The following is an edited excerpt.
Can genes be patented? This spring, the Supreme Court will hear a case that may well decide the question, and the consequences for American biomedicine could be huge.
Over three years ago, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Public Patent Foundation filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the patents on DNA isolated from two human genes. Called BRCA1 and BRCA2, the genes significantly increase a woman’s risk of breast and ovarian cancer. The main defendant was the Myriad Genetics Corporation, a biotechnology firm that controls the patents—and is legally entitled for the life of the patent to exclude all others from using these genes in breast cancer research, diagnostics, and treatment.
Read the full article here: Can They Patent Your Genes?