The U.S. Supreme Court is pondering the question: is it legal to patent our genes? It may have a ripple effect in Canada.
By: Leslie Scrivener Feature writer
Angelina Jolie’s revelation that she recently had a preventive double mastectomy highlighted a case before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Through genetic testing, the actor found she inherited the BRCA1 gene mutation that leads to a much higher risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
A Utah-based company, Myriad Genetics, Inc., owns the patent on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Read more »
From: The New York Times
On three separate days this July, invisible and odorless gases will be released in subway stations and at street level in all five boroughs of New York City. But officials in the New York Police Department will not be alarmed — it was their idea.
The gases, known asperfluorocarbons, will be dispersed to study how airborne toxins would flow through the city after a terrorist attack or an accidental spill of hazardous chemicals, the department said on Wednesday.
Researchers supervised by the Brookhaven National Laboratory will use about 200 monitors to trace the paths of the gases they release. The police intend to use the information gathered in the test, which they said would be the biggest such urban airflow study, to hone their plans for emergency responses. Read more »
On May 12, 2013, the sun emitted a significant solar flare, peaking at 10 p.m. EDT. This flare is classified as an X1.7, making it the first X-class flare of 2013. The flare was also associated with another solar phenomenon, called a coronal mass ejection (CME) that can send solar material out into space. This CME was not Earth-directed.
Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth’s atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however — when intense enough — they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel. This disrupts the radio signals for as long as the flare is ongoing – the radio blackout associated with this flare has since subsided. Read more »