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Human Longevity Suit Against JCVI Dismissed

A California judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by Human Longevity against the J. Craig Venter Institute, as GenomeWeb has reported.

This summer, Human Longevity sued JCVI, alleging that Craig Venter, the founder both of Human Longevity and JCVI, stole trade secrets. Venter launched Human Longevity in 2014 and served as its CEO until January 2018, though he then returned for a short stint as interim CEO in November 2017. Venter announced his retirement from Human Longevity and return to JCVI in May of this year.

In its suit, Human Longevity alleged that when Venter left, he took a company laptop containing trade secrets that he then gave to JCVI. Stat News adds that the laptop allegedly contained the names and contact information of Human Longevity’s clients and prospective clients, and that Human Longevity alleged that Venter tried to poach employees and investors.

However, the US District Court of the Southern District of California dismissed the suit this week, saying that Human Longevity's suit didn’t meet the legal threshold for the misappropriation of trade secrets.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that Human Longevity has lost 80 percent of its valuation, and is now valued at $310 million, down from $1.6 billion.

The Scan

Close Panel Vote on Califf Nomination

The New York Times reports there was a close committee vote to advance the nomination of Robert Califf to lead the US Food and Drug Administration to the full Senate.

Task Force Reports on Scientific Integrity

Nature News writes that that a new task force report recommends that the US establish a cross-agency scientific integrity council.

Across the Hall

Genetic testing, closed-circuit cameras, and more show how a traveler, without any contact, infected others at a New Zealand quarantine facility, CNN reports.

Science Paper Examines Influence of Chromatin Modifications on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

In Science this week: genes regulating chromatin modification may contribute to OCD risk.