E-Cigarette Flavors, Biotech Courts And More Media Links

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1. A new study adds another layer to the debate about e-cigarettes and vaping. Though the government has determined in advance they must be harmful and a gateway to cigarettes, a survey finds it is just the opposite.

Teens who have used them go for the flavor instead. With no nicotine as an addictive component, there is no addiction. With no addiction, it is a harmless pastime, like a pipe or a cigar. The findings call into question the designation of e-cigarettes as Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) and suggest that the recent spike in the popularity of e-cigarettes among this age group doesn't signal a 'nicotine epidemic' as feared, conclude the researchers.

2. Judges just aren't prepared to deal with technical fields like biotech, and GenomeWeb cites our article in the Wall Street Journal. Courts have made seemingly contradictory rulings as well as ones that don't seem in line with the science, they write. For instance, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a ruling last year that invalidated Sequenom's patent on a way to test maternal blood for fetal DNA because DNA testing is well understood and routine, while it allowed a patent in In Vitro v. Cellzdirect that covered refreezing cells for research, saying that while the freezing and thawing steps were well known, repeating them was not. At the same time, the Supreme Court ruled in theAssociation for Molecular Pathology et al. v. Myriad Genetics that isolated DNA could not be patented, but that cDNA could be.

Read their piece here.

3. Kaiser Health News also enters the debate and you can read their take here.