Should We Be Able to Patent Human Genes?


Depending on how the Supreme Court decides on the case it decided to take up Friday afternoon, biotech companies might soon be able to patent ownership of essential parts of our bodies. Actually, one company, Myriad, already has patents for two genes, BRCA 1 and 2, that when found in women signal a higher likelihood of breast cancer. Weird, right? Because of that legal ownership, Myriad claims exclusive rights to genetic screenings for the disease, which, as NYU's Miles Jackson points out, makes it very expensive for women who might not have the money. …

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