--On Monday [Jan. 15], the National Academy of Sciences released a two-year study, "Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade." We can count polar bears, stick thermometers in the ocean, and measure the hair on wooly caterpillars, but the only way to find out what's going on with global warming is to study Earth from space. The Academy report finds that NASA's earth science budget has fallen by 30 percent, while the number of operating Earth-observing instruments on NASA satellites will fall by 40 percent by 2010. The funds are being siphoned off to prepare for a manned science station on the moon. NASA seems unable to describe just what science will be done.--
Separately, Cullen's blog entry "Junk controversy not junk science..." for those interested.
IPBiz was expecting some comment by Park as to his statements about stem cells on Jan. 12. Sadly, the cupboard was bare. IPBiz had noted:
Bob Park wrote on WN on 12 Jan. 07:
The bill lifts the President's ban on using leftover stem cells from fertility clinics in research. (...)A Presidential veto will spare leftover embryonic stem cells from the indignity of saving human lives and allow them to be thrown in the garbage with their dignity intact.
IPBiz notes to Bob Park-->
on the science: Fertility clinics (e.g., those doing IVF) are in the business of handling eggs and embryos. They don't do stem cells, and thus don't have leftover embryonic stem cells to hand over.
on the politics: In 2001, Bush restricted federal funding to stem cell lines already in existence. Bush didn't ban the use of eggs/embyros; where do you think ACT got their material for their research?
Matthew Nisbet, a scholar at American University, wrote that the public still scores relatively low in both knowledge of the science and the politics involved, and Park's WN illustrates both points.
Can Park tell the difference between an embryo, a stem cell, and a wooly caterpillar?
A remark in the Sacramento Bee on the planned departure of Zach Hall from CIRM was of interest:
At times, Hall could have done more to solicit opinions and respond to the agency's critics, but given his background -- he came from the insular National Institute of Health -- he's gone further than many would have expected.
Also, ACT announced that it had received a "momentous" $204,439 NIH research grant [that's federal dollars, folks] in conjunction with a project involving one of the company's academic partners, the Burnham Institute in the San Diego area. californiastemcellreport noted: It is fair to say that the releases are as much – if not more – about creating a "good story" for investors about ACT than the science. Nothing wrong with that. That's the way business works. IPBiz asks if "good story" is a synonym for "fairy tale"? The stemcellreport separately quoted Matt Gardner on IP: That's a huge issue for this industry. And the biggest thing to focus on there is that the U.S. Congress is going to visit this issue in 2007. What needs to be kept in mind here is that this industry is built on certainty in intellectual property. Anything that any of our public sector partners do to try and draw that into question will be harmful to this industry, no matter what it looks like.
"Most of these companies, when they are initially funded, are done so on a very clear picture of their intellectual property. Because it may be 15 years before you have product revenue based on the amount of time it takes to develop a product, run clinical trials and get the product approved, everything until then is a value based on intangible assets.
IPBiz has separately noted the questioning done by Professors Gilbert and Noll of the rosy predictions made about patent royalty income that were made BEFORE Proposition 71 was passed. IPBiz notes that post-Proposition 71 everyone seems to understand the timeline for development of patent royalties. While the Supreme Court debates obviousness in KSR v. Teleflex, one might contemplate the concept of "obviously wrong."