This legal squabble is challenging the way we handle DNA ownership

dna

Toronto businessman Harold Peerenboom and Marvel Entertainment chairman Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter were locked in an absurd suburban skirmish, bickering over who should run the tennis center at Sloan’s Curve, the exclusive Palm Beach waterfront.

Peerenboom began receiving volumes of hate mail, and his neighbors and business associates received letters accusing him of murder and molesting children.

Peerenboom, seeking to pin Perlmutter as the mastermind behind the hate mail campaign, conspired with his attorney to covertly collect DNA from Perlmutter in order to compare it to DNA extracted from saliva on the hate mail envelopes.

The Perlmutters were alleging that Peerenboom and his attorney had effectively stolen their DNA. Now, what began as a tete-a-tete about a community tennis center is now poised to potentially reshape how we think about who owns our DNA and the information it encodes.

Related article:  We might be able to send GMOs to other planets. But is it a good idea?

To argue that something has been stolen, you first have to make the case that you owned it in the first place. And in the past, courts have generally upheld that samples of your biological material are not something you can own.

Even if the Perlmutters don’t eventually prevail, the case is significant, said [Jessica Roberts, the director of the University of Houston Health Law and Policy Institute]. “It goes against almost 30 years of what we thought we knew about people’s interest in their genetic data,” she said.

Read full, original post: How a Legal Brawl Between Two Rich Guys Could Change How We Think About DNA

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: How dangerous COVID mutant strains develop

Infographic: How dangerous COVID mutant strains develop

Sometime in 2019, probably in China, SARS CoV-2 figured out a way to interact with a specific "spike" on the ...
Untitled

Philip Njemanze: Leading African anti-GMO activist claims Gates Foundation destroying Nigeria

Nigerian anti-GMO activist, physician, and inventor pushes anti-gay and anti-GMO ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend