Archive for February, 2005

Yahoo! News – China Seen Opening Door Soon to Biotech Rice

February 28, 2005

Yahoo! News – China Seen Opening Door Soon to Biotech Rice: “By Jeremy Smith

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – China could open the door to biotech rice within two years, paving the way for the GMO crop to enter the food stream across Asia, the head of a trade group said Monday.

‘Rice is likely to be approved in China in the near term, maybe in two years,’ said Clive James, chairman and founder of ISAAA, a group with industry and public foundation support that promotes biotech as a way to halt global hunger.”


There was an article a few years back where the FBI was investigating biotech industrial espionage down in San Diego. I seem to recall that a SE Asian country had set up an institute to study biotech, but it was really a front for industrial espionage.

Hmmm, I smell a plot…


New FDA Clearance for Candela Family of Pulsed Dye Lasers

February 24, 2005

New FDA Clearance for Candela Family of Pulsed Dye Lasers: “WAYLAND, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Feb. 24, 2005–Candela Corporation (NASDAQ: CLZR – News) announced today that it has received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market its family of pulsed dye lasers for the treatment of benign epidermal pigmented lesions adding to the previously cleared treatments of facial veins, rosacea, leg veins, port wine stains, scars, wrinkles, psoriasis, stretch marks and warts.”

Weird. I wonder how that works? Burn the skin to stimulate healing?

The website wasn’t too helpful…

Brand New Brands, Inc.

February 15, 2005

MILL VALLEY, CALIFORNIA, February 14, 2005 – Function is the future of food. That’s the basic proposition behind Brand New Brands, Inc., a new company formed to develop great-tasting food and beverage products that incorporate health-promoting ingredients.

Launched to Develop ‘Functional’ Foods & Beverages; Announces $15 Million in Funding.

At first I thought they were talking about biotech/pharmalogical kinds of ingredients. That would be pretty cool, and have lots of plot potential. Population control (the Brave New World way or by putting contraceptives in), or perhaps something more sinister…

But reading the press release makes me think it isn’t that interesting, though probably healthy and tasty.

Yahoo! News – Dolly Scientist Gets Human Cloning License

February 8, 2005

Yahoo! News – Dolly Scientist Gets Human Cloning License: “By THOMAS WAGNER, Associated Press Writer

LONDON – The British government Tuesday gave the creator of Dolly the Sheep a license to clone human embryos for medical research into the cause of motor neuron disease.

Ian Wilmut, who led the team that created Dolly at Scotland’s Roslin Institute in 1996, and motor neuron expert Christopher Shaw of the Institute of Psychiatry in London, plan to clone embyros to study how nerve cells go awry to cause the disease. The experiments do not involve creating cloned babies.”


As I understand it, they’ll use the same technique (nuclear replacement) to create cells that are an exact genetic duplicate of cells from people with incurable diseases (muscle wasting in this case), grow an embryo from that, get stem cells from the cloned embryo, and study those cells to see how the disease progresses.

That would give them a model system for the disease, which will hopefully lead to a treatment. So the cloning and stem cells would not be used in the actual treatment (thought that is another potential use). More likely, they will find where the development pathway goes wrong and make a drug to prevent it from going off-track.

Plot-wise, you could have a society so in fear of, oh, I don’t know, terrorism, that they start mucking with developmental pathways of everyone (well, the next generation at least) to make the world less aggressive. Where does that lead? A utopia? A Brave New World? Who knows?

Or maybe they are evil and try to stamp out things they percieve as diseases like homosexuality, voting for Democrats, and separation of church and state.

Yahoo! News – California Wine Country Considers Biotech Ban

February 4, 2005

Yahoo! News – California Wine Country Considers Biotech Ban: “SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A measure to ban genetically modified crops in the heart of California’s wine country has qualified for a local ballot, officials said on Friday.”


Too bad all crops have been genetically modified through breeding and many through irradiation. I guess it will be good for my favorite Walla Walla wines when California stops growing grapes. Mmmm I’ecole 41. Or maybe a Canoe Ridge.