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Science in Seconds - Gene Patents

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Science in Seconds Know Everything RANTS - Gene Patents Remember the song "My body is nobody's body but mine"? There is one thing I know: my body is mine. And any philosophy worth its weight in salt says that no one can possess another person. Slavery is bad and all that jazz. Did philosophers really need to include a clause about not being able to own a part of someone else? I can't own someone else's arm as much as they can't lay claim to my DNA. But early in the veritable gold rush of The Human Genome Project lawmakers around the world granted patents for stretches of your DNA, your genes. For example, Myriad Genetics owns a patent for two genes that when mutant increases someone's risk of breast cancer. So you have to pay them to find out if you have a genetically high risk of breast and ovarian cancer. I can sequence DNA in my lab, everything but the breast cancer genes BRCA 1 and 2, and 20 percent of the genome that has been patented so far. But it's my DNA, given to me graciously when my parents conceived me. Myriad didn't invent the gene. They didn't even discover it. They just made money on a fundamental principal of nature. I give them credit for detecting key mutations in the gene that leads to cancer predispositions, and for being a money hungry biotech company that was ahead of the game. The damage has been done, the patents granted. But current appeals by the ACLU and leading scientists, all the way up to the Supreme Court, are ongoing. Until then, we'll just have to suck it up and pay Myriad the $4,000 per test to determine if we have a risk of cancer. Courtesy of Science in Seconds – All rights reserved Only for educational/non-profit purposes. (Translators are invited to put their name here)

Video Details

Duration: 1 minute and 56 seconds
Year: 2010
Country: United States
Language: English
License: All rights reserved
Producer: Science in Seconds
Director: Science in Seconds
Views: 52
Posted by: tradottiinitaliano on Sep 10, 2011

Is it fair (and legal) to make money on a principle of Nature?

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