Human Germline Modification Is Coming

Introduction Inside a decade, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) will approve clinical trials for the genomic modification of a viable human embryo in order to prevent disease. That seems a real possibility in light of significant developments in policy and research this year. While such trials are currently barred in the United States by federal law, the prospect of future trials gained key support from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Continue Reading →

Are 3D Printed Tissues and Organs Patentable?

It has been long established, and recently codified in the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA), that no one is able to obtain a patent on any part of the human body. Examiners are taught to issue 35 U.S.C. 101 and AIA § 33(a) rejections even if claims are directed towards devices that are “attached to” parts of the human body and recommend applicants change the language to “configured to be attached” or something similar so Continue Reading →

Can Assistive Technology Eliminate Disabilities?

Assistive technologies that enable an amputee to not only walk, but run and dance, are obviously incredible.  New prosthetic limbs simulate natural gait.  Brain-Computer Interfaces allow people who are completely paralyzed, “locked in,” to communicate. Enable Talk Gloves (only $75!) translate sign language to spoken words.  The recent trend of technological advancements is so remarkable—and accessible—that it may even, as one prominent roboticist boldly claims, largely eliminate disabilities during the 21st century. However, whether his Continue Reading →