genetic testing

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Ethicists Call Foul on Baseball's DNA Testing

(Newser) - Major League Baseball's DNA testing of Latin American rookies has bioethics experts worried, the New York Times reports. League officials say the genetic tests are necessary after a string of cases in which prospects lied about their age or identity, but experts fear the tests may be used to weed... More »

DNA Tests Solve Man's 26-Year Search for His Dad

Testing helped adopted man discover his birth father through his surname

(Newser) - A Michigan man's decades-long search for his biological father was fulfilled with an assist from DNA-based genealogy tests, the Wall Street Journal reports. Richard Hill—who didn't know he was adopted until his adoptive father revealed the truth from his deathbed—discovered his birth mother's identity fairly easily but hit... More »

Safer Down Syndrome Tests Give Birth to Ethics Fears

Procedures look safer, more accurate, but raise ethics concerns

(Newser) - New tests to detect Down syndrome early in pregnancy look highly promising to some experts—but they’re prompting new ethical and medical questions, the Washington Post reports. The procedures, to be publicly available in June, appear safer and more accurate than current options. But Down syndrome and anti-abortion activists... More »

Screening Technique Improves In Vitro Odds

Scientists can now safely analyze eggs' chances of conception

(Newser) - Scientists have discovered a way to greatly increase the chance of success for in vitro fertilizations, Time reports. Under current procedures, fresh eggs yield only a 25% success rate, necessitating multiple—and expensive—attempts. Many eggs hold chromosomal defects that make them incapable of conception, but it has, until now,... More »

Who's Your Daddy? DNA Tests May Shock You

DNA tests can lead to unpleasant discoveries

(Newser) - A simple DNA test is enough to rend a family apart, the Los Angeles Times reports. As more people take genetic tests to uncover medical data or trace family roots, more are discovering that their biological father is someone else. It's an old issue in medicine—blood types, after all,... More »

Is Your Kid a Sprinter or Footballer? Gene Test Knows

But experts cite scientific, ethical flaws

(Newser) - The answer to whether a kid would make a better linebacker or long-distance runner might lie in a simple genetic test—but many experts worry it could lead parents in the wrong direction, the New York Times reports. Based on a study that pointed to one gene’s role in... More »

Baldness Gene Can Pass From Father to Son

Think your mom's dad's lush locks mean your 'do is safe? Maybe not.

(Newser) - The old idea that looking at the maternal grandfather's hairline to predict whether a man will go bald is about half right, genetic researchers have found. The female X chromosome carries one baldness gene, but two studies have identified another gene that can be inherited from Dad. Guys with both... More »

Sensitive Swiss Ban Plant Humiliation

Genetic research must not violate the dignity of wheat

(Newser) - Swiss scientists eager to carry out genetic experiments on plants can’t be rash—they must first consider the how their actions make that tulip feel. Government-backed ethicists studied the effects of such experimentation on plants’ dignity; they found that it was wrong to hurt plants for no reason, or... More »

New Prenatal Gene Test Proves Safer

Checks mom's blood for defects without miscarriage risk

(Newser) - Scientists have developed a prenatal test for genetic defects much safer than the ones currently in use, reports the San Jose Mercury News. Methods like amniocentesis can spot chromosomal disorders like Down Syndrome, but involve inserting a needle into the uterus, which carries close to a 1-in-200 risk of miscarriage.... More »

FDA OKs High-Speed Flu Test

Technique will ID new strains in crucial early warning system

(Newser) - A new genetic test for the flu virus, which slashes the time it takes to identify new strains from 4 days to 4 hours, has been approved by the FDA. The test will play a key role in an early warning system if the US is ever struck by a... More »

NY Sushi Sleuths Uncover Fishy Tricks

Simple DNA test reveals fish sellers' bait-and-switch

(Newser) - Two New York City high school students used DNA testing to uncover a bait-and-switch scam in local restaurants and fish markets, the New York Times reports. Fish being sold as prized white tuna turned out to be the much more common—and cheaper—Mozambique tilapia, while red snapper proved to... More »

FBI Tries to Dispel Anthrax Probe Doubts

But acknowledges 'spore on a grassy knoll' sentiment

(Newser) - The FBI revealed unprecedented details about its investigation of army scientist Bruce Ivins yesterday in a move to counter skepticism in the scientific community. The agency laid out how it brought together top scientists from the public and private sector to trace samples of the deadly anthrax of 2001 to... More »

Gene Test May Rewrite Breast Cancer Screening

Mouth swab will offer more precise measure

(Newser) - Scientists say they will soon be able to take a simple mouth swab from women to better determine their risk of breast cancer, the Guardian reports. Researchers at Cambridge University have zeroed in on several genetic variants—with more to come—that offer a far more precise measure of a... More »

Genetic Test Reveals Your Body Clock

Simple mouth swab can separate the larks from the owls

(Newser) - A simple mouth swab can tell scientists who's naturally meant to get up early and could forever free people who like a morning snooze from accusations of laziness, the Daily Telegraph reports. The newly developed test reveals the activity of the genes that regulate a person's body clock and identifies... More »

Genes ID Best Patients for Colon Cancer Drug

Step toward 'holy grail' of personalized cancer battle

(Newser) - Researchers have taken a giant step toward the "holy grail" of personalized cancer treatment—by using genetic profiling to accurately target chemotherapy, Reuters reports. A new genetic test of colon cancer tumors is able to predict with accuracy whether a patient will respond to treatment with the drug Erbitux,... More »

Soccer Scouts Look Into Genetic Testing

DNA tests could reveal if player has power to bend it like Beckham

(Newser) - Scouts for the world's leading soccer teams spend millions every year trying to spot the next Ronaldo or David Beckham but they could soon be turning their attention to genetic tests as well as training grounds. DNA tests that identify genes associated with top athletic ability are already being marketed... More »

Senate Passes Bill Banning Genetic Bias

Law, approved 95-0, would protect people with hereditary risks

(Newser) - The Senate unanimously approved a bill today banning discrimination by employers and health insurers based on the results of genetic tests, the Los Angeles Times reports. Senators hope the measure will encourage testing for those who have abstained out of fear of professional or financial repercussions. The bill is expected... More »

Scientists Discover New Diabetes Genes

Six variants each add risk for developing the disease

(Newser) - Scientists pooling data from European and US studies have identified six more genes associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, the Guardian reports. The study, published in Nature Genetics, found small but significant connections between the genes and the disease, with certain genetic variants linked to a 10-15%... More »

Millionaire Pays Firm to Map His Genetic Code

Personal genome readouts now on shopping list for super-rich

(Newser) - A Switzerland-based millionaire is paying to have his personal genetic code mapped out, the New York Times reports. He is only the second person to ever have done so, but genetics companies say interest is high despite the $350,000 price tag for decoding all 6 billion units in an... More »

New Tech Identifies Rare DNA Disorders

Services link families whose kids were once labeled autistic

(Newser) - New procedures that scan all 46 human chromosomes are helping doctors classify disorders once lumped together as "developmentally delayed" or "autistic"—and helping parents connect to families whose children also have uncommon conditions. The New York Times looks at the lives of parents isolated by their experience... More »

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