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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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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.