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60 Minutes : CBS : Patented Genes

We may have inherited some of our finest qualities from parents and grandparents, but like anything else, there is a downside: part of that inheritance could be a disposition to a variety of deadly diseases. But the good news is that since the mapping of the human genome, science has made some giant leaps in detecting and treating inherited conditions.

By detecting those genes, for example the genes that predispose women to breast cancer, doctors can offer preemptive treatment. It sounds simple enough, but there’s a catch: a woman may have that gene, but strange as it seems, it’s really the property of a biotech company that has taken out a patent on it.

So far, nearly 10,000 human genes have been patented, all of them now in question based on a court ruling this past week.

Because, as “60 Minutes correspondent Morley Safer reports, whether you like it or not, under current law a vital part of who you are actually belongs to someone else.

Watch the Video Here: 60 Minutes

The Supreme Court has since ruled against Myriad Labs and Gene Patenets are now illegal.

Related Articles
Wall Street Journal: Gene Ruling Could Have Broad Reach
New York Times: Judge Invalidates Human Gene Patent


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