25 July 2012
Vol 4, Issue 144

About The Cover

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ONLINE COVER Birth of Technology. The mother-child bond begins in utero, during which nutrients flow to the fetus and fetal products enter the mother's blood stream. Sensitive sequencing technology can characterize cell-free fetal DNA in the mother's blood and provides important information about genetic diseases. Much of the basic research that gave birth to cell-free fetal DNA testing technologies was supported by public funding and spawned multiple patents. In this week's Focus, Sayres et al. warn that restrictive patenting and licensing practices for intellectual property related to cell-free fetal DNA testing can have serious ramifications for technology advancement and the public health benefits. [CREDIT: CHRIS BICKEL/SCIENCE TRANSLATION MEDICINE]