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Comment Re:Be still, my heart! (Score 2) 214

I think it's a bit more complicated than that. Blindly creating cDNA is one thing. Identifying particular cDNA that can be used for therapeutic purposes is a whole other thing and requires a lot of research. I can understand protections for the first researcher/group to identify a particular sequence that can be used for gene therapies. It's fair to address exactly what those protections should be. We need protections from people who want to patent sequences willy-nilly. There needs to be a strong reason for why the particular sequence in question has been identified for protection. Perhaps a form of copyright may be more appropriate there than patent.

Comment Re:The market works on expectations (Score 2) 214

It was actually good news for Myriad, not just non-terrible news. While they did lose some parts of their patent, the core test is still protected.

In addition the way the decision was stated settles the entire field of biotech patents in such a way as to give certainty that there will be lots of opportunity for patentable inventions in the field, AND that R&D activities on isolated human DNA will be able to continue without threat of patent suits.

It isn't just Myriad stock that is up today. The stock market index for the WHOLE BIOTECH INDUSTRY is up substantially.

The Courts

Supreme Court: No Patents For Natural DNA Sequences 214

ColdWetDog writes "The ongoing story of Myriad Genetics versus the rest of the world has come to an end. In a 9-0 decision, the US Supreme Court has decided that human genes cannot be patented. From a brief Bloomberg article: 'Writing for the court, Justice Clarence Thomas said isolated DNA is a "product of nature and not patent eligible merely because it has been isolated." At the same time, Thomas said synthetic molecules known as complementary DNA, or cDNA, can be patented because they require a significant amount of human manipulation to create.' Seems perfectly sane. Raw genes, the ones you find in nature are, wait for it — natural. Other bits of manipulated DNA / RNA / protein which take skill and time to create are potentially patentable. Oddly, Myriad Genetics stock actually rose on that information." Adds reader the eric conspiracy: "The result for Myriad is that they still have protection for their test, however the decision also allows researchers to work with the DNA sequences that are predecessors to the cDNA used in the test." Here's an AP report on the ruling, as carried by the Washington Post.

Comment Re:Contractor (Score 1) 473

I'm a contractor with pre-existing conditions, and I got health insurance without any problem. I think health insurance generally runs from $3000-$12000/year depending on what you need and how big your family is. My current New York subsidized plan is about $4500/yr.

Comment Really? (Score 1) 299

Wait.... what? Are you gloating? Time is the most valuable commodity in the universe. Travel the world and try new things. If you don't have enough money to do that, take on some side work until you do. In fact, now would be a pretty good time to look into starting your own business.

Comment Re:data sample question (Score 1) 476

There is another paper out there that I couldn't find that discusses the measurement of the ice core temperatures at the various depths, and correlated with the average global temperature. I seem to recall that they found it accurate to within 0.1 degree, but without the actual study to cite, I wouldn't suggest you take my word on it.

I do remember seeing that there is a shift that starts to skew the older temperatures due to warming of the earth's core, making the direct readings slightly less certain once they get back something like 10,000 years ago or older.

The main point is that they demonstrated scientifically that the measurement and correlation approach is valid. They have several independent drilling sites, operated and studied by independent teams. They have cross checked their data with each other. The anomalies that were found were understood and accounted for. We know that global climate history data is preserved, available and accurate.

Submission + - Supreme Court Unanimously Rules Human Genes Unpatentable 1

the eric conspiracy writes: In a landmark decision the Supreme Court ruled that that mere act of extracting genetic material from the human body does not result in patentable material. However they did rule that synthetic derivatives of DNA can be patented. Known as complementary DNA or cDNA these derivative are essentially stripped down forms of the original DNA.

The result for Myriad is that they still have protection for their test, however the decision also allows researchers to work with the DNA sequences that are predecessors to the cDNA used in the test.

Comment Re:GNOME (Score 2) 192

An easy fix: apt-get install xfce4. For more thorough fix:
echo "deb http://repo.mate-desktop.org/debian wheezy main" >>/etc/apt/sources.list
apt-get install mate-desktop-environment

And for the love of Yog-Sothoth, remember to clean up the crap Gnome3 pulled in if you inadvertently installed it. Some stuff just wastes disk, some wastes memory, some (like avahi) is a security hole, some (network-manager) is just a wholesale sabotage machine.

Gnome3 Classic Mode is a bad joke: it superficially matches the appearance of Gnome2, while retaining but a small fraction of its functionality.

Comment Re:Obligatory Quote (Score 2) 583

No, it means that by making what he has available to everybody, both the American people and the enemy can get it.

To me, this situation can be summed up the same way they sum up our situation. The government loves to tell you that if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. I feel the same way about them.

Comment Rotating-disk TV (Score 1) 134

There's a 1942s book, "Television, Today and Tomorrow", about the Baird and other rotating disk systems. At the end, there's a chapter about "electronic television", but it's dismissed as too complex and expensive. All those tubes!

Yes, I know about Zworklin and Farnsworth and Sarnoff and the progression from the iconoscope and the image dissector to the image orthicon. Then came color, which meant three of everything, including camera tubes.

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