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3D Printing of Human Tissue To Spark Ethics Debate 234

Posted by Soulskill
from the your-liver-is-made-to-order dept.
Lucas123 writes "In a report released today, Gartner predicts that the time is drawing near when 3D-bioprinted human organs will be readily available, an advance almost certain to spark a complex debate involving a variety of political, moral and financial interests. For example, some researchers are using cells from human and non-human organs to create stronger tissue, said Pete Basiliere, a Gartner research director. 'In this example, there was human amniotic fluid, canine smooth muscle cells, and bovine cells all being used. Some may feel those constructs are of concern,' he said. While regulations in the U.S. and Europe will mean human trials of 3D printed organs will likely take up to a decade, nations with less stringent standards will plow ahead with the technology. For example, last August, the Hangzhou Dianzi University in China announced it had invented the biomaterial 3D printer Regenovo, which printed a small working kidney that lasted four months. Apart from printing tissue, 3D printing may also threaten intellectual property rights. 'IP will be ignored and it will be impossible or impractical to enforce. Everything will change when you can make anything.' said John Hornick, an IP attorney."
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3D Printing of Human Tissue To Spark Ethics Debate

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  • IP freely (Score:5, Insightful)

    by game kid (805301) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @05:12PM (#46103745) Homepage

    Apart from printing tissue, 3D printing may also threaten intellectual property rights. 'IP will be ignored and it will be impossible or impractical to enforce. Everything will change when you can make anything.' said John Hornick, an IP attorney.

    No. Stop. Quit turning natural ideas into assets to be bought, sold, lobbied-for, and speculated.

  • by Dorianny (1847922) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @05:13PM (#46103757) Journal
    Everything will change when you can make anything.' said John Hornick, an IP attorney." I sure do hope so!
  • by Kenja (541830) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @05:14PM (#46103779)
    Admit it, the first thing we're all going to print is genitalia.
  • Buzzword (Score:1, Insightful)

    by gr4nf (1348501) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @05:19PM (#46103855)
    I guess 3d printing is now a generic term that can be applied to any automated fabrication process. *sigh* Another perfectly good term made useless by the mass media.
  • Re:IP freely (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bacon Bits (926911) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @05:29PM (#46103981)

    But I deserve to have more wealth than any ten thousand other people on this planet combined! I mean, maybe I actually invented it and maybe I just bought it from the sucker-- er, person who did. My handful of years of work should absolutely support me and my family indefinitely. Also, I shouldn't have to pay taxes because I'm so great.

  • Re:anything? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @05:36PM (#46104063) Homepage Journal

    It will be a very long time before we "can make anything".

    If IP attorneys like John Hornick have it their way, that 'very long time' will equal 'forever.'

  • Re:IP freely (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @05:36PM (#46104071)

    IP lawyers just want their cut... they see a way to latch onto a copywritable item (the digital file) and say "when you print it, it's a copy". The closest corollary is finding a recipe for a cake and baking it. The baked cake is not a new copy of the recipe.

    The baker followed the instructions of the recipe. The recipe is copywritable and the cake is not subject of the copyright.

    If IP lawyers try to say otherwise, we have a bigger mess than the implications to 3d printing. It means that you can't follow any how-to's on the internet without paying a royalty each time you follow the steps. It means that the people who write recipe books get a cut every time you make a meal.

     

  • Re:IP freely (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @05:37PM (#46104075)

    "No. Stop. Quit turning natural ideas into assets to be bought, sold, lobbied-for, and speculated."

    It's bullshit anyway. 3D printing doesn't "threaten" copyrights or patents. It may be true that people might be able to make patented gadgets for their own home use... but that's already legal. And has been, as far as I know, for 200+ years.

    There is no reason to change the laws, because manufacturing patented products for profit without permission is already illegal anyway. I don't see how enforcement of THAT would be significantly more difficult than it is now.

    As usual, it's the "I have a RIGHT to suck money out of you" people who are bitching about this. Too bad. They can't stop it, and they'd better not force changes in the laws. People are pissed off enough already.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @09:07PM (#46106047)

    Why the sigh?

    Genital regeneration [wikipedia.org] may lead to the restoration of parts lost via genital mutilation. And science looks a lot more appealing than this foreskin restoration method [wikipedia.org]. NSFW.

    Circumcision (male) is not "genital mutilation" any more than removal of a vestigial toe or tail is. All you're doing is removing a flap of skin which stopped serving any biological purpose back when people started wearing pants.
    This is nothing at all like the so-called "female circumcision", which is removal of a LOT more than just some extra loose skin.

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