Video: Rep. Louise Slaughter reflects on 12 year old GINA

Here is Representative Louise Slaughter (D-NY) discussing the importance of GINA on the House floor yesterday:

(If you’re reading via RSS, you might need to go to my site to view the embedded video)

The bill passed in the House 420-3.  If you’re curious, the 3 Nays were Representative Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Representative Ed Royce (R-CA), and Representative Ron Paul (R-TX).

H.R. 493, Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act  (PDF)

Full proceedings from the Congressional Record, April 25, 2007, ~20 pages (PDF)

Today House Considers Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)

Update: GINA passes in the House 420-3, now on to the Senate

The House will consider the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (H.R. 493) today, which happens to also be National DNA Day.  This bill aims to prohibit employers and health insurers from discriminating based on genetic information.

Sharon Terry from the Genetic Alliance sent around the following guide for action:

The bill has remarkable support in the House with 224 bipartisan cosponsors and unanimous approval from all three committees of jurisdiction.  Moreover, the President has called for this important legislation and the Senate stands poised for a favorable vote on the bill.

Follow these easy steps to make an impact today!

1. Either call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and provide the operator with your zip code.  You will be given the name and phone number of your representative.  Or search for your representative here:

2. Call your representative’s office and say you want him/her to vote for the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (H.R.493).

3. Share the news!  Let your friends and family know how easy the process was and encourage them to join in and contact their representatives.  Remember, the more people who contact Congress in support of an issue, the more likely Congress will act favorably on that issue.

It is not too late to join the Coalition for Genetic Fairness and celebrate success with us as we move next to the Senate!

See also: GovTrack HR 493 page

Recent post with more info on GINA

If it says GTCACGACAGG then you shouldn’t eat shrimp or nuts

This is a lyric from Jonathan Coulton’s humorous song “That Spells DNA” (lyrics, mp3). Try this verse:

“We start the story when Mom met Dad

And they danced all night and he took her home

It might have been all the wine they had

But they rolled the dice and won your genome”

Or this one:

“Guanine met Cytosine, fell in love

And then Thymine got busy with Adenine

They sent the messenger-RNA

To the ribosome to make more protein.”

You really ought to listen to the whole song. You can listen to more of his songs here, of which he has many because in 2005 Coulton tasked himself with the extraordinary challenge of writing, performing, and releasing a new song every week for a year or more.

All this music is released with a Creative Commons license (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike). Coulton explains why:

“I give away music because I want to make music, and I can’t make music unless I make money, and I won’t make any money unless I get heard, and I won’t get heard unless I give away music. This is all part of the experiment. I believe it can work, but we all need to adjust our thinking about the relationship between artists and fans - the RIAA thinks that music listeners are criminals and that music should be locked up and protected. I disagree. I think there are times when free music and file sharing can greatly benefit an artist. Believe me, I spent many years making music and not sharing it with anyone, and that didn’t get me anywhere.”

“That Spells DNA” may finally end my long search for a karaoke song that is almost as funny as the thought of me performing it.


PopTech live performance of some of his other songs:

Speaking of geeky songs, someone really needs to lay down a track for these lyrics: Lyse, Lyse Baby.