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Comment Re:I think... (Score 4, Interesting) 425

You don't think the smoking carcass would own all of the patents and make it impossible for a bunch of new startups to get into the industry?

Patents are assets. Assets are auctioned off in bankruptcy. The owner of a patent benefits from licensing the patent for fees, not from sitting on a patent and preventing anyone from using it.


Comment Re:Duh (Score 1) 462

When the anti-vaxxers come out of the woodwork it's best to bring out the big guns like polio. My parents have a lot of stories about kids in their school class with polio.

On that score, I can recommend a novel called Nemesis by Philip Roth. I knew absolutely nothing about polio before I read it. For example, I figured polio was a degenerative condition where if you were sick for long enough you'd end up in an iron lung. Nope, you'd go from looking like you had the flu to ending up in an iron lung inside of a couple of weeks. I never knew this because nobody I've ever known, including my grandparents etc, has ever had polio. But once upon a time a lot of people had polio. Vaccination made it go away, and it's absolutely nothing we want coming back.

Chicken pox ain't polio, and to me it was a cake walk, and I never knew anybody who went to the hospital for chicken pox, though I know it happened. But I guess it's better to have a vaccine for it. I mean, when can you ever say that it's worse when we can prevent a disease? I just have this weird thing in my head where it was a rite of passage, and back in the day it was the same for measles et cetera. But ideally speaking, people shouldn't get sick if we can prevent it. It's just the thing.

Comment Re:good riddance - Not (Score 1) 146

Exactly, IMO the FDA is shutting down a useful service in order to protect a few idiots out there would would act on the results as gospel.

Bullshit. The FDA isn't "shutting 23andMe down." Nobody woke up yesterday morning and was told 23andMe had to shut down. 23andMe had YEARS to get in compliance with FDA regulations, but instead it chose to say "we don't agree that we fall under the jurisdiction of the FDA" and do nothing. And then, golly gosh, it turns out that we do actually live in a society of laws after all. If I was an investor in 23andMe, I would be steaming pissed.

Comment Re:good riddance (Score 1) 146

So does the local palm-reader.

The point appears to be that you can provide medical advice if you are completely unscientific about it, but as soon as you try to offer even a little bit (even of experimental or tenuous) fact, then you have to go whole hog.

Seriously? So in your book, a doctor who has spent years at medical school and practiced in the field for years more is a "palm reader," but whichever unlicensed, unregulated nobody who reads you your 23andMe test results is a "scientist"? I guess in the unmitigated bullshit stakes, that makes you a dean of medicine.

Comment Re:good riddance (Score 3, Insightful) 146

How could that possibly be within any legitimate government's domain? Using the same rational they could shut down wikipedia or rxlist.

They sure would shut down Wikipedia or RXList if those services allowed you to make an appointment to consult them for medical advice. Even campus health nurses have to be licensed.

What Wikipedia offers now is pretty much the same thing as reading information out of a book. You can't stop people from doing that, and there's no law against it.

What 23andMe does is market a product that you use to extract unique information about your own body, which is then presented to you in the form of suggestions about what health measures you should take -- in other words, medical advice. Very different.

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