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Wheat Genomes: Chinese Spring lifts gloom


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Wheat Genomes: Chinese Spring lifts gloom

Co-director Steve Hughes gives a cautious welcome to the sequencing of the wheat genome. Wheat has been prominent in the news lately in relation to future food security (writes Professor Hughes). For those of an optimistic disposition, the announcement(s) of the completion of a draft DNA sequence representing more than 95 per cent of the genome of the wheat variety Chinese Spring as an opening of the door to a new proposition for the breeding of improved varieties, possibly countered the woes from elsewhere such as the land grab for biofuels in Africa. After all, wheat is an adaptable food source, consumed across all the continents, with a global annual harvest of around 650 million tons and well worthy of having the best of genomics and enhanced breeding technologies on its case. Celebrate we should, but with perhaps a careful look at the broader perspective of institutional practices in the food chain. .


By E Genis, UK.


Health Policy Resource.

A dominos effect for gene patents?


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A dominos effect for gene patents?

Egenis Co-Director Professor Steve Hughes continues his reflections on gene patents and the courts. Australia has now picked up the baton and is running in the contested debate over gene patents and their role in public healthcare and the bio-industries. As in the State of New York (see earlier comment 'Quo vadis gene patents?' below), and on similar grounds, opposition is being mounted in a case brought in the Australian Federal Court in Sydney to the patents relating to the BRCA gene variants associated with breast cancer. .


By E Genis, UK.


Health Policy Resource.

Punishing Costs


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Punishing Costs

Locking up children and young people for non-violent offences is costing the taxpayer millions, while doing little to reduce the amount of crime. This report presents new results on the full cost to society of the use prisons. It outlines a policy to change the pattern of public spending for a safer and more inclusive society..


By NEF, UK.


Health Policy Resource.