The science of genetics has experienced a rapid growth since the year 2000 and is becoming increasingly popular due to cheaper ways in which to experiment with genome sequencing.
This field has drawn a lot of attention recently due to the ‘battle’ between Myriad Genetics Inc. (one of the most important businesses in biotechnology) and the Supreme Court of the USA.
It all started a few years ago when such company was able to isolate genes with effects on breast and ovary cancer, and since then has tried to patent those genes to benefit financially from their use.
After months of this dispute, the government has arrived to the conclusion by unanimity that Myriad won’t be able to patent those genes, since they were created by nature and therefore shouldn’t be owned by individuals. Also, this type of discoveries or natural occurrences that are essential for scientists to do their work and improve our world should not be restricted by patents, said one of the judges of the court.
However, they have also decided that synthetic cells or genes could be patented since they are not produced by nature but rather have been created in a laboratory. This will allow Myriad to obtain the patent for a cell they invented some time ago, so they have not lost everything after all.
In my opinion, the judges have made an excellent decision. It’s fine to patent some things as it is the source of income for many people, but when companies or individuals try to patent things that come from nature, I wouldn’t allow it, because it should be there for everyone to use without having to pay as it has been for many years before.
Also, if the genes or cells have to do with cancer, they should never be allowed to be patented, because it would only slow down cancer research and prevent a cure to be found.