By: Kaitlyn Morabito
Our weekly linkpost, bringing you interesting and informative links on science policy issues buzzing about the internet.
U.S. launches new global initiative to prevent infectious disease threats – Participants from 26 countries, including the U.S., met on Thursday to launch a new world-wide public health program. The focus of this initiative is to detect, treat, and contain newly emerging and known infectious disease agents where the outbreak starts to prevent global spreading of diseases such as West Nile virus, Dengue virus, tuberculosis and polio virus. This program involves establishing a network of disease detecting laboratories, increasing vaccination campaigns and setting up emergency response teams. This global strategy of rapid detection, treatment and containment is more cost efficient than efforts by individual counties once the disease has spread. (Lena H. Sun)
Myriad Wins First Round in Cancer Gene Testing Battle – Last June, the Supreme Court ruled that companies can not patent naturally occurring human genes, challenging Myriad’s patents on the BRCA genes used in breast cancer screening tests. Following this ruling, many competitors released their own tests for the BRCA genes, prompting lawsuits from Myraid. Myraid argues that the ruling does not apply to the related patents on the BRCA testing kits. Last week, one of the competitors, Gene By Gene, settled with Myraid, agreeing to stop selling the kits within the US. Lawsuits against other competitors are still pending. (Eliot Marshall)
Fusion energy milestone reported by California scientists – Scientists at the National Ignition Facility, part of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, are a step closer to creating a fusion reactor. In their experiment, more energy was released from the fuel core than went into the fuel core. However, there is still a long way to go before scientists create a fusion reactor. The fuel core absorbed only a small fraction (about 1%) of the energy from the lasers, so the overall input energy is more than the output energy. (Joel Achenbach)
Have an interesting science policy link? Share it in the comments!