Page 17 - Briefcase V35 Number 1
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scientific research,” Thompson said. “To protect against conflicts of interest, forensic labs should be made
                                 Thompson serves on the board of the Houston Forensic Science Center, which replaced the HPD Crime Lab in
                                2014. “With its rigorous checks and balances, Houston’s new lab is now nationally recognized as a model for an
                                independent lab,” she said. “It produces high-quality, timely results in an unbiased setting.”

                                1-CLICK ENERGY
                                Associate Professor Gina Warren
                                 New players are entering the energy industry, including tech giants Apple and Google. Associate Professor
                                Gina Warren teaches energy law and is studying this development.
                                 “Apple Energy received federal approval to sell wholesale electricity into the national grid,” Warren said. “Prior
                                to that, Google Energy received approval to do the same. We are seeing more private businesses generating their
                                own electricity, investing in renewable energy facilities and voluntarily purchasing renewable energy credits to
                                cover their carbon footprint.”
                                 Warren’s research suggests there are reasons for this shift. “One reason may be that utilities are unable to supply
                                the amount of renewable energy now in demand,” she said. “Another reason may be that businesses are working
                                to meet market demands by millennials who are seeking sustainable products.”

                                PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCIES
                                Research Professor Allison Winnike
                                 Whether it is the spread of Zika virus or an anthrax outbreak, public health emergencies raise numerous
                                legal concerns. Research Professor Allison Winnike explains who has control during a public health
                                 “States have primary responsibility for protecting the public’s health, including ordering a quarantine,” Winnike
                                said. “This comes from the 10th Amendment of the Constitution which states the authority to protect the health,
                                safety and general welfare of the people. And this power can be delegated down to local authorities to make
                                decisions responding to local health needs.”
                                 Winnike also notes there are several circumstances when a group or individual can be quarantined.
                                 “Quarantine applies to healthy people who may have been exposed to an infectious disease. A person can be
                                quarantined if a health official reasonably believes that they may have been exposed. This is in contrast to the
                                term “isolation” which refers to separating a person that is confirmed to be infected with a disease.”

                                SHARING ECONOMY
                                Assistant Professor Kellen Zale
                                 Technology driven companies such as Airbnb, Uber and Lyft are changing the way people use their
                                property, enabling anyone with a car or a spare bedroom to compete with taxis and hotels. Assistant
                                Professor Kellen Zale has done research on what is being dubbed the “sharing economy.”
                                 “People have always shared their property in the sense of allowing others to use it,” Zale said. "But these
                                activities have been considered informal. Now it is happening in a way that is commercialized, with technology
                                enabling it and tracking it.”
                                 Zale agrees this presents challenges to local governments. “Existing regulations don’t work very well with a
                                peer to peer sharing model, but it can be done,” she said. “We’re at the beginning of the regulatory process. It is
                                going to require ongoing reevaluation as technology evolves. And that’s what the law is equipped to do.”

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