Meninga praises Hunters

first_imgTeam Kumul head coach Mal Meninga has commended the PNG Hunters Club for a good start in preparing players for the 2017 World Cup and to improve PNG’s ranking.Meninga, who is based in Australia, travels once a month into the country to help out with the Team Kumul program.That program is helping to develop players in the lead up to the World Cup.Meninga said selections for Team Kumul to participate in the World Cup will be done mostly through PNG Hunters and overseas based players.He said Hunters have been very successful but the Intrust Super Cup is only a second tier competition.“It’s a great start, they are doing very well as these are the same players who are going to be playing against international sides not too far down the track.“We need to get our Intrust Cup players playing in the NRL and that’s the next step so at the moment it’s a growth period.“And once we start to get a whole heap of players participating in the top competitions around the world, the better our chances of doing well in the World Cup,” he said.PNG hasn’t got a lot of players playing in the NRL apart from David Mead, James Segeyaro and just recently Albert Wellington and Mark Mexico.Meninga said being involved with the Hunters is a fantastic experience and they get this week in week out rugby league competition however, still not at the level where they need to be to play on the world stage.He said PNG still has some developing to do in order to compete against England, Australia, New Zealand and other Pacific Island teams who have NRL players going back and playing for their national teams.“That is a challenge for us because although the Hunters are initially doing well in the Intrust Cup, they’re probably not at the level we need to be compared to Australia and at a world stage.“We need the majority of our players to be part of overseas competitions.“If we look at Samoa and Fiji, most of their 22 man squad who played in the 2013 World Cup were playing in the Australian NRL or English Super League and PNG had about six players,” he said.Meninga said that’s the difference at the moment but the PNG Hunters Club is a valuable asset giving the players more experience.He said hopefully the talent scouts will recognize that and give them more opportunity in the Australian NRL or English Super League because that’s where we need our national players.He said that Hunters Club is a stepping stone and we need them playing on the world stage in the biggest competitions.last_img read more

LMDA Outreach Program Gets Boost

first_imgDr. Emmauel Ekyeinabah and his vice president, Dr. Abraham Jawara, took of of office of the Liberia Medical and Dental AssociationAs associates, partners and sympathizers donate to its US$ 200,000 targetThe medical outreach program of the Liberia Medical and Dental Association (LMDA) recently received a major boost as several persons who attended its officers’ installation program initiated donations to its US$200,000 target for the program.The event, held at a resort in Paynesville, saw Dr. Emmanuel K. Ekyinaba, Dr. Abraham Jawara, Dr. Yuah A. Nemah and Dr. Odell Kumeh installed into their respective offices as president, vice president, secretary general and treasurer.They were elected on December 8, 2018 and, on Friday, February 15, officially took over the LMDA as a team committed to delivering on great promises and expectations.This new leadership thereby replaced Drs. Louise M. Kpoto, Linda A. Birch, Jonathan M. M. Hart and Yassah Barclay, who steered the affairs of the LMDA since 2017.Every team elected is clothed with the responsibility to steer the affairs of the association for two years.Dr. Tolbert Nyensuah served as the chief launcher of the fundraiser and he cautioned Liberians across the country to see the health sector as their own instead of the health sector being perceived as a sector working against a group of people or in the interest of a select group of people.“It is an honor that the LMDA has chosen me to come and serve the role of a keynote speaker and chief launcher of its fundraiser campaign. I hold the privilege in high esteem and challenge the new leadership to double-up efforts in accomplishing what the old team began but could not complete and do other good medical undertakings even yet to be known by us here and the people to whom we owe it a duty to serve,” Nyensuah admonished the new LMDA leadership.He said the LMDA has the support of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL). NPHIL is an agency of the Ministry of Health that is involved with detecting, preventing and researching disease outbreaks in the country. Nyensuah is its director general.The NPHIL was established following the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in 2014/2015 in an effort to keep surveillance on any disease threatening a portion of the country’s population or the nation as a whole.Nyensuah added that medicine cannot be divorced from public health and, as such, it is not only the responsibility of LMDA and NPHIL to raise concern and attend to people in areas, mainly those so remote from the Monrovia and its environs but every other component, be it private or public, of the health sector in the country.The NPHIL boss contributed in his name and on behalf of his family the sum of US$500 (cash) and promised to give another US$500 via check at the end of February.He also pledged on behalf of his office US$1,000 to be also be paid at the end of the same month.The Minister of Health, Dr. Wilhemina Jallah, launched the LMDA journal and admonished all medical doctors and other health practitioners to write their findings from work and research and publish in the journal.Dr. Jallah said that initiative, which has been in existence for some time now at the LMDA, is a laudable venture not only for those who write and publish but also people who read and get inspired by the works of the health sector in general.Taking the helm at the LMDA as its new president, Dr. Emmanuel K. Ekyeinabah called on the government, partners as well as all well-meaning Liberians to support the capacity building and medical outreach programs of LMDA.“We are in a very special partnership. You take good care of us, we will take good care of you in return,” Ekyeinabah said.He said healthcare financing in the country is not in the right trajectory as over sixty percent of it comes from individuals, instead of institutions and government.“Many people in this country do not have money to pay for their medical care. Therefore, a lot of relent coming to healthcare centers, an action that also leads to deaths that can possibly be prevented,” he said.Dr. Ekeyinabah said until the health sector can adequately be supported by not only government but everyone, it will be very difficult for the country to realize the universal goal of good healthcare for all, regardless of economic status.He said the US$200,000 target for the training of more doctors in specialized areas and going out to treat people who are suffering from several medical cases in many parts of the country but lack the financial means to attend to their cases at hospitals is not a limit but an initial amount needed to get the LMDA working on its goals.He thanked all those who showed up at the fundraiser dinner for sacrificing their time and money to see that LMDA succeeds.Earlier on the stage was the immediate former president of LMDA, Dr. Louise M. Kpoto.Dr. Kpoto said two years of stewardship at the LMDA was not a honeymoon ride but a challenge to deal with critical and very worthy medical missions.“I applaud all of you with whom I worked over the years and even those of you who came along to help LMDA in so many of its operations and programs,” Kpoto said.She added: “You challenged me to learn how to be honest and I’m grateful that I scored a good mark. This kept our revolutionary spirit of service alive and influenced our characters as we serve at the will and pleasure of all of you.”She said caring for patients with compassionate hearts should never escape the thoughts of any medical doctor or even a nurse aid at any healthcare center.“Dr. Ekyeinabah, you have the support of me and my colleagues who helped so much over the past two years as we serve at the LMDA. Count on us at any time when it comes to service to our country and people,” she said.The managing partner of the Sherman and Sherman law firm, Cllr. Moses Paegar, who was tipped to install the new LMDA officers, was proxied by Attorney Arthur Morrison.Atty. Morrison admonished the new team to be committed to doing good for their organization and country.The new leadership meanwhile honored all past leaders of the LMDA and thanked them for setting good examples over the years.Tens of thousands of United States Dollars and Liberian dollars were raised at the fundraiser dinner through donations and purchase of tickets for entry as over 400 persons were in attendance.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Firing poor teachers would boost morale

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The California Teachers Association opposes Proposition 74, a ballot initiative that would make it easier to fire teachers in the state. Campaign advertisements argue that the potential for dismissal will discourage people from entering the profession. And while that may be true for some potential teachers, others would no doubt be encouraged to think about teaching when they learn that they won’t have to work in situations where incompetence is tolerated. Morale suffers when poor teachers remain in place. Pride in your workplace requires that bad teachers be removed. No competent teacher wants her well-prepared students to fall behind because the next teacher doesn’t put in the effort or have the skills necessary to teach well. Nor do teachers like inheriting a class that missed key concepts the year before due to teacher incompetence. If Proposition 74 were to pass, two bad evaluations in a row would be sufficient cause for dismissal. But union worries are unfounded. Principals won’t find it easy to arbitrarily dismiss teachers – parents and other teachers would complain loudly, and dismissed teachers are entitled to a review with union representation. No principal needs this. There wouldn’t be wide-scale dismissals of teachers as, given current salaries, it is hard to find and hire qualified replacements. In fact, in some hard-to-hire disciplines such as mathematics or science – and in some hard-to-hire communities – this change in the law is likely to have little effect. It would require substantially higher salaries to attract qualified replacements for every weak teacher in the system. If we are not willing to raise teachers’ salaries and offer merit pay to outstanding teachers, the best we can do is to give principals the power to pull the worst teachers out. What we can expect if Proposition 74 passes is that some seriously incompetent teachers will be dismissed. Exceptionally weak links will be removed, but most of the improvement will come as teachers, knowing there are consequences to performance reviews, take them more to heart. The atmosphere in schools will change when incompetence is no longer tolerated. Teachers will focus more on learning and assuring that students have the materials they need to learn. If teachers would no longer have to face incompetent colleagues on a daily basis, there would be a significant improvement in morale. Where morale is high, competent individuals are attracted to teaching and encouraged to stay. Some teachers are afraid of this proposition. Even many of the best teachers hesitate to be judged by their principal or by a panel of their peers. Teachers who are strict and grade hard may fear that principals will replace them to improve graduation rates or because parents complain. We can’t let this fear prevail. Private companies hire and fire all the time. The situation in public schools is somewhat different, as there is no bottom line to penalize bad decisions, but parent and faculty oversight, as well as standardized test scores, to some extent, would play an important role in assuring that, for the most part, the right decisions would be made. Proposition 74 has been a long time coming. When Richard Riordan was the mayor of Los Angeles, he expressed his concern time and again about the fact that poor teachers are not fired, just transferred – the dance of the lemons. Incentives are everything. Being able to fire incompetent teachers is one critical tool to the proper functioning of an educational system. Proposition 74 puts incentives in place that will motivate teachers and improve teaching and learning across the state. Shirley Svorny is a professor of economics at California State University, Northridge.last_img read more

Small claims

first_imgThe claims against the Department of Water and Power are flowing in for damages to private citizens, businesses and even other governmental agencies incurred during the Sept. 12 power outage. The outage affected about half the residents of the city, damaging electronics and costing some businesses revenues. While there are always folks who will try to squeeze the system for whatever they can get, those who filed claims in this lawsuit have good reason. The DWP has failed to do routine upgrades to its facilities for decades, even while the city’s politicians were robbing utility revenues for the general fund. The DWP is lucky that the claims so far only equal slightly less than a quarter-million dollars. In the meantime, officials must figure out what went wrong and fix it. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Monkey See, Darwin Do

first_imgScience Daily thought so.  In an article adorned by a picture of macaques enjoying a hot spring, the title read, “Primate Culture Is Just A Stone’s Throw Away From Human Evolution, Study Finds.”    The studious studiers were researchers at the Primate Research Center in Kyoto, Japan.  They discovered what children already know: monkey see, monkey do.  Lo and behold, the macaques learned a new behavior: stone-throwing.  This behavior was learned and passed on to the young.  The researchers looked beyond the stone-handling behavior of macaques and saw great achievements in science and literature just a stone’s throw ahead.  Keep the funding coming, because “Research on such transformation may shed light on the evolution of stone-tool use in early hominids” – our ancestors.    Cave painting came next on the evolutionary timeline: the transition to a real human consciousness.  EurekAlert reported on a new book by anthropologist David Whitley, Cave Paintings and the Human Spirit.  By common agreement, the earliest cave paintings in France and Spain were already masterpieces.  “To grasp what drove these ancient artists to create these masterpieces, and to understand the origin of myth and religion, as Whitley explains, is to appreciate what makes us human.”  There’s some controversy over whether the first religion was shamanistic or not, but no controversy in the article about whether religion evolved.    By the time recordkeeping evolved (see PNAS), the human brain had evolved ways to expand its memory indefinitely.  Human civilization came to full fruition.  We had an IRS.Thought you needed a good belly laugh for the day.  Laugh harder by realizing they really believe this stuff.  You’re a glorified macaque, especially if you like sitting in a hot spring.  Or eating.  It’s obvious – similarities prove we all had monkey ancestors, and they had ancestors all the way bacteria.  Teary, it’s so backward.    Speaking of cave paintings, here’s a book you should read on the subject that makes a lot more sense: The Cave Painting: A Parable of Science by Roddy Bullock.  It tells a fanciful tale that is all too true: a scientific establishment forcing its naturalistic worldview down the ear canals of students with utter disregard for the obvious.(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

SAB Miller offer lifts JSE

first_imgLocal marketsThe JSE traded 0.25% stronger to start the week on Monday following news that the second largest brewer and JSE-listed company SAB Miller (SAB) made an offer to Heineken after the world’s largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev, made a takeover offer of the company. Heineken refused the offer, making SAB Miller more vulnerable to an unwanted takeover offer.The rand is due to remain under pressure in anticipation of the release of local inflation data and a rates decision later in the week. The randedged up against the US dollar by 5pm SA time, swapping hands at R10.99.Brent crude lost 1.06% over the course of the day following the release over the weekend of Chinese data that points to slower national economic growth, which in turn threatens demand for the commodity.International marketsIn Asia, Japanese markets were closed for a public holiday, while China’s Shanghai was up 0.31%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.82%. Chinese industrial output numbers were released over the weekend and showed a slower than expected increase.European markets moved slowly on Monday following disappointing Chinese data that was offset by increased merger and acquisition activity. The German DAX added 0.05%, the French CAC40 shed 0.41% and the English FTSE slid 0.12%, while UK investors remain cautious as the Scottish independence referendum is due on Thursday.American markets fluctuated on Monday morning following the release of the Chinese data and the assessment of its impact on Federal Reserve Bank decisions, which was being compensated for by Apple’s rising share price after impressive pre- orders of its iPhone 6 devices. The Dow Jones edged 0.02% up, the S&P 500 dropped 0.17% higher and the Nasdaq slumped 0.9%.Share price newsMonday saw SAB Miller (SAB) grow by 9.66% to trade at R668.91 a share after 13,372 deals saw 5,440,934 shares trade hands. Another counter trading above R1 a share was Drdgold Ltd (DRD) which investors traded 1,103,843 shares from 350 deals that saw it gain 10.04% to settle at R2.85 a share.On the other hand, Woolworths Holdings Ltd Npl (WHLN) was amongst the shares above R1 to fall the most over the trading day when investors bought and sold 4,595,547 shares in 3,909 deals that led to a closing share price of R12.20, a fall of 12.23%. After investors traded 2,872,501 shares in 3,385 deals, Telkom SA (TKG) slid 4.98% to R58.25 a share. The company announced the appointment of executive director and chief financial officer.last_img read more

The Hidden Dangers of Free WordPress Themes

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… In fact, of the top 10 sites that she looked at based on a Google search for “free WordPress themes,” only one was safe – One she deemed “iffy.” But the other 8 all contained themes with some sort of potential exploit or malicious code.Ambrose lists several “trusted sites,” including Smashing Magazine and Theme Shaper, where you can find free themes. She also points to sites like Woo Themes that offer premium themes, as well as some free options. But her suggestion is to avoid the search phrase “free WordPress themes” altogether, and to use exploit decoders to help double-check the safety of any suspcious themes. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#biz#tips Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting audrey watters I have this terrible (or awesome, I suppose) tendency to create new blogs. In fact, just today I bought a new domain (another terribly awesome tendency) and will soon begin the process of setting up “just another WordPress blog.” That means searching for a new WordPress theme. And those who’ve done this before know how difficult it can be to find a good theme in what is arguably the underbelly of the SEO beast: the search string “WordPress themes.”As if finding a good WordPress theme isn’t challenging enough, Siobhan Ambrose points out the dangers and security issues when you’re searching for – or rather, installing, “free WordPress themes.”Ambrose makes the argument in a blog post aptly titled “Why You Should Never Search for Free WordPress Themes in Google or Anywhere Else.” And it isn’t simply because the search is frustrating or spammy.She takes themes from the top ten websites that are returned for such a search and finds that many of the themes there are out-of-date and won’t work with the latest version of WordPress. Many generated errors upon installation.But more troubling, many of these sites contain themes with security exploits. Most common in Ambrose’s findings was Base64, which can be used to hide malicious code. In one example, Base64 stripped out the footer she wanted – her name and copyright information at the base of the blog – and replaced it with a link to a free Antivirus site. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Facebook to launch $200 virtual reality headset later this year

first_imgInternet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… Related Posts Tags:#Facebook#mobile#Oculus#Qualcomm#virtual reality#VR#wearable#Xiaomi Follow the Puck Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfacescenter_img Facebook may be looking to sell a standalone virtual reality headset next year for $200, capable of working without a linked PC or mobile device.The unnamed device will be tailored to customers that cannot afford a high-spec PC or mobile, according to Bloomberg. The report did not say if the device will be a loss leader, bankrolled by Facebook in the hope of getting VR into more homes.See Also: VR/AR headset sales to reach 100 million by 2021, says IDCEven with the reduction in cost, Facebook is hoping that the VR headset will be able to power immersive games, alongside video and social networking services.Facebook will partner with Xiaomi to launch the product in China, everywhere else it will be under the Oculus brand. Xiaomi will supposedly add its own branding and software to the device.Better than Gear VR?The report suggests the device will be more powerful than the Gear VR, Samsung’s own headset that is powered by the company’s high-end smartphones. It will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, although the report does not say which one.Facebook is clearly not happy with the current sales figures for Oculus, estimated between 100,000 to 400,000. It recently lowered the price of the Rift for the second time, down to $399 for the Rift and Touch controllers.To fix this, the social network may be looking at bridging the cost gap, even if it means going into the red for a few years while the technology becomes cheaper and the audience gets more engaged.It is expected to announce the VR headset later this year, with a launch date sometime in 2018. David Curry Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to…last_img read more

How Are Salary Trends Changing in the IT Industry After the Introduction IoT and AI?

first_imgAI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage James Grills is a technical writer with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of mobile application development and IoT technology. He is a marketing advisor – currently associated with Cumulations Technologies a mobile app development company in India. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts James Grillscenter_img Follow the Puck As IoT or the Internet of Things is increasingly getting popular, a lot of thinking has already begun as to how we can make the most out of it.IoT is believed to offer an ocean of big data that can greatly help cities with accurate predictions, provide medical science with real-time insight pertaining to various complex things such as pacemaker, biochips and more, predictive maintenance of equipment and machinery. Many believe that with the advent of IoT, there would be a massive level of advancement in smart homes and self-driving cars. In fact, there’s an unimaginable level of possibilities that are yet to come our way with IoT. As the Internet of Things continues to find its way, the amount of data that would be created by the expansion of devices and sensors will bring about high levels of accuracy in reaching various conclusions, be it business risks or opportunities. Accurate Data Analysis; the Real ChallengeAlso, it will help us reach important decisions pretty fast unlike ever before. This will undoubtedly offer a huge amount of data but the real problem would actually begin when it comes to analyzing the data. Considering the huge amount of data, the traditional methods will not work at all and it certainly would need a large number of highly competent data analysts. Only with a fast and accurate data analysis, IoT could let its promises come true. On the contrary, with inaccurate data analysis, things may get extremely disastrous, irritating and even life-threatening with malfunctioning of the various devices and appliances. Machine Learning, the study of artificial intelligence wherein the sole emphasis is upon creating systems that can actually learn from data can be massively effective in capitalizing on the IoT generated data.Huge Demand for Unbeatable AI Based Products Among the CompaniesAlso, there’s a growing awareness among the businesses about the massive deal of business opportunities that the IoT and AI stores and subsequently, IT industries are into a constant pressure to perform brilliantly and come up with unbeatable AI-based products to help many companies standout amongst the others in this aggressive race of competition nowadays. This has, in turn, increased the demand for competent IT workers especially those with a deep understanding of Machine learning, multiple programming languages, and software. However, this is both bad and good news for IT workers. With more competent IT workers coming in, it could be a do or die situation for many other IT workers who have been working in the traditional pattern so far. Things are going to get a lot competitive in the IT industry for sure. However, the result is expected to be unimaginably advanced unlike ever before.IT Industry Is Heading off to a Roller Coaster RideWith IoT or Machine Learning and automation, there’s undoubtedly an increasing requirement for more IT employees who aren’t merely data scientists but professionals who can play with the data in all aspects besides data analyzing. Interestingly, with this huge need for competent employees thorough with IoT and Artificial intelligence, the IT sector is certainly heading off to a roller coaster ride. According to a recent study, there has already been a 3% increase in the IT salary ever since IoT and AI have been introduced. As a matter of fact, the time has come when IT workers with the ability to handle multiple software can start expecting a higher salary. The demand for the popular data analytics tool, ‘R’ and the most popular programming language, Python is increasing even further. The Success Story of AI So FarIn fact, few of the top-notch companies have already been able to incorporate artificial intelligence into their products and subsequently, achieve a considerable amount of success as well. One of such companies happens to be the Amazon. Amazon Echo with the voice assistant Alexa is increasingly getting popular among the people. Also, it is believed to bring about a massive transformation in the perception of smart homes. Things are certainly going to get a lot better and advanced. Interestingly, every single thing nowadays is based on accurate data analysis and IoT along with Artificial Intelligence is certainly going to bring about a massive amount of convenience as well as advancement in every field of life. Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You…last_img read more

No Patent for Dolly the Cloned Sheep, Court Rules, Adding to Industry Jitters

first_imgDolly the sheep enjoyed a brief and highly publicized life as the first mammal cloned from an adult cell before succumbing to lung disease in 2003 at age 6. But an attempt to patent Dolly, and lay commercial claim to animals produced by cloning, survived much longer. But that nearly 10-year-long saga also appears to have ended last week when a U.S. federal appeals court ruled against giving a patent to Dolly’s creators. Although the ruling did not surprise patent experts, it is adding to the jitters that some biotech firms and patent attorneys are feeling over the broader fate of U.S. biomedical patents in the wake of recent court decisions.In 2009, the Roslin Institute of the University of Edinburgh, where Dolly’s creators Keith Campbell and Ian Wilmut made their discovery, received a U.S. patent on the method used to make her: somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). But they had also submitted a second claim on the product: Dolly herself, and any other cattle, sheep, pigs, and goats produced using SCNT. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) turned down that application, however, citing a federal law that restricts the subject matter of a patent to exclude “laws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas.”Roslin later appealed PTO’s rejection, but it was upheld by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board in February 2013. On 8 May, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, which specializes in patent cases, agreed with that decision. Dolly and other cloned animals cannot be patented, a three-judge panel ruled, because they are identical to animals found in nature—namely, the animals whose DNA is used to make them. “Dolly’s genetic identity to her donor parent renders her unpatentable,” Judge Timothy Dyk wrote in the decision.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)“This seems like a pretty straightforward interpretation of the most recent Supreme Court cases, and I don’t find it terribly surprising,” says Robert Cook-Deegan, a genetics policy expert at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. And it is in keeping with past decisions, he notes. Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled—in the high-profile case Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics—that isolated sequences of human DNA are not patentable. And in a much older case, Diamond v. Chakrabarty in 1980, the high court established that a natural product could be patented only if it had “markedly different characteristics from any found in nature.”The Roslin Institute argued that Dolly and other clones did, in fact, differ in meaningful ways from the donor animals. Environmental influences on their appearance and behavior might make them unique, as would the mitochondrial DNA they carry, which comes from the egg cell donor, not the somatic cell donor. But such differences were not stated in the broad claims of Roslin’s patent application, the appeals court judges decided.The decision could have some short-run effects in the world of animal cloning, says Gregory Graff, an economist at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, who specializes in intellectual property for the life sciences. For example, the Food and Drug Administration is evaluating ways to use cloned animals in livestock, and the inability to patent such products could influence that industry, if it ever takes off.Alarming trend?Others, however, see the Roslin decision as evidence of a more alarming and wide-ranging trend. “The whole area of personalized medicine is going to get impacted by this sort of rationale,” says Carl Gulbrandsen, managing director of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation in Madison, which works to commercialize academic discoveries.The fear, he says, is that if PTO is hostile to granting patents on humanmade products that are identical to products of nature, then investors might back away from promising areas of biomedical research. If similar logic were applied to patent applications on cells modified to resemble human stem cells, for example, or (maybe someday) lab-grown organs, such products might not receive patent protection, he tells ScienceInsider. Although inventors could still patent the methods used to create such products, Gulbrandsen says his own experience suggests “a product patent is much more valuable, and investors are much more comfortable with that than with a method of use” patent.These long-standing anxieties were amplified after this past Thursday’s ruling. “This storm front is about to become even more threatening. Take cover!” wrote patent attorney Warren Woessner in a response to the decision, published online on Friday in The National Law Review. Gene Quinn, a patent attorney and founder of intellectual property blog IPWatchdog, concluded a Dolly-themed post with the pronouncement, “Sadly, until further notice, personalized medicine is dead!”That anxiety is likely misplaced, Cook-Deegan says. “I don’t think [this case] is probably going to have a big echo effect,” he tells ScienceInsider. “I don’t think it has huge implications for other cases.” As for the Roslin Institute, he says its patent on the SCNT method has been enough to protect it from cloning competition. A product patent on Dolly herself would be useful only if the institute wanted to try to sue a company that managed to create cloned mammals by some other technique.Margo Bagley, a law professor at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, also can’t relate to the “sky is falling” mentality. Roslin’s broad claim to a variety of cloned animals conflicts with long-standing Supreme Court precedent, she says, but a more narrow claim would have stood a better chance. And she predicts that innovations will still find their way to patent protection. “For a while now, people have been able to patent, in a sense, the low-hanging fruit,” she says. “The fruit may be little higher up on the tree, but the fruit is still definitely on the tree.”PTO guidelines draw fireBagley is, however, somewhat more concerned about a new set of guidelines for patent eligibility that PTO issued this past March in the wake of the Myriad case. The Dolly decision came down just as those guidelines were being discussed at a public hearing on Friday in Alexandria, Virginia. At the event, the agency took heat from patent attorneys who felt its interpretation of that decision was too broad. Hans Sauer, an intellectual property counsel for the Biotechnology Industry Organization called PTO’s approach “draconian,” claiming the new guidelines are leading patent examiners to reject applications in fields such as pharmaceutical composition, which are outside of the genetics and diagnostics applications discussed in the Myriad case.PTO officials say they’ll welcome input before finalizing the guidelines and encourage the public to submit written comments through the end of June.last_img read more