In a unanimous decision (written by Justice Clarence Thomas, of all people), the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that human genes can’t be patented. However, a manipulated gene that creates something not found in nature can receive patent protection.
The case was Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, No. 12-398, which involves the BRCA 1 and 2 genes, a mutation in which can indicate an increased risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancers. Until this ruling, Myriad Genetics controlled the research and testing for the BRCA mutations.
More to come on this momentous ruling.
Photo of DNA from Flickr user micahb37 under license from Creative Commons 2.0
The late Michele Kort—a dedicated feminist—was the senior editor of Ms. magazine for 13 years. She died June 26, 2015, after a long battle with ovarian cancer. She worked for decades in field of journalism, covering sports, music, culture, art and feminist issues for publications like LA Weekly, The Advocate, Shape, Redbook, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Songwriter, InStyle, Living Fit, Fit Pregnancy, Vegetarian Times, Fitness, UCLA Magazine, Women's Sports and Fitness and more. She is the author of four books, including a biography of singer/songwriter Laura Nyro, Soul Picnic: The Music and Passion of Laura Nyro.
Rest in power, Michele.