18. December 2014 00:54
Myriad Genetics Inc. can’t block competitors’ DNA tests to determine risk for breast and ovarian cancer after a U.S. appeals court said three patents on the tests never should have been issued.
The patents cover products of nature and ideas that aren’t eligible for legal protection, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said in an opinion posted today on the court’s docket. The court upheld a trial judge’s decision to allow the competing tests... [More]
17. December 2014 23:55
After months of complaints from the pharmaceutical industry, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued revised guidelines for its examiners that should make it easier for drug makers and biotechs to obtain patents for their inventions.
In general, the new guidelines take what the agency calls an “integrated approach” for its examiners by addressing all types of claims and what a court might rule is not eligible for a patent.
The initial PTO guidelines were released ... [More]
17. December 2014 23:45
New rules proposed in Britain would make it the first country to allow embryos to be made from the DNA of three people in order to prevent mothers from passing on potentially fatal genetic diseases to their babies.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the department of health said it had taken "extensive advice" on the safety and efficacy of the proposed techniques from the scientific community.
"(This) will give women who carry severe mitochondrial disease the opport... [More]
17. December 2014 23:41
In anticipation of today's debate at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in Washington, DC, on "gain-of-function" (GOF) research, two recent editorials and three other opinion pieces in mBio discussed the US government's decision earlier this fall to pause controversial GOF research that might elevate the risks of a pandemic as a result of a bioterror attack or accidental pathogen release.
"GOF" typically refers to experiments that involve enhancing the pathogenicity, transmissibil... [More]
16. December 2014 20:48
For the past 18 months, Google has quietly been approaching hospitals and universities to acquire genome data in an effort to roll out a cloud computing service for DNA, according to Technology Review.
Google Genomics is the search giant’s first product for the DNA age, providing an API to store, process, explore and share DNA sequence reads, reference-based alignments, and variant calls, using Google’s cloud infrastructure.
For $25 a year, Google will host a copy of geno... [More]
16. December 2014 20:46
What’s more valuable than your money, equally vulnerable, and unique to you? Answer: Your genome. And just like your money, your genome should be stored securely as possible and those institutions that store your genome should be regulated on how they store it, use it, and potentially share it.
As medical science advances, it’s going to be increasingly important for people to be able to control and manage access to their personal genomes. To make this possible, we need to ... [More]
16. December 2014 01:15
Stacie Chapman’s heart skipped when she answered the phone at home and her doctor — rather than a nurse — was on the line. More worrisome was the doctor’s gentle tone as she asked, “Where are you?”
On that spring day in 2013, Dr. Jayme Sloan had bad news for Chapman, who was nearly three months pregnant. Her unborn child had tested positive for Edwards syndrome, a genetic condition associated with severe birth defects. If her baby — ... [More]
16. December 2014 00:25
The US is on the verge of passing a law that will smash states' attempts to label potentially dangerous food containing GMO. The United States and Canada do not require mandatory GMO labeling in contrast with over 60 countries around the world which oblige manufacturers to mark such products.
US states are likely to lose their right to impose mandatory labeling for products with genetically modified ingredients because the government does not see the harm in these pro... [More]
16. December 2014 00:20
Husband-and-wife team Matthew and Astrid Hoffman are seed farmers and distributors who live in a large house with bright blue siding that sits across the street from Marin Sun Farms in Point Reyes Station. Their home—which they rent from a longtime Point Reyes resident who helps them package seeds—is the base of operations for the Living Seed Company, the couple’s nascent seed-saving business, and during the busy packaging season the whole house transforms into an off... [More]
15. December 2014 19:07
“Media reports about behavioural genetics unintentionally induce unfounded beliefs, therefore going against the educational purpose of scientific reporting,” writes the University of Montreal’s Alexandre Morin-Chassé, following his study of 1,500 Americans. “Among other things, we wanted to know if the public understood (or misunderstood) popular science articles about a new research field, genopolitics, and whether this popularization indeed helped peopl... [More]