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SACGHS on Gene Patents

The Health and Human Service's Secretary's Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health and Society is expected to release six recommendations concerning gene patents, reports ScienceInsider. One of the recommendations advises that Congress exempt gene patents from infringement liability, which ScienceInsider says would "potentially allowing anyone to use any gene patent" and that has drawn the ire of some industry folks.

At Patent Docs, Donald Zuhn notes that BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood says that these recommendations "would undermine the U.S. patent system and the Bayh-Dole technology transfer system that have served our nation so well." Former Senator Bayh adds that these changes are trying "to reimpose the failed policies of the past, policies that just didn't work."

The Scan

Study Finds Sorghum Genetic Loci Influencing Composition, Function of Human Gut Microbes

Focusing on microbes found in the human gut microbiome, researchers in Nature Communications identified 10 sorghum loci that appear to influence the microbial taxa or microbial metabolite features.

Treatment Costs May Not Coincide With R&D Investment, Study Suggests

Researchers in JAMA Network Open did not find an association between ultimate treatment costs and investments in a drug when they analyzed available data on 60 approved drugs.

Sleep-Related Variants Show Low Penetrance in Large Population Analysis

A limited number of variants had documented sleep effects in an investigation in PLOS Genetics of 10 genes with reported sleep ties in nearly 192,000 participants in four population studies.

Researchers Develop Polygenic Risk Scores for Dozens of Disease-Related Exposures

With genetic data from two large population cohorts and summary statistics from prior genome-wide association studies, researchers came up with 27 exposure polygenic risk scores in the American Journal of Human Genetics.