World

The Supreme Court’s Bad Science on Gene Patents

June 13 (Bloomberg) -- Can you patent genes? In Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, the U.S. Supreme Court answered this imponderable question with a split decision: You can’t if they are naturally occurring, and you’ve simply discovered the gene; but if you’ve crafted a synthetic gene, you’ve invented it -- and you can keep the patent. As sensible as this compromise sounds, it doesn’t reflect scientific logic. The court is trying to protect big pharma and our economy without offending basic principles of ethics and law. It may succeed in doing neither.

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