Billions of dollars have been raised for medical research because human genes can be patented so, when breakthroughs occur, investors make money. But early this week New York Federal Judge Robert W. Sweet rocked the bio-tech industry when he ruled that human genes cannot be patented because they are products of nature, not creative invention. The decision is both applauded for liberating the promising new field of personalized genomic medicine and criticized for limiting financial incentives. We hear a variety of answers to some very challenging questions.
Human Genetics: Medicine, Money and Law
Andrew Pollack - New York Times, Mary Claire King - Professor of Medical and Genome Science, University of Washington, Hans Sauer - Deputy General Counsel on Intellectual Property, Biotechnology Industrial Organization, Arthur Caplan - Director, University of Pensylvania's Center for Bioethics