Friday, October 14, 2005

One-Fifth of Human Genes Have Been Patented, Study Reveals ("Intellectual Property Landscape of the Human Genome")

The original study is here (login required). (If someone could email me a reprint of the study, it would be appreciated.) Via National Geographic News:

A new study shows that 20 percent of human genes have been patented in the United States, primarily by private firms and universities.

The study, which is reported this week in the journal Science, is the first time that a detailed map has been created to match patents to specific physical locations on the human genome.

Researchers can patent genes because they are potentially valuable research tools, useful in diagnostic tests or to discover and produce new drugs.

"It might come as a surprise to many people that in the U.S. patent system human DNA is treated like other natural chemical products," said Fiona Murray, a business and science professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, and a co-author of the study...

Technorati Tags: Genetics, Human Genome, Patents

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