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Potential Profit vs. Public Interest?

In a recent New England Journal of Medicine perspective piece, Harvard Medical School's Aaron Kesselheim and Rahul Rajkumar discuss ownership of federally funded research in the context of the Bayh-Dole Act, particularly related to what they call the "long-simmering dispute between Stanford University and Roche Molecular Systems regarding ownership of a widely used and profitable diagnostic assay for human immunodeficiency virus." Kesselheim and Rajkumar suggest that the US Supreme Court's decision — that Stanford did not have a claim to the patent on the PCR-based test it said Roche infringed — "may have been influenced by the tenuous relationship between the federal funding and the product at issue." The court's ruling necessitates a legislative amendment to Bayh-Dole, they add, suggesting that "universities should reexamine and perhaps revamp their licensing practices to ensure that they are indeed acting as stewards of the public good, rather than simply seeking to maximize their own licensing revenues."

The Scan

New Study Highlights Role of Genetics in ADHD

Researchers report in Nature Genetics on differences in genetic architecture between ADHD affecting children versus ADHD that persists into adulthood or is diagnosed in adults.

Study Highlights Pitfall of Large Gene Panels in Clinical Genomic Analysis

An analysis in Genetics in Medicine finds that as gene panels get larger, there is an increased chance of uncovering benign candidate variants.

Single-Cell Atlas of Drosophila Embryogenesis

A new paper in Science presents a single-cell atlas of fruit fly embryonic development over time.

Phage Cocktail Holds Promise for IBD

Researchers uncovered a combination phage therapy that targets Klebsiella pneumonia strains among individuals experiencing inflammatory bowel disease flare ups, as they report in Cell.