Patented genes

Patented genes

March 30, 2010
Did you know many of your genes have been patented? This is typically done by some biotech company that wants to make money off of potential treatments and screening for diseases caused by mutant versions of these genes.

On Monday, March 29, a federal judge struck down one of the most famous of these gene patents on the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2. (Mutant versions of these genes result in most of the early-onset inherited versions of breast and ovarian cancer.) Myriad Genetics patented these two genes and as a result are the only source of genetic testing to determine whether you have mutant variants of the genes that would increase your risk of cancer. While the each test reaction should easily cost less than $100, Myriad charges $3,000 for the test.

You can read more about this ruling and the consequences on gene patenting at: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2010/03/by_scott_hensley_in_a.html

Posted via email from Creating Pathways to STEM degrees

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