Tuesday June 9th, 2015
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A new stem cell treatment for Parkinson's diseased highlight the delicate balance of risks vs. rewards. It entail using fetal brain cells implanted within the patient’s brain to create feedback connections and produce dopamine. But there is also an increased risk of cancer occurring in the altered cells.
Food & Agriculture
Attacks on GMOs is often a proxy for criticisms of globalization, corporate agriculture, synthetic chemicals and the like. But these debates often lose sight of the impact of low-productivity food systems and their devastating impacts on the environment. When intellectuals like Michael Pollan and Alice Waters decry feedlot meat and rhapsodize about the culinary and environmental benefits of grass-fed beef, what they are really proposing is a vast expansion of human impacts on the land.
Companies claiming to pinpoint your ancestral village of origin or relationship with famous historical figures are likely telling you the truth. But because of the exponential numbers of our distant relatives, thousands or perhaps millions of people will get similar ‘special’ results.
BRCA mutations have taken a toll on film producer Alan Blassberg and his loved ones, prompting what promises to be a powerful and education documentary on how breast cancer impacts both men and women. His film is slated for release later this year. Read more and view the trailer here.
A poop paternity test may set legal precedents on privacy in the workplace.
Media have a tendency to hype studies that link individual genes to behavioral effects. Recent news surrounding connections between the AVPR1A gene and sexual infidelity is case in point.
Semantic memory identification is an emerging ID technology based on the patterns of electrical signals that your brain puts out in response to hearing or reading words or phrases. It may be safer than fingerprints and eye scans, but it's accuracy needs improvement.
While the Agricultural Department edges towards embracing a new food label, it's missing the opportunity to provide a meaningful 21st solution for consumers who want to know how their food is grown and the real potential harm and benefits of ingredients.
Some vocal opponents of GMO foods are in the fitness community. There is a perceived belief that engineered foods pose health or environmental problems. Our new GLP contributor, a national expert in this field, explains what the science says and why many scare claims are mistaken.
Two prankster hosts an online comedy show went to an organic food convention and proceeded to pretend they were restaurant entrepreneurs serving up the latest in organic fare...but that was after a trip to McDonald's where the stocked up on Chicken McNuggets.
In 2013, when PLoS One published a research paper, Complete Genes May Pass from Food to Human Blood, anti-GMO activists claimed they had proof that GMOs can “transfer” into our bodies, and threaten human health. Now it turns out the hysteria they tried to generate was based on a study that its researchers believe went awry.
Genetic modification of trees could help mitigate climate change and increase wood and paper production. But opposition to even basic research is hindering advances.

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