Law & Biomedical Advance

B661 is taught by Y. Cripps

This course will examine the ways in which law is being affected by latest advances in biomedicine, including precision medicine and CRISPR technology. The sequencing of the human genome has brought us sophisticated genetic testing, screening and the possibility of human genetic modification. These are relatively new arrivals in doctors and pharmaceutical companies array of offerings. The cloning of genes, and indeed whole organisms, raises new questions for lawyers, whether they specialize in property, tort, criminal law, insurance, or intellectual property. Fascinating constitutional questions must now also be addressed, as is illustrated by litigation instigated by the Association for Molecular Pathology, the ACLU and others against a company holding patents on human genes. The new synthetic biology, which involves the creation of organisms in laboratories, will also be considered, as will novel legal questions that it raises. Three parent embryos, chimeras and other related technologies also spark legal and ethical issues that will merit our attention. No prior knowledge of either biotechnology or intellectual property law is necessary for this class, which will be conducted in an open discussion format online, with a take home exam.