Field of Science

Links - March 12, 2011

I had a job interview for a staff editor position at a very large scientific company this week. Keep your fingers crossed for me, okay?

Your genes, your rights. Razib wrote an impassioned blog post condemning the FDA and AMA's attempts to block direct-to-consumer genetic testing (see also follow-ups here and here). There's a link round-up with other people's blog posts on the topic here at My Genome, My Right. Obviously I believe that it is an individual's right to have direct, uninhibited access to their genetic information if they decide they want to know what's in it, but I also understand that complications will arise as the price of genotyping continues to drop. People without a background in biology may decide to partake in DTC genetic testing as it gets cheaper, and the companies providing the service need to make sure the consumers have the appropriate framework for understanding and interpreting the results. I am not against regulating the industry, but I do think it is absurd to require a physician's prescription to receive the service or require a physician to interpret genetic information. [Edit: I was talking to my grandpa about this today and he said that the government won't be able to stop it because the industry will just move overseas. Others have expressed the same sentiment, but it would still be a huge step backwards.]

How to get a lab tech job after college and before graduate school: Part 1, the CV; Part 2, Applications. This doesn't apply to me since I am trying to get a job after graduate school, but it has a lot of good advice for getting a lab job without a lot of experience at any level. Hopefully Radical Scientist will continue to add to this series, as the interview definitely needs to be covered!

The careless language of sexual violence and Media blows it with pathetic gang rape coverage. There have been a lot of good articles and blog posts in the last few days criticizing the New York Times for their treatment of the story about the 11-year-old girl who was a victim of gang rape in Cleveland, Texas (not to be confused with Cleveland, Ohio). I can't link to them all, but these are two good ones.

A 5-minute framework for fostering better conversations in comments sections. Anyone who has a blog needs to read this. I don't agree with all of it, but most of this is good advice.

Charlie Sheen quotes as New Yorker cartoons. I am disturbed by the way that the media and the public are feeding into Sheen's obvious psychosis, but I can't deny that it is funny in a very, very sick kind of way.

Now, if you haven't seen it already, watch how happy a damn drink umbrella makes this slow loris:

1 comment:

  1. I am not against regulating the industry

    The industry is actually already regulated by CLIA. That’s part of why it’s blossoming. Shuren’s FDA is attempting a power grab, to justify itself as the sole authority over the human genome, and has been forcing other agencies and especially companies to knuckle under. Right now you can do a genomic startup for a few million, but FDA regulation will turn the whole shebang over to Big Pharma, who are the only guys that can afford the millions required to navigate the bureaucracy…and to pay off officials to defend “traditional manufacturers” against startups.

    There are a lot of professors and academics who have spoken out against what the FDA is doing, and who think that the assault will drive personal genomics overseas, just like the previous administration drove stem cells overseas. What a catastrophe that would be, for us to spend billions on the Human Genome Project and then have it all for naught.


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