Patenting Your DNA

Patenting Your DNA

Last week, the Supreme Court heard a case -- Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc. -- with questions about the legality of patenting human DNA at its center. We explore the implications of this 21st century case for doctors and patients.

Last week, the Supreme Court heard Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., a case with questions about the legality of patenting human DNA at its center. Some medical professionals say the bigger issue is Myriad Genetics' lock on a vast database of test results, essential for analyzing mutations in two sections of genetic code that can indicate increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer. A number of groups are working to replicate that and other genetic testing information in a public database. We explore the legal and ethical issues around patenting DNA.

Guests

Robert Nussbaum

Holly Smith Professor of Medicine, Chief of the Division of Genomic Medicine, and Member of the Institute of Human Genetics UCSF School of Medicine

Jorge Contreras

Associate Professor of Law, Washington College of Law, American University

Lisa Schlager

Vice President, Community Affairs for Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE)

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The Kojo Nnamdi Show is produced by member-supported WAMU 88.5 in Washington DC.