Tag Archives: diego

ACLU sues San Diego police over how it collects DNA from juveniles – The San Diego Union-Tribune

Posted: February 20, 2017 at 6:47 pm

A blackteenager who was stopped by police last year while walking through a San Diego park is challenging the Police Departments policies and practices for obtainingDNA from minors without first notifying a parent.

Lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego & Imperial Counties filed a federal lawsuit last week on behalf of the boy and his mother, Jamie Wilson.They contend police officers violated the boys civil rights in March when they detained, handcuffed and searched him at Memorial Community Park in Logan Heights, and then took a sample of his DNA without a warrant or his mothers consent.

According to the complaint, San Diego Police Department policy allows officers to obtainconsent from a minor for DNA collection the same way they would for an adult.

California law restricts the collection of DNA from a juvenile for inclusion in Californias DNA database, but the lawsuit says San Diego has sidestepped that by maintaining its own local database. Officers are required to notify a juveniles parents only after a DNA sample has been taken.

San Diegos policy systematically works to circumventparents right to advise their kids, saidJonathan Markovitz, one of the attorneys representing Wilson and her son.

A Police Department spokesman declined to comment about the lawsuit but provided a copy of the agencys procedures for dealing with juveniles. The document states that a minors DNA can be taken and stored in the departments own data bank if obtained legally and for investigative purposes.

We have just been made aware of the lawsuit filed by the ACLU.This case is pending litigation we therefore cannot comment further, police Lt.Scott Wahl said in an email.

The plaintiffs are seeking a permanentinjunction from the court that would forbid the San Diego Police Department from enforcing the citys policy on DNA collection from juveniles without a warrant or parental consent. They are also asking for an order compelling the Police Department to return any DNA samples from the teen identified in the lawsuit.

They also are seeking unspecified monetary damages.

According to the lawsuit, police officers chose to conduct a pat-down search of the 16-year-old boy identified in the document by the initials P.D. and four of his friends not because there was a reasonable suspicion they had been involved in a crime, but because they were black juveniles, some of whom were wearing blue, walking through a park in southeast San Diego on a particular day.

The officers expectedgang activity in the park that day, March 30, a supposed gang holiday, the lawsuit said. Blue is a color associated with a particular street gang.

P.D. and the other minors told the officers they had been playing basketball in the area.

After the pat-down search, the officerssearched a duffel bag P.D. had with him that afternoon and found an unloaded handgun. They collected DNA samples from him and his four companionsafter obtaining their signed consent.

The friends were released and P.D. was booked into Juvenile Hall.

The difficulty with kids giving consent is that they are particularly vulnerable to authority,Markovitz said, noting that children and teens are less likely to think through the consequences of their actions a concept state and federal laws have acknowledged.

Hesaid the search of the teensduffel bag was unlawful and any consent the teen had given for the taking of his DNA sample was essentially coerced, given that the officers let his friends go after they each signed a form agreeing to let the officers swab the inside of their mouths to collect DNA.

There wasnt anything approaching knowing and voluntary consent. … He wasnt given the opportunity to talk to his mother,Markovitz said.

Per department procedure,a San Diego policeofficer has to notify a supervisor or contact a field lieutenant for approval before collecting a mouth swab DNA sample from a juvenile. The office must also fill out a Consent to Collect Saliva form and obtain the minors signature.

An officer who takes a mouth swab sample from a juvenile will notify the parent or legal guardian that a sample was taken and document that information on a report,according to the department.

According to the lawsuit, the District Attorneys Office filed charges in Juvenile Court against P.D. on April 4, stemming from the discovery of the gun in the duffel bag. He remained inJuvenile Hall until April 8, when he was released and placed on home supervision.

On June 27, a judge threw out the evidence related to the gun because it was fruit of an unlawful search that violated P.D.s Fourth Amendment rights, under the U.S. Constitution. A month later, the court dismissed the charges but no order was made to destroy the teens DNA sample.

Its caused tremendous emotional and financial suffering, Markovitz said, referring to the effects of the arrest and subsequent court proceedings on the teen and his family.

Hismother is expected to appearat a news conference Wednesday, when ACLU representatives will discuss the lawsuit and issues related to local policing.


Twitter: @danalittlefield

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ACLU sues San Diego police over how it collects DNA from juveniles – The San Diego Union-Tribune

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Biotech: Full steam ahead on several scientific fronts – The San Diego Union-Tribune

Posted: at 6:47 pm

Where do you see San Diego’s biotech/life sciences tech sector headed in 2017?

2017 will bring us skyrocketing advancements in genomics. In fact, it is already happening on several fronts. We know that Illumina is the behemoth in sequencing, and is a company that has put San Diego on the world map. Now, we are considered the global epicenter in sequencing. With Illumina’s additional focus on oncology, we have the perfect pairing with another of San Diego’s strengths: big data computation. Companies like Helix have recently begun operations in mass-sample sequencing, Edico Genomics and others are revolutionizing the way genetic data is analyzed, and Human Longevity is using genetic data to deliver personalized health solutions. There are dozens of such companies in the region that are fueling innovation for the coming year.

Additionally, the field of personalized medicine, especially as it relates to the device and wireless health side, is well positioned for continued growth. We are fortunate to have a telecommunications sector that evolved here alongside our medical device sector. That pairing is paying off today in the form of transformative companies such as Dexcom, with its advanced continuous glucose monitoring and dosing technology, and Qualcomm Life, with its platform that enhances clinical workflows and operational efficiencies in the hospital; both are widely recognized global leaders. I am eager to hear from companies on the continued development in this promising sector as it provides tangible results in terms of greater efficiency and lower cost of health care.

Where do you see biggest growth?

We have more than 120 oncology research and development companies working here in nearly every type of known cancer. We recently created an Oncology Committee within Biocom, much the same way we did seven or eight years ago with contract research organizations, or CROs. Back then, we recognized that San Diego had enormous strength in the contract research arena and brought those members together to promote their success. Recognizing San Diego’s strength in oncology, we partnered on two Cancer Moonshot Summit meetings here last year in which researchers, patients and biopharma companies discussed how to more quickly develop therapies and move them into the hands of physicians.

The strengths of the larger pharma companies focused on oncology research and development here, including Celgene, Takeda and Lilly, contribute in a big way to growing the workforce as well. And our research institutes, including Salk, Moores Cancer Center and Sanford Burnham Prebys all three NCI-designated cancer centers contribute a pipeline of both basic and clinical research that is world-class.

What types of jobs will be in demand? (Conversely are there any jobs that are not as hot?)

Based on the results from a workforce trends report the Biocom Institute worked on with CLSI, in the life science industry, we will continue to see growing demand for research scientists, particularly in the pharmaceutical sector, as well as in medical devices and equipment. Notably, disruptive advancements in big data and personalized medicine are spiking demand for skills in collecting, managing, analyzing and interpreting data. The push toward value-based health care is creating need for expanded skill sets for understanding reimbursement and the health care system.

On the device side, we will see growth in the number of engineering jobs of all types from electrical to computer engineering. In fact, the shortage of engineers has enticed the San Diego Venture Group to go to San Francisco to lure talent here.

Is there anything the Trump administration is doing or contemplating that is cause for excitement or concern in this sector?

It is too early to tell. We don’t have a new FDA commissioner yet, but I am hopeful that members of the Trump administration will appreciate that the 21st Century Cures Act, which was passed by a bipartisan vote in both chambers of Congress, can only be effectively implemented if the allotted funding is received by the FDA.

Also, we would like to see the current freeze on federal employment be lifted, or see an exception for jobs such as those at the FDA that involve the health and safety of our population. I am encouraged by the reports on the recent meeting that President Trump had with PhRMA and its member executives recently in which he mentioned bringing more manufacturing jobs to the U.S., supporting innovation and looking for ways to streamline regulation. If the Trump administration is united with the industry in these areas, it will have a positive impact on biotech and medical technology in San Diego.

Anything else you’d like to add?

We’re now entering a different dimension in the evolution of this industry one in which large pharma companies will depend even more on biotechnology companies to drive innovation. San Diego is known as a powerhouse of life science company formation and early stage growth, with many of these companies’ cutting edge technologies positioning them for acquisition. Global biotech giants are making investments in San Diego companies and that’s a great thing for our town moving forward. Even Johnson & Johnson, which has been here for more than 20 years, created an innovation center with its J-Labs containing some 40 incubated companies. It’s refreshing and generous, as those companies have no direct tie back into J&J, contributing to their ability to innovate on their own.

We’re seeing more incubators being created here, such as the partnership that Biocom is engaged in with another newcomer, BioLabs San Diego. I expect San Diego to grow in visibility because of this strength, along with demographic and economic advances, including the increased ease of international travelers coming to San Diego as a result of the launch of international flights this year to Frankfurt and Zurich, as well as the ability to fly directly into the Tijuana airport and cross the pedestrian bridge to the U.S.

Joe Panetta, President & CEO of Biocom

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Revised orca shows, new virtual-reality swim with whales and new … – Los Angeles Times

Posted: February 17, 2017 at 1:22 am

SeaWorld San Diego will debut a new less theatrical, more natural killer whale show this summer that may change orca shows at the marine theme park for decades to come.

Besides the Orca Encounter show,additions coming to SeaWorld this summer includea themed land with six attractions and a light show.

Controversy has surroundedSeaWorlds Shamu show since a whale named Tilikumkilled trainer Dawn Brancheau during a 2010 show in Florida.Blackfish,a 2013 documentary, cited the treatment of Tilikum and other captive whales. (The 36-year-old killer whale died ofbacterial pneumonia in January at SeaWorld Orlando in Florida.)

After demands by animal rights groups and the California Coastal Commission,Seaworld halted its orca breeding program and ended theatrical killer whale shows at all U.S. locations.

Orca Encounter will takea live documentary approach that emphasizes natural behaviors related to hunting, social interaction and communication, said Marilyn Hannes, president of SeaWorld San Diego.

You wont see the whales mimicking human behaviors, kissing each other or shaking their head yes and no, Hannes said in a phone interview. If you dont see a front flip in the wild, then you wont see it in Orca Encounter.

The stage in San Diegos 5,500-seat Shamu stadium will be transformed with a Pacific Northwest theme featuring natural rock work, faux trees and man-made waterfalls surrounding a 138-foot-wide high-definition infinity screen.

Trainers will use hand signals and whistles to ask the whales to perform behaviors during the narrated 22-minute show.

They will still be breaching because whales breach in the wild, Hannes said. Whales hunt in the wild, and they do movements where they flap their tail to stun their prey or they splash them or they come out of the water to grab a seal from the beach.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, describes the latest changes to the orca show as smoke and mirrors. The organizationcalls for SeaWorld to retire the killer whales to seaside sanctuaries.

SeaWorld’s above-water decorations are marketing ploys designed to impress visitors, but they do nothing for orcas, Tracy Reiman,PETA executive vice president, said in an email. A less theatrical circus is still one in which animals will be forced to perform for a reward of dead fish.

The San Diego park has 11 killer whales; 52-year-old Corky is the oldest, and 2-year-old Amaya the youngest. After more than 50 years of orca shows, the stadium shows will continue to evolveover the next half century,Hannes said.

Were going to have whales for decades to come, Hannes said. Society has changed and we have changed with it.

Theatrical orca shows at SeaWorld parks in Orlando and San Antonio are expected to end in 2019.

But the whale shows arent the only things changing.

Submarine Quest, the marquee ride in the new Ocean Explorers land coming to theSan Diego park, will take visitors on an interactive exploratory mission through various ocean depths while traveling through the new themed land.

Seaworld officials have been quick to point out that Submarine Quest is not a shoot-em-up dark ride. Using digital touchscreens mounted in the ride vehicles, riders will play games and score points as they spot ocean creatures during the indoor and outdoor journey.

Other attractions in the new land will include the Tentacle Twirl wave swing, a kiddie drop tower, a spinning flat ride and a motorized swing set. Three aquariums will feature moray eels, Japanese spider crabs and giant Pacific octopus.

An up-charge virtual-reality experience in the new land will allow visitors to virtually swim with orcas and come nose to nose with killer whales. The five-minute Orca One-on-One short film uses real footage of SeaWorld killer whales without digital enhancements.

Youre up so close you can see their eyes, Brian Morrow, SeaWorld creative director, said in a phone interview.

If successful, the orca VR experience is expected to expand to SeaWorld parks in Orlando and San Antonio.

The new Electric Ocean nighttime spectacular will transform the San Diego park into a canvas painted with light as part of a kiss goodnight show.

Lasers and lights will create an underwater experience similar to the Northern Lights, with bioluminescent animals floating through the sky. While still in development, the plan is to use projection mapping technology on the Journey to Atlantis water coaster buildings to tell the story of the rise and fall of Atlantis.

Electric Ocean is a reinvention of what a nighttime experience in a theme park can be, Morrow said.

As part of the nighttime experience, the Cirque de la Mer acrobatic show on Mission Bay will transform nightly throughout the summer into Cirque Electrique.

In 2018, SeaWorld San Diego will add the Electric Eel triple-launch roller coaster to the new Ocean Explorers themed land.

Riders will pass through a queue with an aquarium filled with moray eels. The ride starts with a forward-backward-forward launch that whips through vertical twists and loops as well as a towering 154-foot-tall barrel roll that ranks as one of the worlds tallest inversions.

Identical versions of the Premier Rides SkyRocket II coaster can be found at Busch Gardens Williamsburg (Tempesto) and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom (Superman Ultimate Flight).

The top 60 feet of the coaster track will be painted sky blue to minimize the visual footprint of the ride. SeaWorld expects to seek approval to install the ride later this year from the California Coastal Commission.

Were still going to be focused on inspiring our guests to help save the planet that we all share with these animals, Morrow said. The world needs places like this, now and even more so in the future. And were poised to be that place for the world.

SeaWorld remains focused on inspiring visitors to make a difference in the world, Morrow said.

The core essence of the mission will never change: to inspire people to come into our park and leave a better person and make the planet a better place, Morrow said.

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Boosting A Natural Protection Against Alzheimer's Disease

Posted: March 12, 2015 at 7:43 pm

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Newswise Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified a gene variant that may be used to predict people most likely to respond to an investigational therapy under development for Alzheimers disease (AD). The study, published March 12 in Cell Stem Cell, is based on experiments with cultured neurons derived from adult stem cells.

Our results suggest that certain gene variants allow us to reduce the amount of beta amyloid produced by neurons, said senior author Lawrence Goldstein, PhD, director of UC San Diego Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center and UC San Diego Stem Cell Program. This is potentially significant for slowing the progression of Alzheimers disease. AD is the most common cause of dementia in the United States, afflicting one in nine people age 65 and older.

The genetic risk factor investigated are variants of the SORL1 gene. The gene codes for a protein that affects the processing and subsequent accumulation of beta amyloid peptides, small bits of sticky protein that build up in the spaces between neurons. These plaques are linked to neuronal death and related dementia.

Previous studies have shown that certain variants of the SORL1 gene confer some protection from AD, while other variants are associated with about a 30 percent higher likelihood of developing the disease. Approximately one-third of the U.S. adult population is believed to carry the non-protective gene variants.

The studys primary finding is that variants in the SORL1 gene may also be associated with how neurons respond to a natural compound in the brain that normally acts to protect nerve cell health. The protective compound, called BDNF, short for brain-derived neurotrophic factor, is currently being investigated as a potential therapy for a number of neurological diseases, including AD, because of its role in promoting neuronal survival.

For the study, UC San Diego researchers took skin cells from 13 people, seven of whom had AD and six of whom were healthy control subjects, and reprogrammed the skin cells into stem cells. These stem cells were coaxed to differentiate into neurons, and the neurons were cultured and then treated with BDNF.

The experiments revealed that neurons that carried disease-protective SORL1 variants responded to the therapy by reducing their baseline rate of beta amyloid peptide production by, on average, 20 percent. In contrast, the neurons carrying the risk variants of the gene, showed no change in baseline beta amyloid production.

BDNF is found in everyones brain, said first author Jessica Young, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the Goldstein laboratory. What we found is that if you add more BDNF to neurons that carry a genetic risk factor for the disease, the neurons dont respond. Those with the protective genetic profile do.

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Posted: March 4, 2015 at 9:52 pm


By: Sicarii Sitdowns

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Bitcoin over Bluetooth BLE at Rooted Kava Bar in San Diego – Video

Posted: December 26, 2014 at 3:47 pm

Bitcoin over Bluetooth BLE at Rooted Kava Bar in San Diego
Paid for some drinks using Bitcoin over Bluetooth (BLE) at Rooted Kava Bar in San Diego. So much smoother than using QR codes. Anyone with Airbitz on iPhone …

By: Airbitz Bitcoin Wallet

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Morgan Rockwell: Bitcoin Kinetics/ Bitcoin Academy/ Cannacoin – Video

Posted: September 2, 2014 at 10:45 pm

Morgan Rockwell: Bitcoin Kinetics/ Bitcoin Academy/ Cannacoin
While traveling in May Derrick went to San Diego to work with Bitcoin Kinetics CEO Morgan Rockwell. Find more videos like this at: http://www.theconsciousresistance.com.

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Scientists sequence complete genome of E. coli strain responsible for food poisoning

Posted: September 1, 2014 at 4:43 pm

9 hours ago by Catherine Hockmuth UC San Diego bioengineers have completed the genome sequencing of a particularly harmful strain of E. coli that has been tied to outbreaks of food poisoning. The circular map shows the completed sequence with lighter color regions representing gaps in a 2001 sequencing of the strain that have now been completed with current technology. Credit: The Systems Biology Research Group at UC San Diego.

(Phys.org) Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have produced the first complete genome sequencing of a strain of E. coli that is a common cause of outbreaks of food poisoning in the United States. Although the E. coli strain EDL933 was first isolated in the 1980s, it gained national attention in 1993 when it was linked to an outbreak of food poisoning from Jack-in-the-Box restaurants in the western United States.

Their paper published online Aug. 14 in the journal Genome Announcements reports the full, complete sequence with no gaps. Their analysis includes so-called jumping genes that can move around the same genome, sometimes causing damage to individual genes or enabling antibiotic resistance.

“With a complete genome sequence, we can now pinpoint the precise location of all such elements, which might help to track and treat future outbreaks,” said Ramy Aziz, the senior author on the paper. Aziz led the research as a visiting scientist working in Bernhard Palsson’s Systems Biology Research Group at UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. Aziz is also a professor at Cairo University in Egypt.

The genome sequence for this historical strain was first published in 2001, but there were many gaps in the genome that could not be closed with the sequencing technology available to scientists in 2001. Given the importance of this strain as a major cause of food poisoning, Palsson’s Systems Biology Research Group recently sequenced its genome using a combination of sequencing data from instruments made by Pacific Biosciences and Illumina.

“New sequencing and assembly methods are enabling a full expose of pesky pathogens; there is no place to hide genetic characteristics anymore. The full genetic delineation of multiple pathogenic strains is likely to not only improve our understanding of their characteristics, but to find and exploit their vulnerabilities, said Palsson, the Galletti Professor of Bioengineering at UC San Diego.

Explore further: New models predict where E. coli strains will thrive

More information: Paper: genomea.asm.org/content/2/4/e00821-14.full.pdf

Bioengineers at the University of California, San Diego have used the genomic sequences of 55 E. coli strains to reconstruct the metabolic repertoire for each strain. Surprisingly, these reconstructions do an excellent job of …

(Phys.org) Bioengineers at the Jacobs School have created a better way to sequence genomes from individual cells. The breakthrough, which relies on microwells just 12 nanoliters in volume (see image), …

Scientists sequence complete genome of E. coli strain responsible for food poisoning

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San Diego Scientists Add Two Letters To DNA Alphabet – Video

Posted: May 11, 2014 at 8:44 am

San Diego Scientists Add Two Letters To DNA Alphabet
Scripps researchers have taken DNA's four familiar building blocks A, T, C and G and added two new ones: X and Y.

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Genetica elemental 1: estructura DNA – Video

Posted: April 23, 2014 at 10:44 am

Genetica elemental 1: estructura DNA

By: Pablo Cuesta de Diego

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