Archive for Science

SCOTUS: Patent Denied!

Ars Technica coverage: Supreme Court saves medical profession from diagnostic patents.

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Science vs Religion

Religion requires faith. Science requires trust. Trust is earned and subject to revision, faith is not.

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Copenhagen

So last December the Danish had something on the order of 150 heads of state in Copenhagen for the failed climate talks. I wonder how much the security bill for that was.

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When worlds collide

Scidev.net has an interesting collection of articles about traditional vs western medicines in the developing world :

“Bringing together traditional and modern medicine faces numerous challenges that stem from differences in how each is practiced, evaluated and managed. What are researchers doing to bridge the gap?”

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Genomics Law Report – Mozilla Firefox

Pigs Fly: Federal Court Invalidates Myriad’s Patent Claims

via Genomics Law Report – Mozilla Firefox.

Boo. Also, Yah.

1. The Plaintiffs Win. The ruling appears to be a nearly complete victory for the plaintiffs and their supporters, including the ACLU. With respect to Myriad’s issued patents on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, Judge Sweet’s ruling invalidates both Myriad’s composition of matter claims (its patents on isolated DNA sequences to all or a portion of the breast cancer genes) and its method claims (those patent claims that relate to analyzing or comparing isolated DNA sequences in order to detect mutations in a patient’s BRCA1/2 genes that might cause breast cancer).

The overall tone of the Court’s ruling is best captured by this passage (from page 135):

The identification of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene sequences is unquestionably a valuable scientific achievement for which Myriad deserves recognition, but that is not the same as concluding that it is something for which they are entitled to a patent.

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EETimes.com – Silicon compound superconducts at room temperature

EETimes.com – Silicon compound superconducts at room temperature

Instead of super-cooling the material, as is necessary for conventional superconductors, the new material is instead super-compressed. The researchers claim that the new material could sidestep the cooling requirement, thereby enabling superconducting wires that work at room temperature.

Nice. Continually cited as the holy grail in superconductor research. We’ll see what happens but is good to see continuous improvement in basic materials science.

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Seed: Redefining Genes

Seed: Redefining Genes
Will new revelations about RNA force us to rethink how our past affects future evolution?

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