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Court Says 'No' to Human Gene Patents

This week a federal court ruled that breast cancer genes—BRCA1 and BRCA2—cannot be patented.  U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet ruled that the patents should have never been granted because the genes are “a law of nature.”  The ACLU argued that patenting genes hurts patients because they give a single company a monopoly on genetic testing.  The Salt Lake City company Myriad Genetics that patented the breast cancer genes in the 1990s argued that a ruling against the company could “undermine the entire biotechnology sector.”

You can listen back to our show in January on the debate over gene patenting.

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