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No Patent for hESCs in Europe

The UK's Guardian reports that "the European Patent Office has refused a patent covering the use of human embryonic stem cells on the grounds that it would be contrary to 'public order or morality.'" Referring to it as a "landmark ruling," the article goes on to say that if the patent had been granted, observers feared it would thwart companies engaged in developing hESC-based technologies. Robin Lovell-Badge, head of stem cell biology at the National Institute for Medical Research, is paraphrased in the article as saying that "the ruling would make it easier for biotech companies to operate in the EU compared with the US, where similar patents on the use of human embryonic stem cells have been granted."

The Scan

Renewed Gain-of-Function Worries

The New York Times writes that the pandemic is renewing concerns about gain-of-function research.

Who's Getting the Patents?

A trio of researchers has analyzed gender trends in biomedical patents issued between 1976 and 2010 in the US, New Scientist reports.

Other Uses

CBS Sunday Morning looks at how mRNA vaccine technology could be applied beyond SARS-CoV-2.

PLOS Papers Present Analysis of Cervicovaginal Microbiome, Glycosylation in Model Archaea, More

In PLOS this week: functional potential of the cervicovaginal microbiome, glycosylation patterns in model archaea, and more.