Patent Rights to CRISPR

Just need to pick one topic:

For your primary post, select ONE of the following discussion topics. Using your own words, write a primary post of at least 125 words that follows the instructions closely. Be sure to address everything listed in the instructions. If there are two subtopics [a, b] address both of them. If there are three subtopics [ a, b, c] address all three of them. If you use any sources other than the ones specified, you must cite your source.

Topic 1. Patent Rights to CRISPR. The results of biology often have commercial implications. The patent system grants inventors the exclusive right to license or market their invention for a period of 20 years. Recently, there was a major courtroom drama playing out over who is entitled to patent royalties for a new gene-editing technique known as “CRISPR-Cas 9”. Based on the article by Netburn (2017), address the following three questions:

  1. The decision hinged on whether the eukaryotic applications of the technology were sufficiently different from the prokaryotic applications to warrant a separate patent. Explain the difference between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.
  2. Explain why the federal Patent Trial and Appeal Board ruled in favor of the Broad Institute, over the University of California – Berkeley.
  3. Why are the rights to CRISPR considered to be such a big deal?

Topic 2. Climate Change / Terrestrial Species. Watch the 7.5 minute video by Cox (2016) about how climate change affects the “species range” of terrestrial species. This video can be found in the “Instructor Insights” of Week 1. Based on the video, address the following:

  1. Describe three things you learned from the video.
  2. Explain how the video relates to the field of biology.

Topic 3. Evo-devo. Watch the video by Carroll (2007) about the science of evolution and the field of evo-devo.

  1. Describe three things you learned from the video.
  2. Tell me what these things teach us about biology.

Topic 4. Symbiosis between the horse and its microbes. An article by Crandell (2012) describes how bacteria and other microbes live in the horse’s large intestine. Answer the following questions about the relationship between the horse and the microbes.

  1. Explain how the horse benefits from the microbes.
  2. Explain how the microbes benefit from the horse.
  3. Explain how this relates to the field of biology.


Olsen, E. (2007, June 25) Sean Carroll on evolution and the science of evo-devo. [Video]. The New York Times. Retrieved from

Cox, J. (2016). Climate change and species range (version 2). [Video]. Retrieved from this course shell in Instructor Insights, Week 1.

Crandell, K. (2012, January 3). Balancing the microbes in the horse’s digestive tract. Equinews.…

Netburn, D. (2017, February 15). UC Berkeley suffers big loss in CRISPR patent fight: What’s next for the powerful gene-editing technology?…

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