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.

While gene therapies may have high price tags, they could be cheaper than the cost of managing disease, according to MIT's Technology Review.

Researchers are looking for markers that indicate which cancer patients may respond to immunotherapies, the Associated Press writes.

In Nature this week: paternal age associated with de novo mutations in children, and more.

Nature News writes that researchers are still wrangling over the role of the p-value.