film and placed next to a cavity, encourages cells inside teeth to regenerate in about a month, according to a new...
  • Who's Afraid of Synthetic Biology? Don't let fears about frankenmicrobes halt promising...

    05/25/2010 8:15:39 PM PDT · by neverdem · 37 replies · 591+ views
    Reason ^ | May 25, 2010 | Ronald Bailey
    Don't let fears about frankenmicrobes halt promising research. Better medicines, carbon neutral fuels, cheaper food, and a cleaner environment—who could be against that? Well, quite a few people, as it turns out. Last week, a research team led by private human genome sequencer J. Craig Venter announced that they had created the world’s first synthetic self-replicating bacteria. Among other things, synthetic biologists are aiming to create a set of standardized biological parts that can be mixed and matched the way off-the-shelf microchips, hard drives, and screens can be combined to create a computer. The goal is to produce novel organisms...
  • Synthetic Genome Brings New Life to Bacterium

    05/21/2010 2:05:13 AM PDT · by neverdem · 5 replies · 629+ views
    Science ^ | 21 May 2010 | Elizabeth Pennisi
    For 15 years, J. Craig Venter has chased a dream: to build a genome from scratch and use it to make synthetic life. Now, he and his team at the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) in Rockville, Maryland, and San Diego, California, say they have realized that dream. In this week's Science Express (, they describe the stepwise creation of a bacterial chromosome and the successful transfer of it into a bacterium, where it replaced the native DNA. Powered by the synthetic genome, that microbial cell began replicating and making a new set of proteins. This is "a defining moment...
  • New Alzheimer vaccine to be tested in Europe

    04/24/2010 2:50:56 PM PDT · by Larry381 · 10 replies · 442+ views
    Yahoo News ^ | 4/23/2010 | AFP
    VIENNA (AFP) – A new vaccine against Alzheimer's, developed by the Austrian biotechnology firm Affiris, will soon be tested in six European countries, the company announced Friday.
  • Biotech Firm to Provide Alternatives to Vaccines Using Tissue From Abortions

    02/29/2008 5:27:34 PM PST · by wagglebee · 12 replies · 943+ views
    Life News ^ | 2/29/08 | Steven Ertelt
    Seattle, WA ( -- A biotech firm has announced it will offer ethical alternatives to some of the vaccines that currently rely on the use of fetal tissue form abortions. The Seattle-based AVM Biotechnology says it will produce ethical alternatives in the fields of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and vaccine development. The news gives hope to pro-life people who have been reluctant to use some vaccines because their development came as a result of the destruction of unborn children. “We will be working to bring commercially available, morally acceptable, vaccines to the US market and to use existing technology to produce new...
  • Pentagon Ignores the Warnings of Splice and Jurassic Park in Breeding Artificial Life

    02/23/2010 1:56:39 PM PST · by justlittleoleme · 15 replies · 371+ views ^ | February 10, 2010 12:00am | Christine Fall
    In its 2011 budget, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has allocated $6 million for BioDesign, a project to create artificial life. The unclassified document doesn't say how the new life-forms will be used, but I'm guessing they won't be making biofuels or absorbing greenhouse gases. More likely, the agency is aiming for Moreau's ungodly brand of "divine human." Here's what we know: they want to develop "a robust understanding of the collective mechanisms that contribute to cell death," so as to "enable a new generation of regenerative cells that could ultimately be programmed to live indefinitely." This could...
  • Biotech group may back Brown

    01/16/2010 7:42:28 PM PST · by AKSurprise · 7 replies · 463+ views
    Politico ^ | 01/16/10 | Patrick O'Connor
    The down-to-the-wire Senate race in Massachusetts has given the biotechnology industry some much-needed leverage in the health care fight back in Washington. Upon learning President Barack Obama wants to scale back key industry protections in the bill, the Massachusetts chapter of the industry trade group BIO is threatening to endorse Republican Scott Brown, a state senator whose improbable bid for the seat held by the late Ted Kennedy threatens the Democrats all-important 60th vote in the Senate. The state chapter went as far as drafting a press release to endorse Brown, according to multiple people on a Friday conference call...
  • Pretrobras investing in oil and bio tech

    10/14/2009 1:29:38 PM PDT · by larry hagedon · 14 replies · 1,190+ views
    Oil Online ^ | 10/08/09 | staff
    Celebrating Petrobras’ 56th anniversary, CEO José Sergio Gabrielli de Azevedo and the boards of Petrobras and of its subsidiaries held a press conference this Wednesday (10/07) at the company’s main office building, in Rio de Janeiro. snip "We are the world’s only major company that uses most of its production to feed its own refineries, which, in turn, market their products mainly in the domestic market. This characteristic is unique in the world," emphasized the CEO, who highlighted the role the company will play from now on, particularly in the supplier chain. "Petrobras will not only supply oil derivatives, natural...
  • Obama nominee omitted ties to biotech

    09/15/2009 10:53:26 PM PDT · by MamaDearest · 7 replies · 385+ views
    The Washington Times ^ | September 8, 2009 | Jm McElhatton
    Snippets: President Obama's nominee at the Department of Homeland Security overseeing bioterrorism defense has served as a key adviser for a lobbying group funded by the pharmaceutical industry that has asked the government to spend more money for anthrax vaccines and biodefense research. Analysts say the lack of disclosure reflects a potential loophole in the policies for the Obama administration, which has boasted about its efforts to make government more transparent. They also question lobbying laws that allow such a group to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars without the public knowing exactly how much money each of the companies...
  • Gates Foundation Sells Off Most Health-Care, Pharmaceutical Holdings

    08/15/2009 9:33:00 PM PDT · by ckilmer · 43 replies · 2,056+ views
    wsjmarkets ^ | AUGUST 14, 2009, 10:06 P.M. ET | JESSICA HODGSON
    SAN FRANCISCO -- The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the world's largest private philanthropy fund, sold off almost all of its pharmaceutical, biotechnology and health-care investments in the quarter ended June 30, according to a regulatory filing published Friday. The Seattle-based charity endowment, set up by Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates and his wife, sold its total holding of 2.5 million shares in health-care giant Johnson & Johnson in the quarter, according to the filing.
  • Teaching Kids to Kill Embryos - A New Generation of Stem Cell Workers

    07/31/2009 2:50:12 AM PDT · by GonzoII · 1 replies · 669+ views
    “No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!” —President Ronald Reagan Life Legal Defense Foundation continues to watchdog the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine and in doing so found the latest attempt to promulgate embryonic stem cell research by “educating” children. Let us introduce you to Senate Bill 471. Titled “The California Stem Cell and Biotechnology Education and Workforce Development Act of 2009,” the purpose of SB 471 is purportedly to train up a new generation of...
  • Despite Odds, Cities Race to Bet on Biotech

    06/11/2009 9:48:50 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 2 replies · 239+ views
    New York Times ^ | June 11, 2009 | Shaila Dewan
    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — Where a textile mill once drove the economy of this blue-collar town northeast of Charlotte, an imposing neoclassical complex is rising, filled with fine art, Italian marble and multimillion-dollar laboratory equipment. Three buildings, one topped by a giant dome, form the beginnings of what has been nicknamed the Biopolis, a research campus dedicated to biotechnology. At $500 million and counting, the Biopolis, officially called the North Carolina Research Campus, is a product of a national race to attract the biotechnology industry, a current grail of economic development. Cities like Shreveport, La., and Huntsville, Ala., are also gambling...
  • H.R. 1548 To Protect Biotech and Pharmaceutical R&D.

    05/12/2009 6:48:32 AM PDT · by nateriver · 1 replies · 258+ views
    The Pathway For Biosimilars Act introduced by Eschoo (D-Ca), Inslee ( D-Wa) and Barton(R-Tx) will ensure enough time for companies to recoup their cost of research and development before a generic manufacturer could use the innovators research data. By doing so, companies will have an incentive to continue inventing life saving drugs. Join PRA in supporting H.R. 1548.
  • Roche completes purchase of Genentech

    03/27/2009 12:26:49 PM PDT · by NMR Guy · 8 replies · 317+ views
    (03-26) 13:50 PDT SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO -- Swiss drugmaker Roche said Thursday it completed its acquisition of biotechnology pioneer Genentech Inc. after sweeping up enough shares through a tender offer to gain ownership of more than 93 percent of Genentech's common stock. Roche, which owned 56 percent of the South San Francisco biotechnology leader when it made its first takeover bid in July at $89 a share, eventually reached agreement after months of bargaining with Genentech's board for a friendly takeover at $95 a share. Investors who tendered their shares by Roche's deadline late Wednesday will receive the cash promptly,...
  • Tropical Wastelands to Croplands with Biotech

    10/11/2008 7:58:01 AM PDT · by RightSideNews · 4 replies · 507+ views
    Right Side News ^ | October 11, 2008 | Dennis T Avery
    Imagine Africa feeding itself comfortably, instead of being overwhelmed by its own expanding population. Imagine millions of tropical consumers being fed without clearing more forests, thus protecting the wildlife in the very regions where most of the species of the world live and are critically threatened by population pressure. Suddenly, high-yield conservation for the tropics may not be a pipedream. Half of the world's tropic croplands suffer from aluminum toxicity that forces crop plants to shut down their growth. Grains and oilseeds produce meager yields-and scientists haven't even known why. The resulting low yields and food scarcity have stifled the...
  • Stomaching diabetes

    06/20/2008 9:38:11 PM PDT · by neverdem · 21 replies · 217+ views
    Science News ^ | June 19th, 2008 | Patrick Barry
    A radical technique for treating diabetes could recruit cells in the gut to make insulin SAN DIEGO — If your pancreas fails you, go with your gut. Inserting a gene into gut cells in mice enabled those cells to take over the pancreas’s job, producing insulin after meals, according to unpublished research announced June 18 in San Diego at the Biotechnology Industry Organization International Convention. The work may offer a novel way to treat diabetes. "This is the first time that we've engineered a tissue that is not the pancreas to manufacture insulin" in animals, says researcher Anthony Cheung, a...
  • A Green Revolution

    04/25/2008 5:55:05 PM PDT · by Kaslin · 17 replies · 245+ views
    IBD ^ | April 25, 2008
    Food: Today's headlines are filled with Americans expressing their fears of food shortages and frustration with spiraling grocery prices. As part of the solution, it's time to give genetically modified crops a try.There's much resistance to overcome, however. In the fall of 2006, Friends of the Earth publicly asked governments in the hungry African countries of Ghana and Sierra Leone to recall American food aid that contained genetically modified rice. Four years earlier, when southern Africa was tormented by famine, the U.S. offered 540,000 tons of genetically modified grain. Though the World Health Organization estimated that nearly 14 million Africans,...
  • New source for biofuels discovered

    04/23/2008 10:27:47 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 49 replies · 85+ views ^ | 04/23/2008 | Source: University of Texas at Austin
    Left: Two rod-shaped, wild type cyanobacteria. Note the conspicuous absence of any cellulose or sugars on the surface of these cells. Right: A genetically altered cyanobacterium that produced highly visible cellulose (marked by cellulase coupled with an electron dense gold marker). Credit: Brown and Nobles, the University of Texas at Austin A newly created microbe produces cellulose that can be turned into ethanol and other biofuels, report scientists from The University of Texas at Austin who say the microbe could provide a significant portion of the nation’s transportation fuel if production can be scaled up. Along with cellulose, the...
  • The New Eugenics

    04/01/2008 4:19:57 PM PDT · by wagglebee · 23 replies · 91+ views
    Breakpoint ^ | 3/26/08 | Nigel M. de S. Cameron
    The Twenty-First Century Challenge to Human Dignity This article is from the October 2006 BreakPoint WorldView magazine. Sign up today to receive the free online edition 10 times a year!In the manifesto on the “Sanctity of Life in a Brave New World” that Chuck Colson and I launched with representative Christian leaders in the spring of 2004, we addressed four key areas for Christian concern at the outset of the “biotech century.” They all converge on one concept: eugenics. Eugenics is the idea that we should weed out the sick and the diseased and favor the strong and healthy....
  • Bio tech promises disease vaccines via food

    03/05/2008 10:32:53 AM PST · by BGHater · 4 replies · 101+ views ^ | 03 Mar 2008 | J. Mark Lytle
    Cholera, 'flu and many more diseases tackled by eating rice A seemingly bizarre experiment in genetically engineering plants has come up with a strain of rice that could make vaccination injections a thing of the past. Researchers working at the University of Tokyo's Institute of Medical Science are working with experts in the fields of drugs, agrobiology and genetics to change the makeup of rice to include cholera proteins. Anti-disease technology When the rice is fed to laboratory mice, it causes them to develop antibodies to cholera in the same way a standard vaccination would work. The implications - if...
  • With crop supplies 'dicey,' do we want to roll the dice?

    02/29/2008 8:25:07 AM PST · by TigerLikesRooster · 4 replies · 141+ views
    AG Weekly ^ | 02/15/08 | Bruce Freitag
    With crop supplies 'dicey,' do we want to roll the dice? By Bruce Freitag With crop supplies 'dicey,’ do we want to roll the dice? Just before giving up his post as interim U.S. agriculture secretary last month, Chuck Conner warned that growing enough corn, soybeans and wheat to meet food, feed and biofuel demands this year is going to be “very dicey.” He thought that we farmers were up to the challenge this year, but many of us are concerned that we will be denied the tools we need for the long run. Renewable fuels are a new challenge....
  • GM crop trial locations may be hidden from public [Genetically Modified][UK]

    02/17/2008 4:57:36 PM PST · by BGHater · 4 replies · 529+ views
    The Guardian ^ | 16 Feb 2008 | Ian Sample
    Government plans clampdown on vandalism after lobbying from biotech firms Genetically modified crops may be grown in hidden locations in Britain amid fears that anti-GM campaigners are winning the battle over the controversial technology, the Guardian has learned. Officials at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) confirmed they are looking at a range of options to clamp down on vandalism to GM crop trials, after intense lobbying by big crop biotech companies. The firms have warned that trials of GM crops are becoming too expensive to conduct in Britain because of the additional costs of protecting fields...
  • Australia's Cardinal Pell Warns of Coming 'War' on Church from Biotech, Gay 'Rights', Islamic Fears

    10/31/2007 6:00:08 AM PDT · by NYer · 16 replies · 124+ views
    LifeSite ^ | October 30, 2007 | John-Henry Westen
    SYDNEY, October 30, 2007 ( - In a stirring essay on the coming tensions between the secular world and the Catholic Church, Sydney's Cardinal George Pell has outlined threats to the freedom of religion stemming from biotechnology, gay 'rights' and fears of Islamic violence.  The must read piece titled, "Prospects for peace and rumours of war: Religion and democracy in the years ahead," is a serious reflection despite Pell's characteristic use of wit. Beginning on the hopeful note that the Church, despite the desires of certain atheist fanatics, is here to stay; the Cardinal points to trends which have already...
  • Insider reveals lax security at bio-lab [UK foot and mouth]

    08/12/2007 7:03:21 AM PDT · by LurkedLongEnough · 3 replies · 256+ views
    The Sunday Times ^ | The Sunday Times | Jonathan Calvert and Brendan Montague
    A WORKER has raised concerns about bio-security at the state-owned research complex where the foot and mouth outbreak is believed to have originated. Percy Ravate, a contract worker, was struck down with life-threatening Legionnaires’ disease, which he believes he caught while repairing pipework at the Pirbright complex in Surrey. He said basic health and safety procedures were flouted, he was allowed to roam around laboratories and security measures such as checking visitors were not enforced. [snip] The doors to the labs had swipe cards, but to help the workers they were left open. “They used to leave the doors on...
  • Change to gene theory raises new challenges for biotech

    07/04/2007 3:32:19 PM PDT · by aimhigh · 10 replies · 329+ views
    International Harold Tribune ^ | July 3, 2007 | Denise Caruso
    The $73.5 billion global biotech business may soon have to grapple with a discovery that calls into question the scientific principles on which it was founded. Last month, a consortium of scientists published findings that challenge the traditional view of the way genes function. The exhaustive, four-year effort was organized by the United States National Human Genome Research Institute and carried out by 35 groups from 80 organizations around the world. To their surprise, researchers found that the human genome might not be a "tidy collection of independent genes" after all, with each sequence of DNA linked to a single...
  • Biotech Firm Repeats Embryonic Stem Cell Without Destroying Life Claim

    06/21/2007 6:21:40 PM PDT · by monomaniac · 9 replies · 279+ views ^ | June 21, 2007 | Steven Ertelt
    Alameda, CA ( -- A leading biotech firm is repeating its claim that it has developed a process that can obtain embryonic stem cells from human embryos without destroying them. The destruction of days-old unborn children has been the main reason why pro-life groups oppose the controversial research. The destruction of life is also President Bush's largest concern and a key factor in his vetoing a bill on Wednesday that would have forced taxpayers to fund the research. Advanced Cell Technology repeated its claims on Thursday that it created a line of human embryonic stem cells without destroying the embryo...
  • Confessions of a Drug Killer

    05/10/2007 9:38:40 AM PDT · by Wuli · 5 replies · 720+ views
    TCS Daily ^ | May 8, 2007 | Charles L Hooper
    I'll just come out and say it. I'm a drug killer. I persuade companies to stop developing uneconomical new medicines. This is part of what my consulting company, Objective Insights, does to help pharmaceutical and biotech companies make good decisions about their business opportunities. Say that a drug company is developing a scientifically exciting new drug for breast cancer. We analyze that drug and tell the company whether it makes economic sense to continue development. In the past, we have suggested that drug companies pull the plug many times. We have helped kill drugs for brain cancer, ovarian cancer, melanoma,...
  • Anarchists target Hub [BIO backlash: Hub braces for conference protests]

    04/14/2007 7:15:17 AM PDT · by PajamaTruthMafia · 15 replies · 605+ views
    Boston Herald ^ | 4/14/07 | Dave Wedge
    Anarchists, radical environmentalists and other activists from across the country are gearing up for a “massive week of resistance” in opposition to an international biotechnology conference in Boston next month that likely will mark the largest Hub protests since the 2004 Democratic National Convention. While police resources are already stretched from a spike in street violence, the department is bracing for potentially large-scale protests of the BIO International Convention May 6-9 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. The city is in the midst of building a security plan reminiscent of the costly show of force at the DNC. “Obviously,...
  • India's biotech queen goes for global crown

    03/21/2007 3:31:48 AM PDT · by CarrotAndStick · 3 replies · 312+ views
    The Sydney Morning Herald ^ | March 21, 2007 - 5:35PM | The Sydney Morning Herald
    When Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw founded Biocon India in 1978 with 10,000 rupees (225 US dollars) and an office in a rented car garage, no banker was willing to give her a loan. Back then, no one had heard of biotechnology, which uses micro-organisms such as bacteria or biological substances like enzymes to make drugs and synthetic hormones. Women entrepreneurs were also rare and finding recruits willing to work under a female boss was difficult. Mazumdar-Shaw, hailed in 2004 as India's richest woman with a personal fortune of 21 billion rupees, and Biocon, India's biggest biotech firm with 3,000 employees, have come...
  • Genetically Engineered Organisms Invade Our Planet - What's the Harm?

    03/13/2007 10:37:24 PM PDT · by FLOutdoorsman · 13 replies · 640+ views
    Epoch Times ^ | 13 March 2007 | Gary Feuerberg
    For a long time now, Americans have been told by the scientists who developed genetically modified (GM) crops and organisms that GM is safe and wonderful. This was done with the blessing of government regulators, such as the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). It was alleged that GM crops, such as Bt and Roundup Ready, to use the best known biotech products, are good for biodiversity, increase yields, are resistant to pests, reduce the need for pesticides, are more profitable for the farmers, and less labor intensive. But a close examination of...
  • Bill would hold makers of engineered crops liable for damage

    03/02/2007 5:55:35 AM PST · by FLOutdoorsman · 50 replies · 520+ views
    The Ledger ^ | 28 Feb 2007 | Steve Lawrence
    Stepping into the middle of a growing debate, a freshman assemblyman has introduced legislation that would make companies developing genetically engineered crops liable for damages if their work results in contamination of other fields. The bill by Assemblyman Jared Huffman also would ban open-field production of genetically engineered crops used in the development of medications. And it would require growers to give county agriculture commissioners at least 30 days notice before engaging in open-field development of other genetically modified plants. Huffman, D-San Rafael, said the measure is needed to protect California farmers against significant losses if their conventional or organic...
  • Brave, new biotech world – Human, animal mix raises ethical concerns

    02/15/2007 6:38:16 PM PST · by FLOutdoorsman · 14 replies · 595+ views
    National Catholic Reporter ^ | 13 Feb 2007 | John L. Allen Jr.
    English tabloids are nothing if not colorful, but recently they’ve outdone themselves, splashing images of bizarre genetic mixtures of humans with rabbits and cows across their front pages, derisively dubbed “Franken-bunnies” and “moo-tants” by the headline writers of Fleet Street. The frenzy was triggered by England’s Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority, which is pondering the legality of “chimeras,” meaning organisms that carry both human and animal genes. Such creatures may seem like science fiction, but in less spectacular form they’re already common, from cows injected with human stem cells in order to produce a human protein in their milk, which...
  • The Napster pirates of transgenic biotech

    02/08/2007 9:15:10 PM PST · by BlazingArizona · 3 replies · 436+ views ^ | 2/8/07 | Andrew Leonard
    2001 was a bad year for bollworms in Gujarat. The pink larval creatures infested cotton fields across the Indian state, devastating harvests. But some fields, remarkably, were mostly immune. Mayhco, an Indian seed company partially owned by Monsanto, became suspicious. Mayhco and Monsanto had been striving for years to get permission to sell genetically modified Bt cotton in India -- a strain that produces its own anti-bollworm insecticide -- but the application had been fought at every step by India's vigorous anti-GM activists and was undergoing lengthy trials. Sure enough, after testing the cotton, Mayhco determined that it contained the...