Should genes be patented? (Proto Magazine – Fall 2010)

Proto Hundreds of genes have already been patented by various healthcare companies–but the question remains, should they be?

Excerpt:

If women with a family history of breast or ovarian cancer want to check for mutations of their BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which can help predict the likelihood of the diseases, they have exactly one option: undergo a blood test created by Myriad Genetics. That’s because Myriad holds a series of patents relating to both genes, protecting its intellectual property and restricting other laboratories from performing the test. But in March, a federal judge ruled in favor of plaintiffs who argued that genes shouldn’t be patented—a decision that could affect the holders of thousands of gene patents issued since 1982…

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