News and Events – Human genes cannot be patented, Chimpanzee could become endangered species, and Stem Cell fraud is back

Posted: June 17, 2013 in Ethics, Events, Jobs, Policy, Science

“In one of the most anxiously awaited court decisions of the year, the US Supreme Court today unanimously struck down patents on isolated, natural human genes.

Patents on synthesized DNA, however, are still valid, the justices said. Included in that category are commercially important patents on cDNA — segments of DNA synthesized using an RNA template.”

“The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is planning to categorize all US chimpanzees as an endangered species, a change which, if enacted, may spell the end of invasive chimpanzee research.”

The NDD (Non-Defense Discretionary) Coalition has an active survey online for their membership and constituent groups. The NDD Coalition has asked ASPET members to respond to this important survey which aims to learn how scientists have been affected by recent budget cuts.”

“Turkish academics are hoping for a peaceful resolution to the protest movement that has gripped their country. After weeks of disrupted final exams and televised threats leveled at two universities, the first official meeting on 14 June between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and protest leaders may spell an end to the violent clashes.”

A new Battelle study released today by United for Medical Research illustrates the genetics and genomics industry’s impact on the United States economy has reached nearly a trillion dollars.”

Hisashi Moriguchi, infamous for  falsely claiming, among other things, that he had become the first person to transfer induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells into patients. “He has three papers in the past two months in the peer-reviewed medical journal BMJ Case Reports. In one,published online on 18 April, he claims to have supercooled oocytes to preserve eggs from cancer patient’s ovaries, so that the patients can later use them for in vitro fertilization. That paper, judging from the abstract which has almost identical wording, seems to be a plagiarized version of a paper he retracted last autumn.”

“Ahead of a much anticipated funding announcement later this month, the Science Is Vital, a group that campaigns for increased spending on science, has collected the opinions of 868 researchers on the impact of the government’s decision in 2010 to keep the core science budget funded at a ‘flat cash’ level. This has in effect meant cuts, as inflation reduces the amount of science that can be bought with the same spending every year.”


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