Does This Gene Look Patentable?

In the late 1990s, the process of isolating genes from the chromosomes in which they reside was considered sufficiently complex to merit patent protection. That’s when a company called Myriad Genetics won patents for its research on two human genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, mutations of which have strong correlations to breast and ovarian cancer. Myriad has held a monopoly on diagnostic testing related to these genes, charging more than $3,000 per test. In 2009, the American Civil Liberties Union and other opponents s…

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