Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

June 5, 2009


McClatchy Newspapers - The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted patents to at least 4,382 human genes, including genes related to Alzheimer's, asthma, cancer, muscular dystrophy and other serious diseases.

"Twenty percent of the human genes are currently patented," said Christopher Hansen, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed a suit last month challenging six patents on two genes that are connected to tests for breast and ovarian cancer.

A gene patent gives its owner the exclusive right, for up to 20 years, to control its use for medical research, diagnosis or treatment.

"A gene patent holder has the right to prevent anyone from studying, testing or even looking at a gene," the ACLU lawsuit protests. "As a result, scientific research and genetic testing has been delayed, limited or even shut down due to concerns about gene patents.". . .

"Patents are meant to protect inventions, not things that exist in nature like genes in the human body," Hansen said.

"Questionable patents are too easily obtained and are too difficult to challenge," the Senate Committee on the Judiciary declared last month. "An industry has developed in which firms use patents not as a basis for producing and selling goods but, instead, primarily for obtaining license fees."


Anonymous clear to me now said...

It's only when, not if, medical ethics are in a quandry over whether it's ethical to breed humans to harvest the testosterone David Rockefeller and Henry Kissinger can no longer produce for themselves while declaring the murder of DR. Tillman is necessary and moral because that ole child molestor in Rome says it is.

June 7, 2009 2:45 PM  

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