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Comment Re:Be still, my heart! (Score 1) 214

I don't think it is irrelevant. If someone found a unique splicing from three different areas of a gene, a splicing that is not produced by the body, it's not "natural". The body doesn't produce that particular variant, even though it's composed completely of coding regions from a gene. The researches constructed that sequence from bits of an existing gene. They created that particular sequence. To go to the extreme end, one could say that any sequence is going to be an alternative splicing of individual bases. I think there has to be room for people to create particular molecules that are based on sequences found in nature -- the kicker is that the specific molecule in question isn't found in that organism. Not in that particular form as a single entity.

Comment Re:Be still, my heart! (Score 1) 214

If the researchers do isolate a particular strand of cDNA that does not occur in that particular form, by which I mean you're not going to find that piece of cDNA existing as a standalone entity within a cell and that particular sequence as a stand-alone provides functional, therapeutic effects, I think that's a gray area.

Comment Encrypted phones (Score 4, Informative) 364

There are encrypted GSM phones with end-to-end encryption when talking to a similar phone. They're overpriced and hard to buy, but available. The source code is available so you can see how it works. It's classic Diffie-Hellman 4096-bit key exchange to establish a session key, followed by 256-bit AES encryption for the data.

It's too bad OpenMoko tanked. That was a totally open source phone down to the hardware level. That plus Cryptophone-compatible code would have been trustworthy.

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.

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