Breakthrough Gene Tool Attracts Investors Amid Patent Dispute

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

Last month, Bayer AG BAYRY 0.20 % opened the doors on a 335 million joint venture with Crispr Therapeutics to develop therapies using a new gene-editing tool. Later this year, rival Editas Medicine Inc. EDIT -0.94 % will move into larger digs as it, too, races ahead with a 200 million-plus effort to leverage the gene-editing tool into new drugs. Companies working on this special technology have raised over 600 million since 2013 in venture capital and the public markets, researchers at Montana State University estimated in 2015. More deals continue to be signed, and this month Crispr Therapeutics said it plans to go public and wants to raise up to another 90 million. The flurry belies the fact that the companies don't actually know yet who owns the intellectual-property rights to the technology.


Ex-L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca has Alzheimer's disease, but he still faces a 6-month prison term

Los Angeles Times

Former Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca is in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, but nonetheless should serve time in prison for lying to federal investigators during a probe into jail abuses by sheriff's deputies, the U.S. Attorney's Office has concluded. Calling Baca "a study in contrasts" for his high achievments in office and the ethical failures that were his donwfall, as well as a "a physically fit 74-year-old who is able to function in his daily life," Fox urged U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson to sentence Baca to six months in prison. Under the terms of the agreement, Baca pleaded guilty to lying to Fox and other officials during a long, voluntary interview he gave in 2013 about his knowledge of a scheme underlings carried out to obstruct an FBI investigation into corruption in the L.A. County jail system. In pleading guilty, Baca admitted that he lied when he told federal authorities that he was unaware his subordinates were planning to approach the FBI agent leading the jail investigation at her home threaten her with arrest.


Hepatitis A outbreak linked to sushi chain's frozen imported scallops spur Hawaii health alert

The Japan Times

HONOLULU – Hawaii authorities are urging diners to be aware of the risks of eating raw and undercooked food after they traced a hepatitis A outbreak to frozen scallops served raw at a sushi restaurant chain. State Department of Health Sanitation Branch Chief Peter Oshiro said Tuesday he and others in Hawaii like to eat food raw. But he said people should have their "eyes wide open" about such foods and understand there's a possibility they could get sick. "Obviously I am an enjoyer of raw foods also, and I am at risk just like all of you. This is not going to stop me from eating it because I recognize that it tastes good," Oshiro said.


Women, Drugs, and Devices

Mother Jones

In 1972, an Associated Press reporter broke the story of a decades-long government-backed study that deliberately deprived its poor, African American male subjects of treatment for syphilis. Some had entered the study with the illness, others became infected after entering the study, but the effects on their lives were devastating. Public outrage over the Tuskegee Syphilis Study led to the National Research Act of 1974, which created a commission to draft recommendations for the ethical treatment of human research subjects, including pregnant women. Even before the commission was formed, the story of the morning sickness drug thalidomide, which was mostly centered in Europe, had heightened sensitivity about pregnant women and drugs. In 1975 the commission released its recommendations for prenatal research, which included two ideas that continue to complicate research with pregnant subjects to this day.


US appeals court upholds UN immunity from Haiti cholera suit

U.S. News

FILE - In this Oct. 19, 2011, file photo, a girl receives treatment for cholera symptoms at a Doctors Without Borders, MSF, cholera clinic in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. A U.S. federal appeals court has upheld on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, the United Nations' immunity from a damage claim filed on behalf of 5,000 cholera victims who blame the U.N. for an epidemic of the deadly disease in Haiti.