Legal status of US gene patents in turmoil

5 November 2010

Critics fear that restricting the scope of gene patents will have a detrimental effect on biomedical development by limiting potential financial returns on investment in research. Others contend this is unlikely because the manipulation of genes (for example, to create novel gene therapies or biosynthetic organisms) would still be patentable. Commercial incentives for some applications such as diagnostic testing would certainly be restricted – many would argue, appropriately – to the precise testing method, and not to the DNA being analysed. 

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