Blog of Rights

Jeffrey
Rosenfeld
Voices on Human Gene Patents: It's Time to Free Our Genes

Voices on Human Gene Patents: It's Time to Free Our Genes

By Christopher E. Mason, Assistant Professor of Computational Genomics, Weill Cornell Medical College, Affiliate Fellow, Information Society Project of Yale Law School & Jeffrey Rosenfeld, Assistant Professor of Medicine, New Jersey Medical School at 12:29pm
Even though they’ve been in our families since the dawn of man, our genes do not belong to us. They’ve been claimed by companies that hold patents on the DNA from our cells. Over the past 20 years, at least 41 percent of our genes have become the intellectual property of corporations. These patent claims contradict an intuitive sense that our DNA is no less ours than our lungs or kidneys. More importantly, these patents, covering thousands of human genes, restrict our doctors’ ability to look at our DNA and plan ahead for our medical treatment.
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