Patenting genes could jeopardize future discoveries


The following is an excerpt.

Already about 4,000 of the 22, 000 human genes have U.S. patents, but Myriad Genetics Inc. is requesting patents for its discovery of two crucial genes linked to hereditary breast and ovarian cancers. The constitutionality of patenting human genes is a case scheduled to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court this year. If deemed constitutional, only researchers affiliated with Myriad Genetics will be able to study and work with those patented genes.

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