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Grand Roundup

Grand Roundup: Top posts for the week of June 9

The five most-read stories on Scope this week were:

A closer look at Supreme Court’s decision on gene patenting: In a guest commentary, Jake Sherkow, JD, a fellow at Stanford Law School’s Center for Law and the Biosciences, dissects the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling declaring isolated genomic DNA is not eligible for patent protection, but that cDNA – “cloned” or “complementary DNA” – can be patented.

Supreme Court rules on Myriad’s “gene patenting” case: On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued their anxiously awaited decision in a case that raised the issue of whether companies like Salt Lake City-based Myriad Genetics, Inc. can patent genes, in this case, the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. The Court ruled that naturally isolated DNA is not patentable, but that synthetic DNA (such as the cDNA for the BRCA1 and 2 genes) is patentable.

The mystery surrounding lung-transplant survival rates: An October article in the San Francisco Chronicle offered a look at the challenges facing lung transplant patients and explored why a significant number don’t live beyond the five-year mark, despite improvements in survival rates.

Stanford offers free “Statistics in Medicine” course, starting June 11: Does eating red meat increase your risk of being in a traffic accident? Should you be worried about lead in lipstick? These and other provocative medical questions will be analyzed and discussed in the School of Medicine’s new nine-week online course “Statistics in Medicine” that begins on Tuesday.

Stanford Hospital trims use of blood supplies: After steadily increasing over two decades, blood collections and transfusions nationwide are on the decline, with Stanford University Medical Center among a number of institutions that have taken steps to effectively reduce the use of precious blood supplies. Lawrence Goodnough, MD, professor of pathology and of hematology at Stanford, has written a commentary and co-authored two papers in a clinical series focusing on trends in blood inventory, blood transfusion and alternatives to blood.

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