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Michael Hiltzik

Michael Hiltzik Columnist
The billion-dollar CRISPR patent battle: A case of big money shaping science

The 21st century is still young, but it may already have its era-defining patent fight.

The contestants are the University of California and the Broad Institute, a Harvard- and MIT-affiliated research foundation endowed by Los Angeles billionaire Eli Broad.

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Football and kids: Are pediatricians too tolerant about youth tackling?

This is the week that our national fascination with pro football reaches its annual climax.

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Congress made Martin Shkreli look like a jerk, but it bears responsibility for high drug prices

Members of the House Oversight Committee were probably giving each other high-fives Thursday for making Martin Shkreli look like a smug jerk under their questioning about the high drug prices at his former company, Turing Pharmaceuticals.

You know what? He was a smug jerk, smirking through his appearance before the committee as he repeatedly pleaded the 5th Amendment.

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A reminder that there's only been one great Super Bowl ad in history (in 1984)

For all its faults, the National Football League does some things very well. Most of them are associated with marketing, at which it's brilliant. And perhaps its most brilliant marketing stunt is to convince people that they should watch the Super Bowl telecast for the commercials. 

Think of the genius of this idea. It draws in viewers who have no interest in football.

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How a huge insurance company screwed up on Obamacare

UnitedHealth Group is the nation's biggest private health insurer, so when its executives started whining last year about how it was losing millions on Affordable Care Act exchange plans and threatened to leave the ACA market as early as 2017, people took notice. 

Even Obamacare devotees wondered whether United's experience signaled deeper problems with the ACA exchanges generally.

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Sheldon Adelson, the NFL and Las Vegas: A perfect match?

Every so often, nature brings together two prospective partners who truly deserve each other. Such a match made in heaven is the alliance of Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson and the National Football League. 

No deal has yet been done, but Adelson reportedly met last week with Mark Davis, owner of the NFL Oakland Raiders, who are hankering to leave their hometown.

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