WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

U.S. Supreme Court rules unanimously against patenting isolated human genes

I confess to being surprised by this one:

The U.S. Supreme Court - which so often has taken the side of Corporate America, with Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission as the ultimate example - has ruled that human genes cannot be patented. (Some observers dubbed this the Angelina Jolie case, and thought her situation might have had a subliminal influence. But on all the Justices?)

Critics of the high court's decision will argue the ruling might diminish corporate enthusiasm for expensive research into genetic material. But for others, it was just plain wrong to allow a company to patent human genetic material.

Coverage from The NEW YORK TIMES...


Meanwhile, the perceived delay in the announcement of the Supreme Court's ruling on affirmative action gives rise to speculation...


Posted at 2:47pm on June 13, 2013 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Thu, Jun 13, 2013 6:44pm
I at least tentatively think this is a good ruling, but does it keep the genes out of the hands of government?

Thu, Jun 13, 2013 7:17pm
Mr. Pizza. I don't think the government has genes. People do, and according to Romney, corporations do. But I have yet to hear of where government is a person too.

Thu, Jun 13, 2013 8:16pm
Well, where it gets interesting is when we start talking about modified or artificial human genes - like the Supreme Court has with corn. Somebody gets a Frankenstein gene and then passes it on to off-spring through the natural process. If the Monsanto ruling is precedent, somebody would have to pay for having a patented gene.

Today's ruling was about a gene that a company discovered (and patented), not one they created.

Thu, Jun 13, 2013 8:59pm
Kavips: I'm thinking Germany 1939.

Thu, Jun 13, 2013 11:19pm
Well thanks to this conversation I remembered I had to buy jeans today.

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