Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Broad Institute gets CRISPR patent (A Big Deal)

The Broad Institute in Cambridge, Mass has won the patent for CRISPR. This is a really big deal.
"The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit agreed to uphold a patent filed by the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University on Crispr Cas-9 gene-editing in organisms with complex cells. The court ruled that the patent didn’t infringe on another Crispr patent filed two years prior by researchers at the University of California-Berkeley, which sought the licensing rights of using Crispr Cas-9 to work with loose DNA in test tubes. Both patents are therefore upheld, allowing both the Broad group and the Berkeley group to exclusively license their technologies." 
"Crispr-Cas9 is a gene-editing technology enabling scientists to cut and paste snippets of genetic information in strands of DNA. This ruling comes down to splitting the licensing rights on what the technique is used for."
I don't know enough to say this patent is fair, but I know enough to know it's as very big deal. Genetic manipulation may well be the dominant issue of the 21st century -- sorry, people, but climate change will probably be way down the line, after genetic engineering, after synthetic biology, and after water shortages & fights....


Roy Spencer tries to prove a hurricane isn't enhanced by global warming before it even gets here!


"The American humorist Will Rogers liked to call the Rio Grande “the only river I know of that is in need of irrigating."

from The Rio Grande Is Dying. Does Anyone Care? Drained by farmers and divided by treaty, America’s second-longest river is running dry," Richard Parker, NY Times, 9/8/18.

My sister used to live in Albuquerque, down in the valley about 1/4th mile from the Rio Grande, and once when I was staying there for a few weeks I used to go walking down to the Rio Grande Nature Center and walk along the Rio Grande everyday. It's hard to imagine that such a river could cease to exist. But then, it's hard to imagine that any river could cease to exist.

People, the country, the world, are not good about deciding they should not exhaust a resource. Any resource.


New Hampshire keeps electing women to their governmental positions -- horrah! -- now, Democrat Molly Kelly for the general election in November. Best! It's a very difficult state to understand. Like Oregon, which has a clear divide between west -- west of the Cascade Mountains -- and the east, NH divides into, roughly, the south, where people have moved to escape Massachusetts, and the north -- roughly north of Lake Winnepesaukee -- where people are more conservative.

Do you ever miss somewhere you lived 12, 15, 20, 30 years ago? I do, I always do, and it is just not a useful/helpful thing to do. I wish I could help it.
"Nostalgia locates desire in the past, where is suffers no active conflict and can be yearned toward pleasantly."
-- Robert Haas

I reminisce too much here. Sorry.


J said...

The political geography of NH is quite a bit more complicated than that. There are very conservative areas in the south, and more progressive ones scattered around the north.

For example, in the 2012 election, Obama won Coos County (the northernmost county in the state, on the Canada border), while Romney won Rockingham County (on the southern border).

There were big clusters of pro-Romney towns (e.g., Belknap & southern Carroll counties) and pro-Obama towns (20 of 28 towns on the state's western border, and nearly every town in the White Mountains region) but they don't correspond at all to your north/south divide.

Oregon (like many other western states) has a very clear urban/rural alignment in politics. Things are much more complicated in New England.

J said...

Found this map showing the above, by a Dartmouth professor:


The 2016 election's geography was also complicated, though Trump did better than Romney overall in NH.

David in Cal said...

Perhaps Spencer's gripe is people who attribute a single hurricane to global warming, especially when it's not even certain just how global warming has affected the frequency and severity of hurricanes. The Washington Post goes even more idiotic in an editorial today. It calls Trump "complicit" in Hurricane Florence. Trump is wrong about global warming, but nothing he could have done would have had the slightest effect on Hurricane Florence.