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10 April 2014 11:44 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
The Pyrenean ibex, an impressive mountain goat that lived in the central Pyrenees in Spain, went extinct in 2000. But a...
Tight budgets are forcing NASA to consider turning off one or more planetary science projects that have completed their...
Ebola is not a stranger to West Africa—an outbreak in the 1990s killed chimpanzees and sickened one researcher. But the...
In an as-yet-unpublished report, an international panel of geoscientists has concluded that a pair of deadly...
Tropical disease experts tried and failed before to eradicate yaws, a rare disfiguring disease of poor countries. Now,...
Since 2002, researchers have reported that agricultural communities in the hot and humid Pacific Coast of Central...
Balkan endemic kidney disease surfaced in the 1950s and for decades defied attempts to finger the cause. It occurred...
- 10 April 2014 11:44 am , Vol. 344 , #6180
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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.