Tag: genes

Are Human Genes Patentable? Student Recounts Arguments



Baltimore Fishbowl student intern Ethan Park had the privilege last week to hear attorneys argue the case over gene patents before the United States Supreme Court.

Recently, in the landmark case AMP v. Myriad Genetics, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court have endeavored to resolve the question: Are human genes patentable?

Last year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that Myriad Genetics’ patents directed to the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, whose variants are associated with an increased risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer, are patentable subject matter.

The Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP) appealed to the Supreme Court, oral arguments were made just over a week ago before a packed courtroom, and a verdict is expected in June or July.

Patents expire 20 years from the filing date, and patent protection for the BRCA genes has given Myriad a monopoly over BRCA testing procedures, which brings in millions of dollars annually for the company.  Myriad also has the right to deny competitors or individuals from further researching or producing the genes without their consent.

Author Unravels Genetic Code at The Ivy Bookshop, Nov. 15


Did the human race almost go extinct? Can genetics explain a crazy cat lady’s love for felines? And how did the right combination of genes create the exceptionally flexible thumbs and fingers of a truly singular violinist?  Sam Kean, author of The Violinist’s Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code, will discuss these and other questions Thursday, November 15 at  6 p.m. at the Ivy Bookshop.

Mixing Good Genes with Good Jeans


Mother of four and Gran to 13, Sandra Naylor looked not at all grandmotherly at the Roland Park Fourth of July Parade on Monday. The spry septuagenarian sported patriotic colors cutting an impressive form in her summer-appropriate white jeans. “I didn’t look good in white jeans at age 17,” said one deflated onlooker.  Clearly she’s genetically blessed.

She’s more inspiring than fireworks any day–makes us want to break out and chant: “USA! USA!”