Australian company Bionomics holds patent on human genes and genetically engineered great apes
Almost a dozen organisations have filed a joint opposition against a European Patent (EP1364025) granted to the Australian company Bionomics. The company is claiming human genes that have a link to cancer as its invention. According to the patent, the human DNA will be used to genetically engineer chimpanzees and other animal species such as pigs, sheeps, cats and dogs. Consequently, these animals may have a higher risk of developing cancer and will be used in animal experiments.
Will the EU Commission give the green light for cultivation in May?
In just a few weeks time the EU Commission could give permission for the commercial cultivation of maize 1507. According to an exchange of letters between the Commission and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the authority is currently assessing relevant documents including some reports from Testbiotech, the results of which might be available at the end of April. If EFSA declares it has found no new evidence, the EU Commission can authorise the maize that was jointly developed by Dow AgroSciences and Pioneer Hi-Bred / DuPont.
New possibilities of radically altering a genome
28 March 2014 Scientist in the US have succeeded in re-synthesising a whole chromosome contained in yeast. In the process some changes in the genome were introduced and DNA sequences regarded as non-essential for survival of the yeast cell were removed. The new cells are reported to have similar biological characteristics as the native variants (Annaluru N., et al, 2014).