In a scene that could be straight out of Battlestar Galactica or Caprica, researchers from Microsoft and the University of Washington say they have found a way to successfully encode and store hundreds of megabytes of data in synthetic DNA molecules. [More]
Nearly two years after federal regulators drove genetic testing startup 23andMe out of the business of identifying potential risks for disease, the folks at genealogy website Ancestry.com say they want to be able to review customers’ DNA tests for potential problems. [More]
Add this one to the list of things your employer cannot subject you to on the job: A federal jury recently awarded two warehouse workers in Georgia $2.2 million, after a judge ruled that their bosses illegally collected their DNA. But why would your employer want to get hold of your DNA? In this case, management was trying to bust a mysterious pooper who was leaving piles of feces in the company’s warehouses.
Many of us have had that moment where something about a food or drink order at a restaurant doesn’t feel quite right when it comes, especially if you’ve had any kind of negative encounter with the wait staff. But in one case, police say they were able to prove which waiter at a Chili’s restaurant had spit into a customer’s takeaway drink, using DNA analysis.
Spit, something our bodies readily produce for free, can be very valuable. It can mean the difference between prison and freedom, and between being related to Wild Bill Hickok versus Buffalo Bill. In an effort to cater to dedicated genealogists, Ancestry.com is introducing a new service that promises to provide detailed information about consumers ancestors as well as connections to other living relatives, for the price of some saliva and $99.
23AndMe, the DIY DNA-sequencing service, wanted to make a change to its privacy settings. Since the Food and Drug Administration stopped the company from offering and marketing information about customers’ health and vulnerability to certain diseases and medications last year, the company has turned to marketing itself as a service to figure out your ethnic origins and find hidden distant relatives. That sounds fun…until it destroys your family, anyway. [More]
As we mentioned yesterday, more condo associations are turning to mandatory DNA testing for dogs in an attempt to rein in an apparent rampant poop problem in this country. But one tenant at a complex that is trying such a program says it hasn’t done anything to stop the fecal madness.
Back in March, we brought you the story of a condo complex in Northern Virginia where dog-owning residents had been given 30 days to provide DNA samples of their canine companions. But the condo owners tell Consumerist that in spite of the condo association’s best attempts to ignore them, they aren’t about to take the DNA requirement lying down.
Dave and his wife live in a condo complex in Northern Virginia. They also own a dog. Now, because of new a rule by his condo association, they and anyone else who owns a dog has 30 days to provide a DNA sample of their canine companion.
Anyone who reads this site regularly knows that fast food restaurants are prime targets for the criminal element. Now McDonald’s eateries in the Dutch city of Rotterdam are using a new-fangled way to fight crime — spraying crooks with a so-called artificial DNA that can be used by authorities to identify them.
After scaring Walgreens out of the genetic-testing business, the FDA has now decided to crack down on the entire industry, and will be subjecting DNA tests to the same rules that it applies to medical devices such as blood-glucose meters.
While Walgreens may have voluntarily chosen not to sell home genetic testing kits in the face of an FDA investigation, its action has brought attention to the entire for-profit testing industry, and others may not have the luxury to quietly shut down on their own. A congressional committee is looking into the business, and could end up regulating the industry.
If you were, well, salivating at the idea of spitting into a test tube at your corner Walgreens and sending off for a list of diseases you’re at risk for, you may have to keep that drool in check for a while. The Food and Drug Administration is investigating the planned test kits, which were due to appear in stores later this month.
For $1,000, a small California-based company called 23andMe (financed in part by Google) will decode your DNA and tell you whatever it can about your predispositions, health risks, and family traits—for example, whether or not you’re in line for the same heart disease that affected your father and grandfather, which is what the author of the Wired article wondered. (Turns out he’s not, but he’s at a higher risk of developing glaucoma. When one door opens…)
For the first time, the USDA has granted preliminary approval for large-scale planting of an engineered food crop that contains human genes.