No to Patenting a Human Gene

From an article on Slate (read it here):

Last week, Federal District Judge Robert Sweet ruled that patenting a human gene amounts to nothing more than a “lawyer’s trick.” The decision, in a case about patenting mutations of two genes associated with breast cancer, called into question decades of precedent and thousands of biotechnology patents. Analysts are worrying about the companies that depend on those patents, biotech executives are working to put out the flames, and investors are trying to figure out whether to press the “sell” button just yet. Despite the uncertainties for the market, however, Judge Sweet’s decision may set a precedent that ends up helping biotech researchers, businesses, and consumers, too.

I thought it was fitting to stumble upon this on our last day of class, considering that gene patenting was one of the issues discussed in the Nova documentary we watched at the start of semester. Hopefully this court ruling will allow for more scientific research and discovery. It will be interesting to keep track of what happens in the coming years.

-Matt Popkin

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~ by mattpopkin on April 26, 2010.

One Response to “No to Patenting a Human Gene”

  1. I think one of the biggest concerns here would be people who just submit patent requests for numerous genes just hoping in essence to strike the lottery and get a patent on one that will end up being relevant. It is just senseless and contributes to gumming up the progress being made in doing actual studies on these genes

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