Archive by date | June 2010

Supreme Court strikes down method patent

Supreme Court strikes down method patent

Cross posted from Nature’s The Great Beyond blog. In a much-anticipated decision, the US Supreme Court has struck down a patent that became ensnared in arguments over what should and should not be patentable. But the court’s decision seems to carefully sidestep that broader discussion – and the implications it could have held for gene patents. All year, the biotechnology industry has been waiting with bated breath for a ruling in the case Bilski v Kappos*. Although the case dealt with the patentability of a method for trading commodities on the energy market, many felt the ruling would have implications  … Read more

Gene found for smelling asparagus pee?

Gene found for smelling asparagus pee?

Researchers from the direct-to-consumer genetic testing company 23andMe have demonstrated that genetic data can reliably be combined with self-reported survey data to pinpoint genetic associations for common traits such as hair curliness and facial freckling.  Read more

The medical school revolution will be digitized

The medical school revolution will be digitized

Today’s medical student can carry an astounding amount of reference material on their iPhone or laptop. And when they graduate they’ll be seeing patients who’ve had independent genetic testing done to determine disease risk. How do medical schools adjust their curricula to cope with these 21st century realities? Medical educators gathered at the New York Academy of Sciences yesterday to hash out answers to this question at a forum titled “Innovating and Updating the Medical School Curriculum”. At the meeting Carol Storey-Johnson, a dean for education at Weill Cornell Medical College, talked about the need to integrate biomedical science and  … Read more