"You Don't 'Own' Your Own Genes"Submitted by dice on Fri, 03/29/2013 - 00:44
You Don't 'Own' Your Own Genes: Researchers Raise Alarm About Loss of Individual 'Genomic Liberty' Due to Gene Patents - ScienceDaily.com
Mar. 25, 2013 — Humans don't "own" their own genes, the cellular chemicals that define who they are and what diseases they might be at risk for. Through more than 40,000 patents on DNA molecules, companies have essentially claimed the entire human genome for profit, report two researchers who analyzed the patents on human DNA.
Their study, published March 25 in the journal Genome Medicine, raises an alarm about the loss of individual "genomic liberty."
In their new analysis, the research team examined two types of patented DNA sequences: long and short fragments. They discovered that 41 percent of the human genome is covered by longer DNA patents that often cover whole genes. They also found that, because many genes share similar sequences within their genetic structure, if all of the "short sequence" patents were allowed in aggregate, they could account for 100 percent of the genome.