Apr 152014
GMOs 2.0: Synthetic Biology, Farmers and Food — April 30th 7:30 pm

Goldman Theater, Brower Center, Berkeley Synthetic biology, “extreme genetic engineering,” is about to radically change our food system. What is “synbio” and what are the real costs to agriculture, the environment, and the livelihoods of farmers around the world? Join this critical discussion! Free and open to the public. SPEAKERS:   Neth Daño, ETC Group, Philippines Alejandrino García Castaño, Vanilla Farmer, Mexico John Roulac, Nutiva, Richmond, CA Dana Perls, Friends of the Earth, Berkeley, CA Forward [More]

Apr 012014
How Private is your DNA? – Critical Conversations on Emerging Technology – 7:30, April 17 - Video coming soon

Download hi-res (8.3mb) pdf of flyer. Scientists are now able to map our bodies’ DNA with increasing ease and decreasing costs. But what is being done with this information and for whose benefit? How much control do we have over our genetic information and what can we do to protect our privacy? WHEN: Thursday, April 17, 2014 – 7:30pm WHERE: Brower Center Theater 2150 Allston Way in Berkeley, CA Free and Open to the Public [More]

Oct 212013
Watch Video: Becky McClain, Ed Hammond & Gopal Dayaneni on Biosafety by the Bay

Biotech whistleblower, Becky McClain, and international lab safety expert Ed Hammond talk with Movement Generation’s Gopal Dayaneni about the biolabs targeted for siting throughout the so-called “East Bay Green Corridor,” biolab worker and community safety, and biosecurity. Recorded in Berkeley, California at the Brower Center October 16, 2013 About the Guests: Becky McClain was  a Pfizer, Inc. molecular biologist when she became seriously ill after exposure to genetically modified agents at the pharmaceutical giant’s Connecticut [More]

Sep 162013
Watch Video:  Vandana Shiva & Gopal Dayaneni on Corporate Biotech Green vs. Ecological Green

Vandana Shiva, PhD in conversation with Gopal Dayaneni, of Movement Generation: Justice and Ecology Project. World renowned environmental philosopher and activist Vandana Shiva illuminates the corporate assault on biological and cultural diversity and helps us connect the dots: What is the East Bay “Green Corridor,” who is creating it, and what does it mean for communities here and around the globe? “Big oil, big pharma, big food, big seed companies are joining hands to appropriate [More]

Sep 042013
Friends of the Earth Launches Campaign against Synbio Vanilla

September 2013 Originally published on Friends of the Earth Friends of the Earth (FOE) has  launched a campaign to urge Haagen Dazs, Dryers, Baskin Robbins, and other major ice cream companies to commit to not use synbio vanilla in their ice cream. Dana Perls, Food and technology campaigner for FOE, says “In the face of inaction by the FDA, it’s up to consumers to voice our concerns and make it clear we do not want [More]

Aug 132013
California Governor Jerry Brown Vetoes Bill that Would Have Legalized Sale of Human Eggs

Advocates for women’s health and opponents of the commercialization of human genes by corporate research interests won a small victory August 13, 201.  California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would have allowed the sale of human eggs for research purposes. Brown acknowledged that the health risks of the egg extraction procedure would be compounded if women were paid to allow their eggs to be harvested. Brown said “Not everything in life is for [More]

Jun 142013
Supreme Court Strikes Down Gene Patents in Breast Cancer Gene Case

By Pete Shanks and Marcy Darnovsky Originally published on Biopolitical Times The Supreme Court’s June 13, 2013 unanimous ruling against Myriad Genetics is a triumph for common sense and the common good, and for scientific research and legal fundamentals as well. The decision means that all of the existing patents on human genes – some 15,000 of them – are no longer valid. It affirms a century of legal precedent that prohibits patents on “products [More]

Jun 122013
Watch Video: Genetically Modified Humans, Stuart Newman and Milton Reynolds

Stuart Newman, PhD in conversation with Milton Reynolds: June 6, Patent Pending – The Rise of Genetically Modified Humans EAST BAY CONVERSATIONS The Promises and Perils of Biotechnology Stuart Newman, PhD in conversation with Milton Reynolds of Facing History and Ourselves. Thursday, June 6, 2013, 7: 30 pm Brower Center’s Goldman Theater (2150 Allston Way, Berkeley, California) Free and Open to the Public.

Apr 012014

“Hacking Your DNA” Reposted from Newsweek Imagine a future when Big Data has access not only to your shopping habits, but also to your DNA and other deeply personal data collected about our bodies and behavior—and about the inner workings of our proteins and cells. What will the government and others do with that data? And will we be unaware of how it’s being used—or abused—until a future Edward Snowden emerges to tell us? Consider [More]

Apr 012014

Reposted from the Wall Street Journal U.S. Government Files First Cases Under Statute Meant to Protect Workers By Melanie Trottman Genetic testing is becoming a cornerstone of modern medicine—used to measure the likelihood of developing diseases from cancer to mental illness. Employers increasingly are running up against a federal law that governs how genetic information can be used. Pictured, a DNA sample in a Petri dish. Getty Images But as health-care providers move quickly to [More]

Mar 242014
Human Applications of Synthetic Biology (Resource List)

A listing of articles on human applications of synthetic biology (updated 5-24-13). ****** General Gods and Monsters Mark Dowie, Mother Jones, January/February 2004 [Talking apes, flying pigs, superhumans with armadillo attributes, and other strange considerations of Dr. Stuart Newman's fight to patent a human/animal chimera] Big Promises Backed by Bad Theory Eric Hoffman and Stuart Newman, GEN, May 15, 2012 [Overview, not very focused on human applications but including them] ****** Picks from the Center for Genetics and [More]

Oct 222013

Reposted from the New York Times October 20, 2013 EMERYVILLE, Calif. — Vanilla, saffron, patchouli. For centuries, spices and flavorings like these have come from exotic plants growing in remote places like the jungles of Mexico or the terraced hillsides of Madagascar. Some were highly prized along ancient trading routes like the Silk Road. Now a powerful form of genetic engineering could revolutionize the production of some of the most sought-after flavors and fragrances. Rather [More]

Oct 172013
Synthetic biology: An emperor with no clothes? - By Allison Domicone

Reposted from Policy Matters Journal On September 11, I had the great pleasure of attending a public conversation with one of my heroes, Dr. Vandana Shiva, at the David Brower Center in downtown Berkeley. Shiva is a highly respected Indian physicist and activist who has for decades been speaking truth to power with an eloquence and moral courage that I only wish more global leaders would aspire to attain. Shiva is a particularly vocal critic of [More]

Oct 082013
Pfizer's Wanton Misconduct -  By Becky McClain

Re-posted from: from GeneWatch  This is the story of a whistleblower: me. I was working as a molecular biologist at a Pfizer laboratory. After I raised concerns about worker safety at the lab, I was told to stop documenting the problems I saw; when I continued to raise concerns, another employee was assigned to work on a dangerous genetically engineered virus on my bench without my knowledge; when I became ill and requested records of [More]

Sep 232013
Biosafety by the Bay: Becky McClain & Ed Hammond - Wednesday, October 16, 2013 7:30 pm PST

East Bay Conversations in Berkeley and streaming online A video of this event will be posted soon. Biotech whistleblower, Becky McClain, and international lab safety expert Ed Hammond talk with Movement Generation’s Gopal Dayaneni about the biolabs targeted for siting throughout the so-called “East Bay Green Corridor,” biolab worker and community safety, and biosecurity. Brower Center’s Goldman Theater  – 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley Free and Open to the Public Livestream broadcast at www.synbiowatch.org About the [More]