In honor of Mother's Day, Save the Children presents 14th annual State of the World's Mothers report. It is a report that ranks the best and worst places in the world to be a mother. Learn more, access archives and download the report. FINLAND - NR 1 ! The BEST!
THE BEST & WORST PLACES TO BE A MOTHER
The chances a mother and her baby will survive help determine Save the Children’s annual rankings of the best and worst places in the world to be a mother. Education, income and political representation of women are the other factors.
Humans don't "own" their own genes, the cellular chemicals that define who they are and what diseases they might be at risk for. Through more than 40,000 patents on DNA molecules, companies have essentially claimed the entire human genome for profit, report two researchers who analyzed the patents on human DNA.
Their study, published March 25 in the journal Genome Medicine, raises an alarm about the loss of individual "genomic liberty."
In their new analysis, the research team examined two types of patented DNA sequences: long and short fragments. They discovered that 41 percent of the human genome is covered by longer DNA patents that often cover whole genes. They also found that, because many genes share similar sequences within their genetic structure, if all of the "short sequence" patents were allowed in aggregate, they could account for 100 percent of the genome.
Furthermore, the study's lead author, Dr. Christopher E. Mason of Weill Cornell Medical College, and the study's co-author, Dr. Jeffrey Rosenfeld, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey and a member of the High Performance and Research Computing Group, found that short sequences from patents also cover virtually the entire genome -- even outside of genes.
"If these patents are enforced, our genomic liberty is lost," says Dr. Mason, an assistant professor of physiology and biophysics and computational genomics in computational biomedicine at the Institute for Computational Biomedicine at Weill Cornell. "Just as we enter the era of personalized medicine, we are ironically living in the most restrictive age of genomics. You have to ask, how is it possible that my doctor cannot look at my DNA without being concerned about patent infringement?"
Although bioweapons have been used in war for many centuries, a recent surge in genetic understanding, as well as a rapid growth in computational power, has allowed genetic engineering to play a larger role in the development of new bioweapons. In the bioweapon industry, genetic engineering can be used to manipulate genes to create new pathogenic characteristics aimed at enhancing the efficacy of the weapon through increased survivability, infectivity, virulence, and drug resistance. While the positive societal implications of improved biotechnology are apparent, the “black biology” of bioweapon development may be one of the gravest threats we will face.
Fifteen years ago Deep Blue beat Garry Kasparov in a game of chess, marking the beginning of what Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist Erik Brynjolfsson calls the new machine age—an era driven by exponential growth in computing power. Lately, though, people have been feeling uneasy about the machine age. Pundits and experts seem to agree that the robots aredefinitely taking our jobs. At last week’sTED conference, Brynjolfsson argued that the new machine age is great for economic growth, but we still have to find a way to coexist with the machines.
Declaring “the guilty must pay,” Anonymous has released 4.6 gigabytes of data detailing the personal information of Wall Street CEOs and other high level Wall Street executives. Links to the data b...
The leak is associated with Operation Wall Street, a new protest launched by Anonymous hacktivists against the US government, Wall Street and the financial services industry. The operation seeks justice for those “who have lost their homes and had their lives destroyed” by “the crimes of Goldman Sachs and other firms.”
Numerous companies take advantage of loopholes in international laws to move profits around the world, dodging taxes. Many of these techniques rely on transferring profits on patent royalties to places like Ireland.
Utah biotech firm to argue its patents on breast and ovarian cancer genes are necessary to fund further research
The US supreme court will hear oral arguments next week to decide whether companies can patent human genes, in a landmark case which could alter the course of US medical research and the battle against diseases such as breast and ovarian cancer.
A coalition of scientists, cancer survivors, patients, breast cancer groups and professional medical associations, which has brought the case, will argue that genes are "products of nature", like organs of the body and should not be exploited for commercial gain.
Such patents are illegal and violate the first amendment, they say. They are challenging patents on two genes linked to breast and ovarian cancer owned by Myriad Genetics, a biotechnology company, because they say the patents have stymied research and the free exchange of ideas.
Myriad, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, will ask the court to uphold the patents, which it says is vital compensation for developing a potentially life-saving test to asses the risks of breast and ovarian cancer and to advance medicine. Myriad's BRACAnalysis test looks for mutations on the breast cancer predisposition gene, or BRCA.
In March 2010, a New York district court agreed with an American Civil Liberties Union challenge to Myriad's patents on "isolated" forms of BRCA1 and BRCA2, by arguing that genes should not be patented. But the US Court of Appeals for the federal court has now ruled twice that the isolated genes patented in Myriad's case has a "markedly different chemical structure" from DNA within the body.
Breast Cancer Action, one of the plaintiffs in the case, said that the patents has meant that Myriad has become "the gatekeeper of all research on the BRCA gene".
PROTECT-IP is a bill that has been introduced in the Senate and the House and is moving quickly through Congress. It gives the government and corporations the ability to censor the net, in the name of protecting "creativity".
Great animation video utilizing multiple different and novel video approaches. Excellent and clear communication.
"I spent my entire childhood unplugged," children's book author Dan Yaccarino says in this video from Random House Children's Books.
"The event is sponsored by the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, an organization dedicated to exploring kids relationship with technology and helping parents make sure that it isn't the biggest part of their childhood."
The company with the most profits parked overseas is General Electric, according to a new Bloomberg analysis of 83 corporations. GE said in a Feb. 26 regulatory filing that it was holding $108 billion in profits overseas as of the end of last year.
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