Jolie’s double mastectomy highlights Supreme Court 'cancer gene' patent battle

by jeeg 14. May 2013 23:46
Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy revelation had the unintended side-effect of boosting the share price for the biotech firm that owns the patent to her “breast cancer gene,” highlighting an ongoing US Supreme Court battle over the right to patent life. On Monday, Jolie tol... [More]

Some Thoughts on Myriad After the Supreme Court Argument

by jeeg 2. May 2013 22:18
On April 15, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics. This was another significant step—probably the penultimate one—in the long-running Myriad drama. It began with a group of plaintiffs (including researchers, doctors, an... [More]

In Australia, Gene Patents Also Subject of High Court Struggle

by jeeg 24. April 2013 00:37
The U.S. Supreme Court isn't the only high court considering a precedent-setting case on patenting human genes. Australia's Full Federal Court this week began proceedings in an appeal of an earlier decision that upheld the validity of breast cancer diagnostic tests developed by Myriad Genetics&m... [More]

Gene wars: the last-ditch battle over who owns the rights to our DNA

by jeeg 23. April 2013 01:36
Tracey Barraclough made a grim discovery in 1998. She found she possessed a gene that predisposed her to cancer. "I was told I had up to an 85% chance of developing breast cancer and an up to 60% chance of developing ovarian cancer," she recalls. The piece of DNA responsible for her grim predisp... [More]

Natural justice

by jeeg 18. April 2013 22:08
THE nine justices on America’s Supreme Court must apply their minds to the thorniest of legal questions. On April 15th they were presented with a particularly testing puzzler: should the law allow people to patent human genes?   The case is the culmination of a battle that began i... [More]

Gene Patents Are Sabotaging the Future of Medicine

by jeeg 18. April 2013 22:02
The business of DNA is undergoing a revolution. We can already get our genes scanned for the bargain-basement price of $99. Soon we’ll be able to have entire genomes sequenced for less than the cost of a MacBook Air. That’s huge considering that not so long ago it cost billions of do... [More]

Supreme Court considers gene patents

by jeeg 16. April 2013 22:42
The Supreme Court on Monday seemed skeptical that a human gene can be patented but also worried about what a decision to bar such patents would mean for private scientific inquiry and research.   Even the normally confident justices expressed some trepidation as they considered the comp... [More]

DNA Project Aims to Make Company’s Data Public

by jeeg 12. April 2013 23:06
Anyone in the United States who wants to know if she has mutations in two breast cancer genes has little choice of where to be tested. One company alone has patents on the genes, and that company pretty much controls the market. On Monday, the Supreme Court will take up the issue of whether c... [More]

Gene patents in the dock

by jeeg 11. April 2013 18:29
When Daniel Weaver pitches Genformatic to potential investors, he feels obliged to note a future legal uncertainty. The two-year-old company, based in Austin, Texas, offers whole-genome sequencing and analysis to researchers and physicians, with plans to apply the technology to medical diagnostics... [More]

The Supreme Court should invalidate the patent on human DNA

by jeeg 8. April 2013 22:17
Asked in 1955 whether his polio vaccine was patented, Jonas Salk replied, “There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?” With that, Salk debunked the misguided notion of patenting objects found in nature. His polio vaccine was not a new invention but an inactive form of the natural ... [More]
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