To: Dean Sanpei,
Subject: As Advertised On CNN.com: Website exposes arrest records
Date: Fri Jun 28 03:51:59 MDT 2013
The Supreme Court seemed worried Monday about the idea of companies patenting genes that can be found inside the human body, as it heard arguments in a case that could profoundly reshape U.S. medical research and the fight against diseases like breast and ovarian cancer.The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has been awarding patents on human genes for almost 30 years, but opponents of Myriad Genetics Inc.'s patents on two genes linked to increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer say patent protection should not be given to something that can be found inside the human body."Finding a new use for a product of nature, if you don't change the product of nature, is not patentable. If I find a new way of taking gold and making earrings out of it, that doesn't entitle me to a patent on gold. If I find a new way of using lead, it doesn't entitle me to a patent on lead," lawyer Christopher Hansen said.Allowing companies like Myriad to patent human genes or parts of human genes will slow down or cripple lifesaving medical research like in the battle against breast cancer, he said.But companies have billions of dollars of investment and years of research on the line, with Myriad arguing that without the ability to recoup their investment through the profits that patents bring, breakthrough scientific discoveries needed to combat all kind of medical maladies wouldn't happen.That concerned several justices. "Why shouldn't we worry that Myriad or The Federal Aviation Administration is warning pilots that it has created a no-fly zone over the site of two explosions at the annual Boston marathon.The agency said in a notice issued Monday about an hour after the explosions that a no-fly zone with a 3.5-mile radius has been created over 811 Boylston Street. The zone is limited to flights under 3,000 feet in altitude, which is lower than most airliners would fly except when taking off or landing.The notice says the no-fly zone is effective immediately, and will remain in effect until further notice. Pilots planning flights were urged to call their local flight service station.