You might have heard that a Federal court invalidated seven patents on BRCA1 and BRCA2, collectively known as “the breast cancer genes”, earlier this week.
Patents like this are nothing new. But, according to United States District Court Judge Robert W. Sweet …
”the patents were “improperly granted” because they involved a “law of nature.” He said that many critics of gene patents considered the idea that isolating a gene made it patentable “a ‘lawyer’s trick’ that circumvents the prohibition on the direct patenting of the DNA in our bodies but which, in practice, reaches the same result.”
Currently Monsanto is hiring all lawyers available.
Regardless of how you feel about Microsoft’s rejuvenated mobile push this year, hatred of the “Windows Phone 7 Series” moniker has been nearly universal — it’s too long, it trips you up every time you try to say it (seriously, just listen to any of our podcasts), and the “Series” bit doesn’t make a whole lot of sense anyhow. Happily, Microsoft has heard the world loud and clear on this one, officially changing the name today to the simpler, happier, more logical “Windows Phone 7.” The branding move doesn’t have any technical or strategic significance, as far as we can tell — it truly is just a name change, that’s all — so you can expect the same software to launch later this year that we’ve already been anticipating… you just won’t have to deal with a tongue twister every time you’re trying to tell a friend about it.
As gruber says, good to see Microsoft having just as amazing a weekend as Apple.
An abuse hotline set up by the Catholic Church in Germany melted down on its first day of operation as more than 4,000 alleged victims of paedophile and violent priests called in to seek counselling and advice.
The numbers were far more than the handful of therapists assigned to deal with them could cope with.
In the end only 162 out of 4,459 callers were given advice before the system was shut down.
Andreas Zimmer, head of the project in the Bishopric of Trier, admitted that he wasn’t prepared for “that kind of an onslaught’.
Almost 18 years ago, I tore up a picture of Pope John Paul II on an episode of “Saturday Night Live.” Many people did not understand the protest — the next week, the show’s guest host, actor Joe Pesci, commented that, had he been there, “I would have gave her such a smack.” I knew my action would cause trouble, but I wanted to force a conversation where there was a need for one; that is part of being an artist. All I regretted was that people assumed I didn’t believe in God. That’s not the case at all. I’m Catholic by birth and culture and would be the first at the church door if the Vatican offered sincere reconciliation.
As Ireland withstands Rome’s offensive apology while an Irish bishop resigns, I ask Americans to understand why an Irish Catholic woman who survived child abuse would want to rip up the pope’s picture. And whether Irish Catholics, because we daren’t say “we deserve better,” should be treated as though we deserve less.