Volume 1, Issue 3

Chair’s Welcome

Practice Edge

• BioBlurb

• Cultivating Effective Trade Secret Protection Program

• E-Discovery and Digital Evidence Case Digest

• Rights and Responsibilities of Scientists' SciStatus Update

• Social Networking through Legally Minded

• Stopping the Collision

• Ten Interesting Places to Visit in Second Life

COLLEAGUE CONNECTION

Learn about Section
member professional updates.

SECTION NEWS

• Attend Upcoming Student Lunch & Learn Programs

• Cleantech Committee Seeks Student Leader

• Future of Evidence Committee Seeks Contributors

• Join a SciTech Committee Today for Free!

• Law Student Writing Contest

• SciTech Co-Sponsors CLE Tracks at Upcoming RSA Conference

• Submit Articles to The SciTech Lawyer

• Upcoming SciTech CLE Teleconferences

• Update your ABA AOC

 

Calendar/cle

SciTech Lunch & Learn
February 11th, 2009
12noon - 1:30pm
Suffolk University Law School
Main Function Room, 1st Floor
Boston, MA

2009 ABA Midyear Meeting
February 12-14, 2009
Boston, MA

The Benefits and Barriers to International Science Collaboration
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Teleconference
1:00-2:30pm EST

4th Annual Homeland Security Law Institute
February 26-27, 2009
Washington, DC, L'Enfant Plaza Hotel

SciTech Lunch & Learn
March 10, 2009
12:40-1:45pm
Fordham University School of Law
New York, NY

Redefining the Legal Standard for "Reasonable" Security: The Far-Reaching Impact of the New Massachusetts Regulations
March 31, 2009
Teleconference
1:00-2:30 EST
Registration to be available soon.

24th Annual Intellectual Property Law Conference
April 1-4, 2009
Washington, DC

ABA TECHSHOW
April 2-4, 2009
Chicago, IL

ABA TECHSHOW 2009 -- The World's Premier Legal Technology Conference and EXPO

Forensic Science for the 21st Century: The National Academy of Sciences Report and Beyond
April 3-4, 2009
Tempe, AZ

2009 RSA Conference
April 20-24, 2009
San Francisco, CA

2009 ABA Annual Meeting
Swissotel Chicago
July 29 - August 2, 2009

BOOK STORE

 This book provides you with a legal and practical approach to the new world of digital information. It has been described as a must have  for litigation lawyers, corporate counsel and records managers who want to understand how to appropriately handle the digital information of an enterprise. Learn more.

The SciTech Lawyer

 This book clearly explains and discusses 13 applied scientific disciplines in jargon-free language that is specifically geared toward lawyers. If you are a lawyer who is ever called upon to defend, proceed against, examine, cross-examine or even consult a scientist, this book is for you. Learn more.

 The Section’s quarterly magazine features practical and timely articles on a diverse range of science and technology law issues. This issue focuses on biosecurity.

Contact Us




The SciTech e-Merging News is published quarterly as a Section member benefit. Click here to join the Section. The material published reflects the views of the authors and has not been approved by the Section of Science & Technology Law, the House of Delegates or the Board of Governors of the ABA. © 2009 American Bar Association. All rights reserved.

Practice Edge

bio blurb
by lisa von BIELA

 

BIOETHICS ISSUES:

1.  Medtronic pays surgeon * much* more than the “more than $20,000” reporting requirement.  I just heard Art Caplan wax on about how even the little pens and mugs influence doctors.  Imagine how much cold, hard cash could influence—or even if (for the sake of argument) it truly doesn’t influence, what about the appearance of impropriety? 
http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2009/01/16/medtronic-pays
-surgeon-20000-or-more-much-much-more/

Wall Street Journal, 1/16/09.

2.  Researchers probe how the mind determines crime and punishment, how brain scans could be used in court as evidence (or not!).  Apparently, technicians have a large degree of control over what the scan image looks like, through use of color choices, etc.—and such choices could influence a jury’s reaction to the image.  Interesting stuff.  After 2.5 years of law school, I’m sure images of my brain would be kinda scary to see. 
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123205921925787437.html
Wall Street Journal, 1/16/09.

3.  DTC genetic tests for heart disease and cancer risk launched by DecodeMe.  But . . .the clinical utility remains in question.  How should one act on knowledge of “increased risk,” as opposed to a certain outcome?  Panic would be one possibility, unfortunately.
http://www.technologyreview.com/biomedicine/21992/
MIT Technology Review, 1/22/09, via Linda.

 

BIOTECH AND THE LAW:

1.  New company stock suit filed against Boston Scientific.
http://www.planadviser.com/compliance/article.php/3450
Planadvisor, 1/6/09.

 

BIOTECH IN CLINICAL MEDICINE:

1.  Heart failure gene more common in South Asia.
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/135976.php
Medical News Today, 1/19/09, via CDC Weekly Newsletter.

2.  Genetic testing not cost-effective in guiding initial dosing of warfarin.
http://www.news-medical.net/?id=45132
News-Medical.net, 1/20/09, via CDC Weekly Newsletter.

 

BIOTECH RESEARCH/SCIENCE:

1.  Disabling an enzyme allows lab mice to eat voraciously, yet remain slinky and svelte.  Where do I sign up?
http://www.burrillreport.com/article-1017.html
Burrill Report, 1/16/09, via Hugh.

2.  Epigenetics may account for some inherited traits and diseases—DNA may not be the only carrier of genetic information!  A-ha!  A whole new DTC market of the future.
http://www.news-medical.net/?id=45151
News-Medical.net, 1/20/09, via CDC Weekly Newsletter.

 

COMMERCIAL BIOTECH APPLICATIONS:

1.  UK panel of chemists and engineers touts genetically modified foods to head off global food crisis.  They shrug off mere “socio-political fear of new technology.” 
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article
/ALeqM5gVI08LvRegVrK5A5Tt1ZG1CBcQEg

Google News, 1/21/09, via FDLI SmartBrief.

2.  This year’s International Consumer Electronics Show features home monitoring devices and the like for “growing old at home.”  I guess they know their demographics!
http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/13/
gadgets-for-growing-old-at-home/?emc=eta1

NY Times, 1/13/09, via Linda.

3.  Experts and lawmakers starting to worry about the extensive outsourcing of drug manufacturing.  Concerns range from potential quality issues to supply issues (imagine if a key country decided to withhold a critical ingredient, for example). 
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/20/health/policy/
20drug.html?_r=1

NY Times, 1/20/09, via FDLI SmartBrief.

 

FINANCIAL/COMPANY NEWS:

1.  J&J eyeing potential buyouts, despite revenue declines (see story below).  Other smaller fish could be weak and on the cheap.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=
20601087&sid=ajt2MlmuckZo&refer=home

Bloomberg, 1/20/09, via FDLI SmartBrief.

2.  Boston Scientific wins one-year Veteran’s Affairs contract for a full line of pacemakers and defibrillators.  Sweet deal.  Someone posted a comment on the story about defects in those devices.  Hmmm . . .
http://www.boston.com/business/ticker/2009/01/
boston_scientif_114.html

Boston.com, 1/20/09, via FDLI SmartBrief.

3.  J&J revenue see first decline in 76 years.
http://www.fiercepharma.com/story/j-j-revenue-sees-
first-decline-76-years/2009-01-21?utm_medium=nl&
utm_source=internal&cmp-id=EMC-NL-FP&dest=FP

FiercePharma, 1/21/09.

 

LEGISLATIVE AND POLICY DEVELOPMENTS:

1.  Chairman of JPMorgan calls for universal health care coverage at annual health care conference.  Policy proclamations from an unexpected source.
http://www.burrillreport.com/article-1025.html
Burrill Report, 1/16/09, via Hugh.

2.  In honor of Inauguration Week, a selection of articles and views on health reform.
http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/content/full/hlthaff.
28.2.w169/DC3

Health Affairs, 1/16/09, via Hugh.

3.  Congress wants to restrict drug access to save costs, by examining “cost effectiveness” of various treatments.  But is Congress the right body to make these detailed, item by item determinations?  What, me worry?
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB12324138577589
6265.html

Wall Street Journal, 1/20/09, via Hugh.

4.  Congress considers nanotech safety high priority—bill introduced to address environmental, health, and safety risks potentially posed.  It’s the little things that mean so much.
http://www.healthimaging.com/index.php?option=com
_articles&view=article&id=15897

Health Imaging, 1/19/09, via FDLI SmartBrief.

 

PATENT/IP ISSUES:   

1.  Court invalidates two patents for King Pharma’s best-selling drug, a muscle relaxant called Skelaxin.  (What a great name for a muscle relaxant!  You can just picture it!)
http://www.forbes.com/2009/01/21/king-pharmaceuticals-
skelaxin-markets-cx_lal_0121markets24.html

Forbes, 1/21/09, via FDLI SmartBrief.  

2.  The “patent cliff” is coming—more than 100 pharma patents are set to expire at the end of this year alone.
http://www.fiercepharma.com/story/what-we-talk-about-
when-we-talk-patent-cliff/2009-01-22?utm_medium=nl&
utm_source=internal&cmp-id=EMC-NL-FP&dest=FP

FiercePharma, 1/22/09.

 

REGULATORY MATTERS/FDA ACTIVITY:

1.  Nanotech squeezing into yet another arena—dietary supplements—creating yet more regulatory gaps for the FDA. 
http://www.burrillreport.com/article-1021.html
Burrill Report, 1/21/09, via Hugh.

2.  Japan moves closer to allowing cloned food—says it’s as safe to eat as conventionally bred livestock.  They say they’re just as healthy.  Did anyone ever figure out what put Dolly the Sheep into an early grave? 
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090119/hl_afp/
japanhealthclonebiotechfood_20090119142324

Yahoo! News, 1/19/09, via FDLI SmartBrief.

3.  FDA says topical anesthetics could cause serious adverse reactions.  When I received this email from FDLI, the subject line was cut off so that it said only “FDA says topical anesthetics could cause.”  Hmmm, numbness?  Seriously, apparently there are some OTC preparations that can cause some significant problems if used in certain ways.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/
article/2009/01/16/AR2009011603636.html

Washington Post, 1/16/09, via FDLI SmartBrief.

4.  HHS opens FDA offices in India.  Spread the joy.
http://www.healthimaging.com/index.php?option=com
_articles&view=article&id=15884

Health Imaging, 1/16/09, via FDLI SmartBrief.

 

WEIRD NEWS:      

1.  Study says women are less able to suppress hunger than men.  I quote:  “There is something going on in the female.  The signal is so much different.”  I just can’t make this stuff up, folks.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090120/ap_on_he_me/
sci_obesity_gender;_ylt=AtIpYIF3FrylY50PjeONaajVJRIF

Yahoo! News, 1/20/09, via FDLI SmartBrief.   

A MESSAGE FROM YOUR EDITOR:

New administration, new policies.  Your Editor is certain there will be much news on the Biotech front as a result!  Stay tuned.

As always, let me know if you have other suggestions, submissions or comments.  You know where to find me.

CONTRIBUTOR CREDITS FOR THIS ISSUE: 

Thanks to Linda Glenn and Hugh Wellons for their contributions this week! 

 


J.D. Candidate, 2009
University of
Minnesota Law School



Lisa M. von Biela is the author of Bio Blurb (ABA, 2008). That weekly blurb is a member benefit of the Biotechnology Law Committee. Join the Committee today for free to receive your weekly issue. Lisa is a J.D. Candidat,e 2009 at the University of Minnesota Law School. She can be reached at vonb0038@umn.edu.