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Submission + - SPAM: ACLU fights patents blocking cancer research 1

destinyland writes: The ACLU joined 20 plaintiffs — including the Public Patent Office — fighting to invalidate an exclusive patent on the genes associated with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. The patent has given Myriad Genetics exclusive rights to diagnostic tests — which they sell for over $3,000 — plus control over the rights to even conduct experiments on these genes. "Gene patents undermine the free exchange of information and scientific freedom," argues the ACLU, saying the patents also compromise the integrity of our bodies and eventually our health. Ultimately this case could answer the question of whether it's legal to patent a gene.
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Submission + - Ask a Patent Proponent (

Grond writes: "This is an interview suggestion. I work for the Stanford University Hoover Institution Project On Commercializing Innovation, and I've also been a Slashdot user for a long time (uid 15515). I would like to recommend the principal investigator of the Project, Professor F. Scott Kieff, and myself as interview guests. I think that the Slashdot audience will find it educational, interesting, and even entertaining to ask questions of and read responses from someone who takes a very different view of the pros and cons of the patent system than many Slashdot readers do. For our part, we are very interested in reading and responding to the questions, criticisms, suggestions, and ideas of Slashdotters. Professor Kieff graduated in the top 1% of his class at MIT, and I have a computer science background (BA and MS) as well as a JD, so readers can feel free to ask questions with technical underpinnings without worrying that we won't grok the Curry-Howard Correspondence or Universal Turing Machines. If you take up the offer, we would appreciate the opportunity to prepare a kind of introduction and FAQ to accompany the call for questions. That way, we can lay out a baseline of where we're coming from and answer some of what we're sure will be the most common questions. Our hope is that we can then move on to a more nuanced and informed set of questions from the readers. As someone who has read the same rehashed intellectual property discussions many times on Slashdot, I have high hopes that this one can be significantly better. Also, I should note that we are independent researchers who do not speak for Stanford University or the Hoover Institution. Thank You, James Daily"

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