From “Here Ye, Here Ye” to #guilty

By Jarrid E. Blades

Once upon a time, the outcome of court proceedings were reported by a person swinging open the doors of the courthouse and announcing to the townspeople the verdict.  We have come a long way from this form of communication.  As long as we are connected to wireless or cell service, we can receive up-to-the-second updates during court proceedings.

Can Large Companies Own Human Genes? The Supreme Court Says No…Yes…Well Maybe…It Depends.

By Tyler P. Hite This summer the Supreme Court handed down a unanimous 9-0 decision invalidating Myriad Genetics’ patent of the human genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 found in deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), but validating Myriad’s genetic patents of synthetically created composite deoxyribonucleic acid (cDNA). The Court’s reasoning hinged upon the fact that human genes found in DNA are “naturally occurring” and thus not eligible for patent, even though isolating human genes from DNA severs naturally occurring chemical bonds, thus altering but not re-creating anything new. cDNA, which the court deemed to be synthetically created from DNA by lab technicians, is created from naturally occurring DNA through a process which splits the DNA double helix and allows lab technicians to isolate specific genes for study, manipulation, and use. The Supreme Court’s decision allows for the patent of human genes that are deemed “not naturally occurring,” even though “the nucleotide sequence of cDNA is dictated by nature, not by the lab technician.”