The Supreme Court has ruled earlier today that under no circumstance can human genes be patented. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote for an unanimous court, “A naturally occurring DNA segment is a product of nature and not patent eligible merely because it has been isolated.” While that might be the case, do take note that if one were to manipulate a particular gene in order to create something which cannot be found in nature, that can be considered to be an invention which is eligible for patent protection.
The case itself had something to do with patents that are being held by Myriad Genetics, a company in Utah, concerning genes which correlate with an increased risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. The main question for the justices in the case is this, in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics? What do you think of the entire situation, and do you agree with the Supreme Court’s ruling?
It goes without saying that the court’s ruling will definitely shape the course of scientific research as well as medical testing, and who knows, it might very well change the mindset of businesses so that they will plow more money into the extremely expensive work to isolate and understand genetic material better.