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« Diagnostics Giant Quest Files Declaratory Judgment Action against Myriad Genetics | Main | Genes and Information: The Problem of Disease-specific Databases »

October 14, 2013



Does not apply? What does "directed to" mean? It cannot mean the same as "encompass."

My recollection is that, after initially opining that they would not grant claims to "monsters", a subsequent statement from the USPTO in the Newman/Rifkin application backtracked, and said the Office would examine the application on the merits, as with all applications. It seems likely that the Examiner's supervisor pointed out the lack of a moral ground for rejection in US patent law...

Is this issue of ethics not merely one of degree, and one that we have been slowly and inexorably moving toward from the very first test tube baby? Prospective parents do not walk into donor offices and simply take what is available nor are donated sperm and/or ova assigned on a random basis. Prospective parents already have access to significant amounts of information about the donors - age, education, height, hair and eye color and on and on - from which they make a decision about which is best to "design" their baby. Based on basic Mendelian genetics, these parents are placing bets on their ability to achieve the child they want, at least with regard to the simpler phenotypic issues of inheritance. By incorporating genetics into the review process, they are only increasing their positive odds.

One of degree?

If a certain German dictator had not included in his designs for a master race the genocide of the 'less desirable,' would his Aryan aim be any more palatable?

Does 'degree' even matter when it comes to the patent world? Where does 'degree' come into the phrase "directed to?'

Mollie, there is a difference between what scientists may attempt and what the patent world condones. Patent law is not meant to proscribe what a scientist may attempt to do - it just will not reward all scientific efforts. The issue of ethics is not one of degree in the patent world.

After all, what attempt to legislate morality has ever worked in the history of mankind? Just as we have always had laws, we have had criminals who break those laws.

Human nature, being what it is...

A glowing review of the founder of 23andMe Anne Wojcicki is featured in the magazine FastCompany.

Without (necessarily) casting aspersions, my admittedly cynical mind picked up on a number of tidbits: 1%'er, deep money connections to Russia, embedded with Big Data, and China housing the data store...

Am I one to blindly give my trust (and my code) away? Color me...

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