Monday, April 15, 2013

Supreme Court hears oral arguments on patenting DNA

Can a private company own a patent on the DNA in a human gene, a chemical sequence that appears in every human being?
Myriad Genetics of Salt Lake City thinks so, and has filed for patents for genes related to breast cancer. The rationale is that the chemical sequence is needed as a template to make artificial genes to be used in tests for susceptibility to breast cancer.  However, a counter argument is that everyone would have to go to one company for the test, and could not easily get second opinions before surgery or any radical treatment.
The Los Angeles Times story by Karen Kaplan is here
Bloomberg Law has posted the ACLU’s arguments against the idea of patenting naturally occurring biological codes.
The Supreme Court has posted the arguments held today in the case Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, link here.

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