Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I heart The Consumerist

The Consumerist had several great articles yesterday... and I have nothing much to talk about.

1. You know you've thought about this: how many freaking blades are we going to get on razors? Do you remember that SNL commercial? Funny.

2. And you thought your job was sometimes difficult. Click on the link to read the whole story, because its kind of hilarious.

3. Creepy. However, I'd go to her plastic surgeon.

4. This is totally true. I didn't read the original article but I totally agree with this:

We’ll let you read it for yourself, but here’s the crux: “Do you want to be told by your doctor, ‘Oh, nobody studies your disease any more because the owner of the gene/enzyme/correlation has made it too expensive to do research?’” That really just says it all.

That is totally true. I don't know much about how patenting of genes is going now, but back when I was a tech, people still did positional cloning of SIMPLE MENDELIAN DISEASES (can you imagine that??) and gene patenting was all the rage. In fact, Brian had a patent on a gene from his PhD, which was subsequently sold by his university to some company. However, at the time these things were patented little (to nothing) was known of their functions. Most were only patented based on speculation, or even more so because you had to get in while the getting was good and all the genes were already patented. It was not really clear what the patent was going to accomplish in terms of how it would impact other people's research on a given gene. I'm not sure that it has yet... at least not as much in academic labs. At least, I don't ever remember hearing of any instances where this has occurred.

I think a more pressing concern is "Oh, nobody studies your disease anymore because not enough people have it (or at least have your specific mutation) and its not cost-effective for the companies."

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