Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The 2012 Lexvivo Top Ten

A torrent of stories about genes, demes, and memes carved deep channels into 2012.  Selecting only ten to feature has been challenging.  However, choices must be made.  Here is the Lexvivo top ten for 2012:
(1)  Thar Sandy Blows! - Hurricane Sandy was a natural disaster for North America, born of stochasticity, climate change, and foolhardy policies (see (5)).
(2)  Myriad Answers - In AMA v. Myriad, he United States Supreme Court will decide the following question:  "Are human genes patentable?"
(3)  As Hot As...Earth! - Droughts, fires, and melting Arctic and Antarctic icecaps all accompanied the warmest year since the advent of accurate global temperature measurements.
(4)  Prometheus Fired - In Mayo v. Prometheus, the U.S. Supreme Court limited the patentability of inventions related to diagnosing and treating human beings
(5)  Thar Bopha Blows! - Typhoon Bopha was a natural disaster for Asia, born of stochasticity, climate change, and foolhardy policies (see (1)).
(6)  The Reign of Pterois - The Red Lionfish (P. volitans) continued its spread throughout the coral reefs of the Caribbean, devastating native reef fish and the ecosystems to which they are intrinsic.
(7)  Are Patents A Hill Of Beans? - In Bowman v. Monsanto, he U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether or not the sale of seeds exhausts patent rights in inventions capable of self-replication, such as soybean plants Monsanto genetically-modified to be glyphosate-resistant.
(8)  Tighter Genes - The U.S. Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues issued a report that warned of, and offered recommendations to minimize, the great risks to privacy that accompany whole-genome sequencing.
(9)  Cultural Bridge of Psy's - K-Pop star, Psy, conquered YouTube with his music video and rampant meme, Gangnam Style, showing that even hegemonic American culture can be emulated, improved, and exported back to the United States.
(10)  Chimp Change - The U.S. National Institutes of Health allowed 110 chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) used in medical research to "retire," sending a strong signal that such uses of chimpanzees and other animals may be fundamentally reevaluated.
Naturally, 2013 promises to be another great year in genes, demes, and memes, so stay tuned to Lexvivo.