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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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Another Supreme Review of Human Gene Patents
30 November 2012 5:38 pm
In a terse note this afternoon, the U.S. Supreme Court gave notice that it will once again consider the long debated question of whether human genes can be patented. The court granted certiorari to a group of plaintiffs who argue that patents on the breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2, which are owned by the diagnostic company Myriad Genetics of Salt Lake City, should be declared invalid. The case was filed on behalf of a clinician who wanted to test patients for these cancer genes without taking out a license from the company.
It is the second time the Supreme Court will examine the issue, having sent it to a lower court for reconsideration. That court did not agree with the plaintiffs, who have appealed successfully. The Supreme Court has said it will consider only one key question—whether the human genes in this dispute are "patent-eligible" material.