The Supreme Court is hearing arguments in a case that could stop the patenting of human genes.
Advocates for the biomedical industry assert that patents drive medical discoveries. The multibillion-dollar industry performs critical research in the fight against cancer and other diseases.
Opponents of gene patents, including Nobel Prize-winning scientists and medical groups say the patents slow discovery and research by restricting access to the genes. “Finding a new use for a product of nature, if you don’t change the product of nature, is not patentable,” lawyer Christopher Hansen argued.
Today’s Question: Should patents be allowed for human genes?