Gary Moller: [DipPhEd PGDipRehab PGDipSportMed(Otago)FCE Certified, Kordel's and Nutra-Life Certified Natural Health Consultant]. ICL Laboratories registered Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis and Medical Nutrition Consultant.

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Gene patents: Modern slavery?


The U.S. Supreme Court seemed worried Monday about the idea of companies patenting genes that can be found inside the human body, as it heard arguments in a case that could profoundly reshape U.S. medical research and the fight against diseases like breast and ovarian cancer.
U.S. genetic researcher Chris Mason says the patents already awarded mean as soon as DNA is extracted it belongs to a company.U.S. genetic researcher Chris Mason says the patents already awarded mean as soon as DNA is extracted it belongs to a company. (CBC)
The court's decision involves an American case but it could have major implications throughout the world for the future of medicine and medical research.
The answer could reshape U.S. medical research, the fight against diseases like breast and ovarian cancer and the multi-billion dollar medical and biotechnology business.
Researcher Chris Mason with the New York Genome Center told CBC the patents already given for thousands of genes means you don't own your own genetic material.
'Countless companies and investors have risked billions of dollars to research and develop scientific advances under the promise of strong patent protection.'—Myriad Genetics CEO Peter Meldrum
"It means as soon as you extract DNA from your body or your doctor does, it's no longer your property, nor your doctor's. It's the property of a company," he said.
"The intellectual framework that comes out of the decision could have a significant impact on other patents — for antibiotics, vaccines, hormones, stem cells and diagnostics on infectious microbes that are found in nature," Robert Cook-Deegan, director for genome ethics, law & policy at Duke University, said in a statement.
"This could affect agricultural biotechnology, environmental biotechnology, green-tech, the use of organisms to produce alternative fuels and other applications," he said.
Full article here: 
http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2013/04/15/gene-patent-case-us-supreme-court.html
________________________________
Gary:
As one commentator said:
"You can't patent a discovery: Only an invention"

Here, here!

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