Ministry of Law proposes changes to Evidence Act
04:46 AM Oct 01, 2011
SINGAPORE – The Ministry of Law (Minlaw) is proposing amendments to the Evidence Act to allow, among other things, computer output evidence to be treated just like all other forms of evidence. MinLaw – which began a one-month public consultation yesterday – is also proposing to broaden the use of expert opinion evidence beyond five areas of specialised knowledge – foreign law, science or art, handwriting or finger impressions – to include evidence on scientific, technical or other specialised knowledge.These proposals have been described by lawyers as “progressive and timely”, given the advent of technology and the rising complexity of cases. Director of Drew & Napier Wendell Wong said: “The rules of evidence in our courts must continue to remain relevant and evolve as we embrace technology in our everyday lives, and especially with the increasing complexity of cases being heard in our courts.”He added: “We should always remain watchful that incremental changes are made without sacrificing the necessary safeguards.”Currently, the Act imposes more stringent requirements for the admission of computer output evidence than other types of evidence, due to concerns over reliability.
Examples of computer output evidence include documents and print-outs generated by computers; digital sound and video recordings produced by computers and meter readings from electronic devices.
MinLaw said the stricter requirement is no longer justified because of technological sophistication. It has also inconvenienced parties seeking to admit electronic evidence in court proceedings.
MinLaw is also proposing to broaden the scope of existing exceptions for “hearsay” evidence.
Currently, a person cannot admit a statement as evidence without calling the maker of the statement to testify in court as a witness. Under the proposal, courts will be given an “overriding discretion to exclude hearsay evidence in the interests of justice”.
“A party seeking to rely on hearsay evidence will also generally be subject to certain prescribed notice requirements,” said MinLaw.
Bernard & Rada Law Corporation director S Radakrishnan said the proposed changes are “practical” and would make it easier to adduce evidence in court.
Inca Law director Shashi Nathan added: “The important thing is the court still retains that discretion because at the end of the day, to just exclude that evidence because it is contrary to the hearsay rule may sometimes be too simplistic.”
Last week I discussed a game-changing HIV treatment that causes the virus to self-destruct in the body.
Well, another company just made an astonishing HIV breakthrough of its own. And scientists are closer than ever to wiping out the virus for good.
It all started in 2007, when Dr. Gero Huetter performed a bone marrow transplant on an HIV-positive patient. Huetter used donor cells with a genetic mutation known as “CCR5 Delta 32.”
The result of the procedure: The patient became the first person in history to be fully cured of the HIV virus.
You see, while the CCR5 gene perpetuates HIV infection, the Delta 32 mutation suppresses it, creating a natural resistance to the virus.
So why haven’t other doctors performed this procedure, too?
Because the Delta 32 mutation is extremely rare.
But now, thanks to Sangamo Biosciences’ (Nasdaq: SGMO) new breakthrough treatment, there’s a simpler way to replicate the procedure’s effects. And the results are jaw dropping…
Sangamo Delivers HIV a Knockout Punch
Sangamo found a way to replicate the Delta 32 mutation using a special protein called Zinc Finger Nuclease (ZFN).
Essentially, ZFNs act as molecular “scissors” that cut cells at specific points. Thus, scientists can chop the CCR5 gene off of HIV-prone cells. Then when the cells heal, a new mutation blocks CCR5 from taking action.
As Sangamo’s CSO puts it: “When the cells repair the break generated by the ZFN… mutations are introduced specifically at the site of the break. We can use this to achieve one desired outcome: Knockout of the gene that’s been cleaved by the [ZFN] – in this case, the CCR5 gene.”
Most importantly, though, the company’s proving the treatment’s positive effects in the lab. And not just under a microscope…
From Infected to Cured in 12 Weeks
Basically, scientists injected ZFN-treated (HIV resistant) cells into mice with specially engineered human immune systems. Then they infected the mice with HIV to test the reaction.
Astonishingly, the mice that received the enhanced cells were able to eradicate all signs of the virus.
But will this actually work on humans?
Well, we’re about to find out.
Because Sangamo has been conducting clinical trials on human patients, as well – including some who haven’t been successful with traditional antiretroviral drugs.
And news broke yesterday that the company’s presenting the results at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) in Chicago on September 19.
Not all of the details have been released. But the lengthy title of the presentation suggests that the company was able to successfully suppress the viral load in human participants.
According to Seeking Alpha, “This is the ultimate test of any therapy attempting to confront HIV. [And it’s] the first indication that life without toxic and debilitating long-term antiviral therapy is possible.”
Needless to say, if Sangamo verifies positive results, it would completely revolutionize HIV treatment across the globe. And Sangamo’s shares would certainly receive a boost in the process. As always, we’ll be tracking the company’s progress very closely. So stay tuned.
Then we have…
PASADENA, Calif.AIf one is good, two can sometimes be better. Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have certainly found this to be the case when it comes to a small HIV-fighting protein.
The protein, called cyanovirin-N (CV-N), is produced by a type of blue-green algae and has gained attention for its ability to ward off several diseases caused by viruses, including HIV and influenza. Now Caltech researchers have found that a relatively simple engineering technique can boost the protein’s battling prowess.
“By linking two cyanovirins, we were able to make significantly more potent HIV-fighting molecules,” says Jennifer Keeffe, a staff scientist at Caltech and first author of a new paper describing the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). “One of our linked molecules was 18 times more effective at preventing infection than the naturally occurring, single protein.”
The team’s linked pairs, or dimers, were able to neutralize all 33 subtypes of HIV that they were tested against. The researchers also found the most successful dimer to be similar or more potent than seven well-studied anti-HIV antibodies that are known to be broadly neutralizing.
CV-N binds well to certain carbohydrates, such as the kind found in high quantities connected to the proteins on the envelope that surrounds the HIV virus. Once attached, CV-N prevents a virus from infecting cells, although the mechanism by which it accomplishes this is not well understood.
What is known is that each CV-N protein has two binding sites where it can bind to a carbohydrate and that both sites are needed to neutralize HIV.
Once the Caltech researchers had linked two CV-Ns together, they wanted to know if the enhanced ability of their engineered dimers to ward off HIV was related to the availability of additional binding sites. So they engineered another version of the dimersAthis time with one or more of the binding sites knocked outAand tested their ability to neutralize HIV.
It turns out that the dimers’ infection-fighting potency increased with each additional binding siteAthree sites are better than two, and four are better than three. The advantages seemed to stop at four sites, however; the researchers did not see additional improvements when they linked three or four CV-N molecules together to create molecules with six to eight binding sites.
Although CV-N has a naturally occurring dimeric form, it isn’t stable at physiological temperatures, and thus mainly exists in single-copy form. To create dimers that would be stable under such conditions, the researchers covalently bound together two CV-N molecules in a head-to-tail fashion, using flexible polypeptide linkers of varying lengths.
Interestingly, by stabilizing the dimers and locking them into a particular configuration, it seems that the group created proteins with distances between binding sites that are very similar to those between the carbohydrate binding sites in a broadly neutralizing anti-HIV antibody.
“It is possible that we have created a dimer that has its carbohydrate binding sites optimally positioned to block infection,” says Stephen Mayo, Bren Professor of Biology and Chemistry, chair of the Division of Biology, and corresponding author of the new paper.
Because it is active against multiple disease-causing viruses, including multiple strains of HIV, CV-N holds unique promise for development as a drug therapy. Other research groups have already started investigating its potential application in prophylactic gels and suppositories.
“Our hope is that those who are working to make prophylactic treatments using cyanovirin will see our results and will use CVN2L0 instead of naturally occurring cyanovirin,” Keeffe says. “It has higher potency and may be more protective.” http://www.breakthroughdigest.com/medical-news/caltech-researchers-increase-the-potency-of-hiv-battling-proteins/
Both are good news, I simply wish the threat of HIV can be quickly removed while I suppose I do have a cancer situation to deal with… Scope will have to get a HIV test soon, again. He is just not feeling right.
I was at Orchard Towers yesterday after 10pm. Finally I saw the Thai girls… extreme beauties indeed. It is true that I had never expected Thais to have such an army of such beautiful girls… the faces, the figure… I approached two of them asking if they were lady boys… They claimed they were not. Then another girl showed up at the pub entrance, and she was a white girl… beautiful as well. And all these girls are hookers. They were posing a major challenge to nearby mainland competition.
Just when I decided to watch on till 11:30pm, my glasses’ frame broke. How coincidental…
I can’t help but remember the threat of HIV and HPV and even HSV2 from the cunts… mouths or even fingers… But all those years of massaging at Outram Park… I am surprised I have no apparent symptoms of HPV… Some of those massage guys should have gone to hookers, I could have been infected with HPV due to the rubbing. Massaging could be an innocent culprit hence of cancers in Singapore. But whenever my back feels down… I’d need massaging. Singapore’s doctors are useless in this.
I met someone at SWCDC who insisted she wasn’t from CDC but her friend gave her away… Funny woman… …
To be honest… I find Singapore very funny in itself.
I kind of realise that I am born in the wrong place… if I were to grow up in China, I’d be very very very successful. It’s a land with plenty of possibilities and opportunities. And in Singapore many crooks are collaborating with schools, selling the students useless and super overpriced ‘training’ programs and charging about $2000 per head of which a student shall pay $100 from the Edusave and taxpayers will settle the 98% of the amount. Easy money… And after the crooks got the money, they bought lavish foreign cars and ‘fried up’ the already havoc property prices… and condemn the rest for being unsuccessful…
Frankly, I SUSPECT massive corruption in MOE because you don’t need high IQ to know these ‘programs’ are super overpriced and totally useless in relative to the price level. Those crooks themselves ain’t morally upright people to be even associated with education. So how can those schools link up with these crooks without something going very wrong… …?
It makes me recall the government talking about ‘increasing budget for training…”… … The education and manpower situation has been stuck for a long time with all those training talks, but that’s a big money to be made here… taxpayers’ money. And foreign influx is still strong while locals are finding their income falling very short to increasing inflation. So what have been really solved? While I can’t say that… the government is a crony in this or a crook… but certainly all these are making some assholes very rich. And schools are heard to offer these programs on COMPULSORY basis… There goes your edusave money…
It’s not that I picked this up from EDMW’s thread, I have actually been aware of this problem for a long long time.
This illustrates the real situation in Singapore… where money making is paying top dollars to junks. Tell me a reason why Singapore can’t compete anymore…
Recently, Cambridge Institute makes news in Singapore for getting itself stuck in financial woes. I am wondering… … has the boss speculated in securities? I actually find it very funny it is using ‘Cambridge’ as a name because in Singapore, Cambridge refers to something everyone has to go through in life… Cambridge O’levels, Cambridge A’levels… There is hence a sharing of goodwill in using the word ‘Cambridge’ by the local institute with the actual Cambridge.
I have not one bit of love for all these private education institutes… They are not for education, they are all for money… and only money. So disgusting they are but the government closes both eyes on them.
Whatever… Singapore is generally disgusting.
Staying overseas shows me… the problem is with ugly Singaporeans. It’s not just Singaporean men are generally short ugly and arrogant… Singaporeans are, guys or gals, ‘ugly’ in their mentality and attitude, yet they assume they are qualified to judge. Where overseas, we see a tragedy, we’d see how it can be prevented and aided while chatting… in Singapore, those people see tragedy, they only know how to point fingers… make news of it, and… another tragedy comes.
See? Fucked up crap society… and they think they are gems… … That’s why the urge of entering politics when the right party springs out… Singapore needs a total remake, not to mention the world is changing into something completely different from the 70s when it thrived.
And yes… how long will it take to nail down those crooks at SunShine Empire?
This is the
legal justice situation in Singapore. And why do you think people want to remove PAP? While TT Durai is enjoying his reportedly 5 figures pay in India after his BRIEF jail in Singapore, many talents are stuck in Singapore… under the leadership of clueless Tin Pei Ling… and a horde of useless leaders in almost every corner.
What we need is not the opposition… what we need is a workable replacement government… and in time.