The red herring of human gene patents

The following is an excerpt.

Just a few words and little thought separate yet another stronghold of the American economy from ruin. It doesn’t have to be that way. The U.S. patent system has made America’s biotech and pharmaceutical industries the envy of the world.

This month, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case posing the question: “Are human genes patentable?” The very way the ACLU and other petitioners have worded the question sets up an emotional red herring designed to solicit false choices. The patents at issue in the case do not cover genes in a human body. They cover man-made DNA constructs with specific properties and functions not found in nature. The artificial constructs are used to detect mutations in human genes and to diagnose a patient’s risk for developing breast and ovarian cancer.

The cost of diving into the pseudo-scientific swamp created by the petitioners could be substantial.


View the original article here: The red herring of human gene patents

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