The Patenting of the Breast-Cancer Genes: Welcome to the Age of Biocapitalism

Talk

WHEN December 5, 2012
6:30-8pm EST WHERE 19 Washington Square North Part of "Animal Humans" WHO NYU Abu Dhabi Institute in New York Open to the Public

Myriad Genetics' patents on the BRCA1 and 2 genes, all of their mutations, and the genetic tests have revealed the shortcomings of rendering genes commodities and therefore worthy of intellectual-property protection. This lecture explains how we got to a point in history where genes, which are of course products of nature, were deemed patentable by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the European Patent Office, and the Japanese Patent Office. We shall discuss the recent decisions by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court on the lawsuit brought about by the ACLU and numerous scientific and medical associations on behalf of a number of women who received false positives. How does gene patenting affect downstream research on diagnostics and therapeutics? Does it enhance or stymie research? Clearly, this is a topic of interest not only for molecular biologists, but for all concerned citizens

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