Can a Company Own Your Genes?

by jeeg 15. December 2011 22:20
The human genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 are pretty notorious. A woman carrying a harmful mutation in either of these two genes is five times more likely to develop breast cancer in her lifetime, up from a 12 percent likelihood in the general population to about 60 percent. Taken together, mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 represent the single largest known hereditary source of breast cancer today. But so far, their notoriety has been limited to two usually disparate communities: scientists and patent l... [More]

South End biolab can open, with restriction

by jeeg 14. December 2011 22:53
State environmental officials have granted preliminary approval to allow a controversial Boston University laboratory to open for biomedical research with germs less hazardous than those that sparked opposition to the project. In its decision, the state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs said that requiring the BU lab to wait until a pending final safety review is completed “would result in an undue hardship’’ for the university “and would not ser... [More]

DNA Lab Cover-Up: SFPD to Investigate Claims in Secret Court Records

by jeeg 14. December 2011 00:21
The San Francisco Police Department is launching an internal-affairs investigation based on a whistleblower's allegations that senior police officials and prosecutors may have deliberately tried to deceive state inspectors about the health of the department's DNA-testing lab.   Rockne Harmon, a former Alameda County prosecutor who worked as a consultant to the San Francisco District Attorney's office on DNA evidence from 2007 to 2010, made the allegations in sworn, closed-door testi... [More]

ACLU and PUBPAT Ask Supreme Court to Rule that Patents on Breast Cancer Genes are Invalid

by jeeg 12. December 2011 23:52
The American Civil Liberties Union and the Public Patent Foundation have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to invalidate patents for genes associated with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer that allow a Utah company to control access to crucial genetic tests that could lead to life-saving treatment. In July, a divided federal appeals court ruled that companies can obtain patents on the genes but invalidated patents on methods of comparing gene sequences. A federal district court previou... [More]
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