Douglas Engelbart: The Man Behind Your Mouse (And a Lot More)

If it weren’t for Douglas Engelbart, the computer on your desk might still be little more than a glorified typewriter, and you might still be struggling to remember arcane DOS commands so you could type them into a luminous green C:\ prompt on a black screen. And the multimedia marvels of the Web might not have ever existed. As computer historian Howard Rheingold once wrote, “We wouldn’t be sitting in front of personal computers today if it wasn’t for him.” Back …

Court: Nobody Can Patent Your Genes … What Does That Mean?

SC: “A naturally occurring DNA segment is a product of nature and is not patent eligible merely because it has been isolated” Woo Hoo!!! – Francis S. Collins (@NIHDirector) June 13, 2013   That tweet came from the director of the National Institutes of Health, Francis S. Collins. Why is Collins so giddy? Because the Supreme Court ruled June 13 that nobody can patent your genes. (Read full decision .pdf) Collins and others at NIH, like Eric Green, M.D., the …

Can a Company Patent Your Genes (and Make a Boatload)?

If there’s a medical test that could save your life, should one company have the power to set its cost so high that few people could afford it? And what if the thing that makes the company’s test exclusive is a government-issued patent on a part of the human body? That’s what is at stake in a case the U.S. Supreme Court heard April 15 that could determine whether some biotech companies, by patenting particular human genes, can completely control …