Thursday, April 18, 2013

New York Times Editorial Board Asks: Are Human Genes Patentable?

The New York Times Editorial Board asks: Are Human Genes Patentable?.

As we noted in our previous posting at

Patenting Human Genes: Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics: U.S. Supreme Court Oral Argument Indicates Natural Genes Will be Found Unpatentable as a Matter of Composition but Genes Worked by Human Ingenuity May Be Patentable as to Use

the U.S. Supreme Court will undoubtedly find that human genes themselves are not patentable, but that is not the end of it.

The editorial board at the New York Times oversimplifies the legal question involved in the Myriad case, which essentially also involves snippets of DNA called cDNA that have been "worked" by human hand and for which a practical diagnostic use has subsequently been developed.

There is every likelihood, although we do not welcome the prospect at all, that the Justices on the nation's highest court will find such snippets, if "worked" by human hand (i.e. in the lab), to be patentable subject matter as to use.

That is a less troubling prospect for the future, but still one fraught with many dangers if the scope of patentability is set too high by SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States). cDNA "creation" is a snap with modern lab kits and the created "entities" are eminently obvious, so that an overbroad definition of the type of modified genes than can be patented could open the doors to a practical "research parcelling" of the human genome, which is certainly not what the doctor ordered.

We argue additionally by the way, that all natural, unmodified human genes serve as "prior art", made by the Almighty, to whatever minor commercial modifications man makes to them in order to modify DNA diagnostically or otherwise make genes medically useful beyond procreation itself.

Patents should be sensibly limited somewhere, and genes, modified or not, would be a good place to start. What the Almighty has created is still massive as compared to man's comparatively less important, in the long term ephemeral inventions and discoveries.

How many profit from finding, discovering, inventing and using God's works?
Well, how about nearly everyone.

The ISandIS Network

Our Websites and Blogs: 3D Printing and More 99 is not 100 Aabecis AK Photo Blog Ancient Egypt Weblog Ancient Signs (the book) Ancient World Blog Anthropomorphic Design Archaeology Travel Photos (blog) Archaeology Travel Photos (Flickr) Archaeo Pundit Arts Pundit Astrology and Birth Baltic Coachman Bible Pundit Biotechnology Pundit Book Pundit Chronology of the Ancient World Computer Pundit DVD Pundit Easter Island Script Echolat Einstein’s Voice Energy Environment and Climate Blog Etruscan Bronze Liver of Piacenza EU Laws EU Legal EU Pundit FaceBook Pundit Gadget Pundit Garden Pundit Golf Pundit Google Pundit Gourmet Pundit Hand Proof HousePundit Human Migrations Idea Pundit Illyrian Language Indus Valley Script Infinity One : The Secret of the First Disk (the game) Jostandis Journal Pundit Kaulins Genealogy Blog Kaulinsium Kiel & Kieler Latvian Blog Law Pundit Blog LexiLine Group Lexiline Journal Library Pundit Lingwhizt LinkedIn Literary Pundit Magnifichess Make it Music Maps and Cartography Megalithic World Megaliths Blog) Minoan Culture Mutatis Mutandis Nanotech Pundit Nostratic Languages Official Pundit Phaistos Disc Pharaonic Hieroglyphs Photo Blog of the World Pinterest Prehistoric Art Pundit Private Wealth Blog PunditMania Quanticalian Quick to Travel Quill Pundit Road Pundit Shelfari SlideShare (akaulins) Sport Pundit Star Pundit Stars Stones and Scholars (blog) Stars Stones and Scholars (book) Stonehenge Pundit The Enchanted Glass Twitter Pundit UbiquitousPundit Vision of Change VoicePundit WatchPundit Wine Pundit Word Pundit xistmz YahooPundit zistmz