Can a company patent your genes? The Supreme Court is weighing that question today, in a case in which a company called Myriad Genetics argues against the ACLU, scientists, and researchers that its patents on two breast-cancer-linked genes are legal. Because of the patent, Myriad currently has a monopoly on all diagnostic tests related to those genes. It says that removing patents would discourage companies from investing in genetic research. Opponents say that genes are part of the human body and that the company is preventing women from getting a second opinion on tests and discouraging research by scientists from outside the company. “Kidneys do not become patentable once taken out of a body because they can be transplanted,” said the ACLU. The Obama administration broke with the patent office and said genes should not be patentable.
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