Human DNA Should Be Open Source

Alan Shimel | Network World | April 14, 2013

You can't patent a person's genes

No one should be able to own the naturally occurring sequence of molecules that make up DNA in the human genome.  First of all these are naturally occurring sequences, not invented by anyone. It is akin to an old time explorer planting a flag in a new land and claiming it for his country. Territory is not patentable and neither should be genes. It is a huge inhibitor to new innovation and more importantly towards lifesaving discoveries and health care.

The Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments today on a case called, Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics that may very well definitively answer this question, at least in the US.

There are actually persuasive arguments on both sides of this case. The case has wound its way through our court system and has already been brought to the Supreme Court once before, where it was sent back down to the US Court of Appeals.  But now it is back on the Supreme Court docket.