Myriad Genetics patents Breast, Ovarian Cancer Genes: Who Owns Human Genes now?

Myriad Genetics, is a Utah-based biotechnology company.  It has discovered and isolated two extremely important genes associated with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer — BRCA 1 and BRCA 2. Now, Myriad Genetics has patented its discovery which grants it a 20-year monopoly over use of the genes for research, diagnostics and treatment. A section of researchers, medical groups and patients are challenging the patent as invalid and have sued. It is a very important court case.  The genes … [Read more...]

Reminiscing the Last Days of Alcatraz 50 years after it closed

It has now been 50 years since it closed. Alcatraz, the legendary prison in California, remains etched in every person's mind who has seen it once. Only 3 people ever escaped that place. No one knows if they ever made it to the other side of the bay.. on the shore. The guards believed that they drowned, while the rest of the prisoners wanted to believe that they had reached the shore. There was a certain romanticism in it. Here is an interesting NPR program with interviews with two different … [Read more...]

Does Social Media Encourage Violent Teen Behavior?

Just as India is reeling in the aftermath of the mindless Gangrape of the Delhi Braveheart; US is too going through a similar heart-burn and contemplation of its own societal situation after the Steubenville gang rape incident.  This is some of the information on the rape case. (Also read Lessons of Steubenville) First brought to national attention by a New York Times story in December, the alleged rape involves a girl from a neighboring town in West Virginia who became so drunk and … [Read more...]

NPR and News: Quality and Innovation at the forefront

My friend, Prem, who writes on Drishtikone - would often reprimand me about the quality of the posts written on the blog. Initially, to start with, I was more concerned about the quantity as opposed to quality of the posts. He clearly disagreed. It took me a while to get to his level. Roughly two and a half years back I decided that I will only have quality stuff written on this blog. So, I consciously decided to write my posts seriously and in detail.. with citations / references etc. And … [Read more...]


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