Biotech

Mike the Mad Biologist

Category archives for Biotech

What a fabulous combination. This week, Congress has held hearings on the direct-to-customer (‘DTC’) genetic testing industry. It appears, based on previous statements by FDA officials, that they have publicly contradicted themselves–or been willfully ignorant–about the larger scientific benefits from DTC testing. This week’s hearings also seem to have attracted some serious hyperbolic anti-DTC testimony,…

Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice filed an amicus brief which argued that naturally-occurring DNA sequences can’t be patented: Reversing a longstanding policy, the federal government said on Friday that human and other genes should not be eligible for patents because they are part of nature…. “We acknowledge that this conclusion is contrary to…

Imagine someone had designed a device that would essentially eliminate bloodstream infections (sepsis) caused by contamination of needleless injection ports. Great news right? Well, guess what happens next: Unlike some of the solutions floated by big medical device makers, such as coating the ports with silver, Shaw’s innovation added only a few pennies to the…

A while ago, I described how previous decisions allowing the patenting of human genes–and thereby making cheap, affordable diagnostics impossible–flew in the face of the goal of federally-funded research. There’s no reason to patent something and charge thousands of dollars for something a high school student could do (PCR and sequencing). From The NY Times…

“Could You Patent the Sun?”*

Probably not. But genes linked to a high risk of breast cancer?

In the midst of all of the wailing and gnashing of teeth over the death and cooptation of business journalism inspired by John Stewart’s skewering of Jim Cramer, it’s important to remember one thing: that’s the business model. Or to put it another way, the customer is always right.