Bilski v. Kappos

The higher court will consider whether two method patents held by Prometheus Laboratories claim natural phenomena and are therefore not patentable under the law.

Diagnostic developers and legal experts have been keeping a close watch on Prometheus since the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals' handling of diagnostic method patents in that case may impact the AMP v. USPTO gene-patenting lawsuit that is pending review by the same court.

Many in the genetic testing industry have viewed the Bilski decision as a harbinger of the Supreme Court's thinking for future patent cases, including the anti-gene patenting suit filed against Myriad Genetics.

The Supreme Court Justices' comments imply they are looking for a way to uphold the lower court's "machine-or-transformation" test in Bilski v. Kappos while minimizing the impact on the technology and medical device industries.

In an editorial, officials from scientific societies in the US and China call for the international community to develop criteria and standards for human germline editing.

The Washington Post reports on a Federal Bureau of Investigation plan to place rapid DNA analyzers at booking stations around the country.

The US National Institutes of Health is to review studies that have received private support for conflicts of interest, according to the New York Times.

In Science this week: the PsychENCODE Consortium reports on the molecular mechanisms of neuropsychiatric disorders, and more.