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July 23, 2000
Re "Gene Issues Take Root," editorial, July 15: The overall concept of patenting genes should be questioned. One fundamental rule of patent law is that "prior invention" invalidates a patent. That is, something that previously existed (other than in the hands of the person applying for the patent) cannot be patented. Well, I must inform you that human genes have existed for thousands of years. The genes that make me who I am could be found in my mother or father when they were born (over 90 years ago)
June 15, 2012 | By David Horsey
During his presidency, George W. Bush said plenty of goofy things inadvertently, but the dumbest thing he ever said on purpose was his claim to have looked into the soul of Vladimir Putin. If he had truly gotten a glimpse into that dark, grim place, he would have not come away content and smiling. Putin is letting his Russian soul show through quite openly these days, particularly with his support of Syrian President Bashar Assad's brutal crackdown on opponents of his regime. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton complained this week that the Russians were sending helicopter gunships to Syria, a step that would "escalate the conflict quite dramatically.
April 29, 2011 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
Malaria, a parasitic disease transmitted by mosquito bites, has resisted insecticides, mosquito netting and other eradication efforts. Recently, a team of scientists from Imperial College London and the University of Washington in Seattle reported on a genetic approach. Mosquitoes were inserted with a fungus gene that can attack specific mosquito genes — making it possible, for example, to destroy genes that allow the malaria parasite to reach humans' bloodstreams. Andrea Crisanti, the paper's senior author and a molecular biologist at Imperial College London, talked about the work, which was recently published in the journal Nature.
August 7, 2006 | From Times wire reports
Different genes may be responsible for causing autism in boys than in girls, researchers said last week, a finding that may help explain why the condition is more common in boys. And, writing in the journal Molecular Genetics, they said other genes might play a role in the early onset and late onset forms of autism.
August 5, 2010 | By Rachel Bernstein, Los Angeles Times
Heart health depends in no small part on diet and exercise, but genes are also crucial. Now, scientists involved in a massive genetic study have come a step closer to understanding the role of the latter, identifying 95 DNA regions associated with cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Of those regions, 59 had not previously been identified and may, with further research, lead to new treatment options. "It's a goldmine of new discovery," said Dr. Daniel Rader, a geneticist at the University of Pennsylvania medical school and coauthor of two new studies on the research.
July 2, 2010 | By Rachel Bernstein, Los Angeles Times
They may not have discovered the fountain of youth, but scientists are beginning to unravel some of the mysteries of living past 100 — specifically, that it's in your genes. The study, led by Paola Sebastiani and Dr. Thomas Perls of Boston University and published online Thursday in the journal Science, analyzed the DNA of more than 1,000 centenarians and found a set of small DNA variations called genetic markers that can be used to predict "exceptional longevity" with 77% accuracy.
December 13, 1994
Re "Gene Found That May Lead to Obesity," Dec. 1: As dramatic as the discovery of a "fat gene" in mice may be, few among us should be lulled into laying the blame for an ever-present spare tire to some bad genes inherited from our parents. The fact remains that the overwhelming majority of those among us who are overweight are that way because we have become less physically active and because we eat too much of the wrong food. A few may have a genetic malady, and for them this discovery gives some hope.
November 15, 1992 | Associated Press
The number and similarity of a particular gene linked to rheumatoid arthritis helps determine how severely the disease will afflict a person, according to a study published today. Those at the highest risk for the most severe form of rheumatoid arthritis have two identical copies of the gene, HLA-DRB1, the Mayo Clinic study showed. The risk goes down for people with two non-identical HLA-DRB1 genes or just one of the genes, it said.
April 25, 2009
Re "Legacy inscribed on Jews' genes?" Column One, April 18 The Times makes no mention of researchers Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending having tested their theory by holding other factors -- notably social factors -- constant. The accepted and probably correct narrative is this: Jews' limited gene pool for several millenniums has magnified their chances of inheriting genetic diseases. Their higher rates of intelligence, meanwhile, are because of social factors. A greater proportion of Jewish families talk with their young children and inculcate a love of reading, arguing and curiosity.
Federal scientists have narrowed the search for a gene that causes one form of Parkinson's disease to a small segment of one human chromosome, providing the first direct evidence that a genetic alteration is capable of producing the devastating brain disorder. The results offer new hope for early detection and improved treatment of the disease, which affects more than 1 million Americans, the researchers say.
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