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In the past few weeks, I’ve had some very near misses with some very bad things.

(Almost) Bike Death
Seymour Avenue winds down a very steep hill as it approaches Franklin Avenue. At the intersection between the two, there’s a blind intersection controlled by a stoplight. In the winter, I come down this hill on my bike and turn left onto Franklin. 99% of the time, the light is red and I slow to a stop, but I’ve made it through on a couple of green lights in the past.


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RTIs & Apples

The patent for Abacavir (ABC) (trade name Ziagen), a reverse transcriptase inhibitor (RTI) effective against some resistant strains of HIV, expires this December. Incidentally, a guest lecturer in microbiology came to us to speak about HIV. Here’s where it gets interesting:

Using public funds, researchers at the University of Minnesota analyzed primary literature and hypothesized a novel RTI. After testing revealed its efficacy, Abacavir was patented. GlaxoSmithKline then sold the drug as Ziagen… without proper rights to do so. Mark Yudof, president of the University in the late 90s (and a lawyer), decided to sue for royalties. Settlement: 400 million dollars. This is the largest intellectual property case in the U of M’s history.


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