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Business Biotech patents Taking it personally商业 生物技术专利 对人下药A legal fight over a new generation of medicine新一代药品的法律纠纷DRUG research is in dark times, as pipelines dry up and development budgets are cut.但有一束光带来了一线希望。But one shaft of light pierces the gloom.随着新药品种开发减少,药品的研发资金缩减,药品研究正处于黑暗时期。;Personalised medicine; promises to craft drugs for individuals.;个性化药品;承诺为个人定制药品。Genetic tests will identify those who will benefit from specific medicines.基因测试将识别出那些从特制药品中获益的人。Treatment will be more effective; waste will drop.从而加强治疗效果;降低浪费水平。Personalised medicine has sparked excitement among drugmakers, doctors, hospitals and patients.个性化药品让制药商、医生和病人均欣喜若狂。It has also sparked a legal brawl.这也引发了法律纠纷。On December 7th Americas Supreme Court heard arguments in Mayo v Prometheus.2011年12月7日美国高等法院听取了梅奥V普罗米修斯的辩论。The suit, despite a name that suggests an ancient liver sandwich, may be crucial for biotechnology firms.这一诉讼虽然以暗示古代肝三明治的名义进行,但是对于生物公司来说至关重要。America is the worlds hub for drug research.美国是全球药品研究中心。By definition, personalised medicine includes the study of genetic mutations and other personal characteristics.按定义,定制药品包括对于基因突变的研究和其他个性化特征。However, American law bars patents of nature and abstract ideas.但是美国的法律禁止给自然和抽象的概念颁发专利。The question is which discoveries in personalised medicine may be patented.问题在于个性化药品的哪一种发现可能授予专利。Prometheus is part of a series of suits over biotech patents.普罗米修斯公司是陷入一系列生物技术专利权之争的公司之一。Courts have been active because Congress has not.因国会无动于衷,法庭便积极地应对。A recent patent reform provided little clarity.最近的专利改革提供模棱两可的解释。Congress merely ordered a study of genetic testing.国会仅是指示对基因测试进行研究。Judges have been bolder: in July a federal court ruled that genes could be patented.法官们是更加的大胆:7月份联邦法庭裁决基因可获得专利。On December 7th the suits losers appealed to the Supreme Court.12月7日该案件的败诉方上诉至最高法院。But Prometheus may have greater practical import, says Hans Sauer of the Biotechnology Industry Organisation (BIO), a trade group.生物科技产业组织(BIO)的汉斯.萨奥尔说,但普罗米修斯案可能实际起的作用更大。Firms are studying genetic correlations that might predict a drugs efficacy or determine the cause of a disease.研究遗传相关的公司可能预计到药品的功效或决定疾病的缘由。Prometheus may determine whether methods using such correlations may be patented.普罗米修斯案可能裁定使用这种相关方法是否能授予专利。The fight has attracted the heavyweights of health care.这场官司吸引了卫生保健业重量级人物的眼球。On one side is Prometheus Laboratories, a Californian company that has patented a way to optimise certain drug treatments for individuals.一方是因优化某种个性化药物治疗的方法获得专利的加州普罗米修斯公司,On the other is the Mayo Clinic, a health and research centre.另一方是健康研究中心,梅奥诊所。Prometheuss supporters include BIO and several tech firms.普罗米修斯公司的持者包括BIO和几个高科技公司。Roche and Abbott, two big drugmakers, gave warning against invalidating patents on diagnostic tests.两大医药巨头罗氏制药和雅培公司对诊断试验专利无效提出了警告。Mayos allies include the American Medical Association.梅奥的联盟包括美国医学协会。The patents in question do not concern genetic tests, though the suits outcome will affect them.对于专利权的争议与基因测试无关,尽管这一案件的审理结果会影响到基因测试。They concern tests for the effectiveness of thiopurines, drugs that have long been used to treat gastrointestinal disorders such as Crohns disease.他们关心的是巯基嘌呤是否适当的测试。巯基嘌呤是一直用来治疗胃肠道功能失调如克罗恩病的药物。Their effect depends on how they are metabolised.该药物的是否有效取决于其是如何新陈代谢的。Neither thiopurines nor tests for metabolites (substances produced by metabolism) were new when Prometheuss patents were filed in 1998.在普罗米修斯公司申请专利时不管是巯基嘌呤还是代谢物(由新陈代谢引起的物质)的测试都不是什么新鲜事物。But the patents cover the process for determining whether a given dose produces concentrations of metabolites within a recommended range.但是这一专利包括决定是否给定的药物剂量在推荐范围内能产生大量的代谢物过程。The dose of thiopurines could be adjusted accordingly.巯基嘌呤的剂量可以随之调整过来。Prometheus sells a test based on its patents to hospitals and clinics.普罗米修斯公司因测试方法申请了专利权而将其卖给医院和诊所。In 2004 Mayo developed a competing test, with different recommended levels of metabolites.2004年梅奥研制出了有竞争力的测试,对代谢物使用不同的推荐指数。Prometheus sued.普罗米修斯公司以此状告梅奥诊所。Mayos lawyers say Prometheus has patented a mere observation of the bodys natural workings.梅奥的律师说普罗米修斯公司申请的仅仅是观察人体自然运行的专利。Let the claim stand, Mayo argues, and firms will win broad patents over basic biological relationships, stifling innovation.梅奥辩道,若让普罗米修斯公司胜诉,公司将超越基本的生物基础而获得广泛意义的专利权从而阻碍创新。Prometheus and its allies warn of an alternative apocalypse.普罗米修斯公司和其联盟则警告这是另一场大灾难。A judgment in Mayos favour, they contend, will undermine existing patents and shrivel investment in personalised medicine.偏向于梅奥的持方争辩道这将破坏现有的专利及导致对个性化药品的投资减少。The Supreme Court may not make such a broad judgment.最高法院可能不会做出广泛的评判。It may instead hand down a narrower ruling that leaves many questions unanswered.相反,最高法院有可能将采用较小范围的裁定使得许多问题悬而未决。A natural phenomenon may not be patented, but which applications of that phenomenon might be?自由现象有可能不会授予专利,但是自然现象的哪种应用属于专利范围呢?When studying genetic correlations, which so-called discoveries are truly novel?在研究遗传相关的命题时,哪一种所谓的发现是真的新鲜出炉?Eventually personalised medicine may transform patients care and firms business models.最终个性化药品可能转变病人的护理和企业的经营模式。In the near future, the greatest beneficiaries may be patent lawyers.在不久的将来,最大的的受益者将是打专利权官司的律师。 /201211/211584Books and Arts;America and Iran;Cloud computing;文艺;美伊问题;云计算;A Single Roll of the Dice: Obamas Diplomacy with Iran, by Trita Parsi.《孤注一掷:奥巴马的对伊政策》;特里塔·帕塞著;With dark rumours swirling of an attack on Irans nuclear programme, this new book by Trita Parsi is well-timed. The founder of the National Iranian American Council in Washington, DC, details American diplomacy with the Islamic Republic under Barack Obama. His analysis of the grim stalemate that has characterised relations between the Great Satan and the mullahs since 1979 is both absorbing and frustrating. It is a tale of missed opportunities, obduracy and short-sightedness, all which are pushing the Middle East towards greater instability.特里塔·帕塞新作的面世,伴随着针对伊朗核计划的漫天谣言,来的正是时候。作者曾创立了位于华盛顿特区的伊朗裔美国人全国理事会,在本书中,他详细阐述了奥巴马领导下的美国政府对伊斯兰共和国的外交路线。自1979年起,“大魔头”和“毛拉”之间的关系一直深陷僵局,作者对这一严峻状态的分析既引人入胜又令人沮丧,书中讲述了中东是如何因为错失良机、顽固执拗、目光短浅等缺点而一步步陷入更大的动荡之中。Under George Bush, Americas relationship with Iran festered. The two powers collaborated occasionally in Afghanistan, but with America driven by the premise that “we dont speak to evil”, detente was a distant possibility. America saw negotiations not as a tool of diplomacy but as a reward to be granted only to those states that had proved they were deserving of them. Iran, grouped with North Korea and Iraq as part of the “axis of evil”, was not.在乔治·布什领导期间,美伊关系交恶。两国曾在阿富汗事务上有过数次合作,但随着美国将“不与罪恶结交”作为外交前提,两国和解变得遥遥无期。对美国而言,协商不是一种外交手段,而是一个嘉奖,只有那些能明自己值得交往的国家才配和美国进行协商。作为和朝鲜、伊拉克为伍的“邪恶轴心国”,伊朗自然是不够格的。The inauguration of a new president who from the start promised the Muslim world respect and who offered the hand of American friendship to those willing to unclench their fist, prompted stirrings of hope, both in Iran and beyond, that this could be a new start. (Farsi speakers also noted that Obama means “He is with us”.)新任总统在参选之初就郑重保,将尊重穆斯林,并把美国的友好传达给所有愿意松开拳头的伊朗人。他的就职演讲给伊朗乃至整个穆斯林世界带来了一丝希望,新的开始仿佛就在眼前。(伊朗人还认为,奥巴马是“和我们站在一起的”)But the bitter mistrust that divides Iran and America, and the domestic considerations of leaders on both sides, eroded that initial optimism. Time and again in negotiations over Irans nuclear programme, America and its allies assumed Iranian duplicity and insincerity. For their part, the Iranians saw in Americas outstretched hand only the determination to snatch from their country its independence, rights and potential.然而仇视和不信任导致美伊两国决裂,加之双方领导人推行了一系列国内政策,这些都扑灭了尚在襁褓的希望之火。随着一次次对伊朗核计划的探讨,美国及其盟友们将伊朗视作伪善的骗子,而在伊朗看来,美国插手伊朗事务,就是为了剥夺他们的独立,权利和潜在的能力。Even during the deepest chill of the cold war, America and Russia found ways of talking. Today a frozen silence stretches from Tehran to Washington. “When you dont know whats going on, and you dont feel like you have somebody you can communicate with on the other side of the table, you are going to revert back to whats safe…and whats safe in the Iran context is demonization and just general negativity,” explains an American official.即便是在冷战最僵持的时期,美苏两国也曾设法进行沟通,而今,弥漫在伊朗和美国之间的是冰冷的沉默。“当你对现状毫无头绪,谈判桌上又话不投机,你就会退回到安全的状态,而在伊朗看来,所谓的安全状态就是将美国妖魔化,挑起大众的消极情绪。”一位美国官员如是解释。Irans reluctance to engage goes deeper: “Tehran cannot come to terms with Washington without risking an internal identity and legitimacy crisis.” Animosity towards America is written into the Islamic Republics DNA. If the relationship is restored, “we will dissolve ourselves,” admits Amir Mohebian, an Iranian conservative.伊朗的抵触情绪则日渐深重。“伊朗要重回谈判桌,就得冒着国家身份缺失和合法性危机的风险。”对美国的仇恨铭刻在伊斯兰共和国的血液里,伊朗保守派人士埃米尔·莫比安表示,一旦美伊关系恢复,“伊朗将会自我毁灭”。But diplomacy with Iran, maintains Mr Parsi, has never been pursued to the point of exhaustion. Look at Libya (before the recent uprising), Vietnam and Northern Ireland, he insists, and the painstaking years of quiet discussions with each of them. The talks between America and Iran, a few weeks here, a fortnight there, have never matched that. The approach has focused on the nuclear issue to the exclusion of all others, a take-it-or-leave-it attitude that has always been doomed. Negotiations such as these succeed not because the proposals are flawless or because both sides play fair, but “because the many flaws associated with the talks are overcome by the political will to reach a solution”.但帕塞表示,美方与伊朗的外交关系远没有走到尽头。他认为,和(暴动之前的)利比亚,越南和北爱尔兰,以及与它们多年痛苦而漫长的讨论协商相比,美伊两国间或进行的短期谈判绝对算不了什么。美伊接触的焦点一直围绕着核问题展开,回避了其他问题,双方态度也僵持在要么全盘接受,要么统统滚蛋的状态。而纵观那些成功的协商谈判,并不是因为提议有多么完美,或是谈判双方有多么公正,而是“因为希望解决问题的政治意愿克了谈判中出现的种种缺憾”。That political will, says Mr Parsi, has been absent. The mutual mistrust has left no margin for error. Neither has seen any domestic political benefit in pushing for a serious settlement. And now, with the tick-tocking of the nuclear clock growing ever more insistent, reconciliation looks less and less likely. The enmity between America and Iran, stoked by three decades of demonising each other, is no longer a phenomenon, concludes Mr Parsi. “It is an institution.”帕塞认为,美伊缺少的正是这种政治意愿。双方互不信任,因而无法容忍对方的任何过失,加之没有任何国内政治利益能推动美伊冲突得到切实解决。而现在,随着伊朗核武器的日渐面世,美伊和解的可能越来越小。30多年来,美伊两国相互攻击诋毁,两国间的敌对状态已经不再是一个现象,引用帕塞的话来说,“这已然是个习俗。” /201210/206565

Business. 商业。 Women in management. 女性管理者。 A word from your sponsor. 后台一句话的事。 Time for women to stop being shrinking violets at work. 职场女性,从此不再羞答答的开。 ;I DONT know any successful women who havent had a powerful sponsor in their organisation to give them their first big break,; says Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, the boss of 20-first, a consultancy that helps companies put more women into senior jobs. That sentiment is echoed by many people who work in this field. But why do women need so much help? ;在一个组织里,对于女性而言,没有过硬的后台帮助她们完成人生的首次突破,还能够风生水起的,我实在是没咋地见过,;阿维娃·维滕贝格-考克斯,性别顾问公司20-First总裁,如是说。顾问公司20-First帮助很多的公司,让更多的女性做高层领导。她的这一观点得到众多同行的呼应。但是为啥女性需要那么多的帮助呢? Many men who climb the corporate ladder have sponsors, too. Indeed, they find it easier than women to persuade a senior colleague to sponsor them. But women need help more because they are generally more reluctant to promote themselves. They are also less likely to build up useful networks of contacts. 许多女性要想晋升,必须有后台,这一道理同样适用于公司。确实,女性要想劝高层领导帮助自己,不是件太难的事。但是女性需要更多的帮助,原因就是,一般来的来说,她们不愿意推销自己。同时,她们也不大可能去建立一个对自个有用的关系网。 That may help to explain why women, although they now enter white-collar jobs in much the same numbers as men in many countries, still find it so hard to get anywhere near the executive suite. A new report, ;Sponsor Effect: UK;, produced by the Centre for Talent Innovation (CTI), a New York think-tank, offers a detailed picture of the female talent pipeline in Britain, based on a survey of about 2,500 graduate employees, mostly of large companies. It notes that although women in Britain account for 57% of new recruits to white-collar jobs, they make up just 17% of executive directors and a mere 4% of chief executives of the FTSEs 100 biggest companies. 这也解释了这样一个现象,在很多的国家,白领女性的数量跟男性持平,但是女性进入高管还是一个字,难。一份新的报告,《后台效应:英国》,制作者为纽约智囊团人才创新中心(CTI),详述描绘了英国女性人才的分布状况。这份报告的制作,是基于对2500个左右研究生雇员的调查,且她们基本上都来自大公司。它指出,虽然女性新雇员占白领比例57%,但是在富时指数的100个大公司里,执行理事也就17%,首席执行官只有可怜的4%。 It is not that the women lack ambition, says the report. No less than 79% of senior women in the sample said they aspired to a top job and 91% were keen to be promoted. Nor, say the authors, are they necessarily held back by family responsibilities: nearly two in five of those aged 40 or over had no children. Three in five of the over-40s did have children, and talented women who quit work to raise kids are not included in the sample. 不是说女性没有雄性壮志,报告讲。调查者中,多达79%的大龄女性表示希望成为高管,91%希望得到晋升。作者称,家庭责任并不一定会拖累她们:年龄在40或是以上的,接近五分之二,是没有孩子的,有五分之三的女性是有孩子的,这个确实不假。那些为了照顾孩子而放弃工作的才女们并不在这个范围之内。 Still, the surveys main finding is striking. Only 16% of the sample had sponsors, defined as people several levels above them who give them career advice, introduce them to contacts and help them get promotions. Having a sponsor dramatically improves a womans career prospects. 仍然,这个调查的主要发现还是会吓人一跳。调查者中,只有16%的人有后台,后台的意思指的是那些比她们的位子要高那么几级的人,在工作当中给予她们建议,给她们接触的机会,帮助她们晋升。有个后台,女性在职场上的路要好走非常多。 The British report is a follow-on from a similar study by the CTI on America, ;The Sponsor Effect;, published last year by the Harvard Business Review. The CTI is now working on India; Germany may come after that. It is also preparing a ;road map; to make it easier for women everywhere to find sponsors. 这份英国报告,其实是美国CTI的一份类似研究的后续。这份研究的名称为《后台效应》,去年在期刊《哈佛商业》上出版。CTI现在正在对印度进行研究;印度之后可能就是德国。CTI同时也在酝酿一幅;公路图;,目的就是为了让各地的女性更好地找到后台。 Sylvia Ann Hewlett, the CTIs boss, who co-wrote the report, says there are some differences between countries (for example, American male bosses are more reluctant than British ones to sponsor younger women, lest they be suspected of an affair, which could wreck their career). But the broad picture is similar everywhere: women underestimate the importance of sponsorship and fail to cultivate business relationships effectively. This may be true, but networking takes time, often after hours. Are women with children equally willing to put in that extra time? 西尔维亚·安·休利特,CTI老板,是此份报告的共同撰写者。她说,各个国家的情况真的还不大一样(比如,美国的男性老板,比起英国的男性老板,就不大愿意帮助年轻的女性,因为这会导致绯闻,对事业不利)。但是从更大范围来看,情况其实差不多:女性低估了后台的力量,并且没能够有效地培养商业关系。这可能是对的,但是关系网的维护还是需要时间的,尤其是下班时间。那么,女性会把跟孩子在一起的时间花在培养关系网上吗? Drawing attention to the problems of women in upper management makes a useful change from the usual lament about the lack of women on boards. The scarcity of both is a symptom of something bigger: a lot of employers neither know nor care how many senior women they have working for them. Studies show a correlation between more women in senior positions and superior company performance, though it is hard to know whether more sexual diversity improves performance or top-notch firms promote more women. 把注意力集中到高管女性的问题上,而不是像往常一样,哀叹董事会的女性怎么就这么少,要有用的多了。高管女性和董事会女性的稀缺只是问题的一个症状,更大的问题是:许多老板对这个有多少女性在为他工作上,不关心,也不在乎。研究显示,女性高管越多,公司的表现越好,这之间是有一定的关系的,虽然还不是很确定,到底是性别多样化促进绩效呢,还是一流的公司更多的提拔女性呢。 How much can sponsorship help? Ms Wittenberg-Cox is glum. She says there have been so many initiatives that many firms suffer from diversity fatigue, but none has dealt with ;the appalling reality of the pipeline;. The only remedy, she reckons, is a change of thinking at the top. 后台到底能有多大用?维滕贝格-考克斯女士不清楚。她说,有太多的公司因为性别单一而缺乏主动性,但是并没有什么人来解决这个;可怕的人才分布事实;。她觉得,唯一的解救方法,恐怕就是高层的变动。 /201209/199775

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