A federal judge ruled yesterday (March 29) to invalidate seven patents related to two genes associated with breast cancer, casting doubt on the thousands of other patents covering human genes.
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"If a decision like this were upheld, it would have a pretty significant impact on the future of medicine," Kenneth Chahine, a visiting law professor at the University of Utah, linkurl:told the New York Times.;http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/30/business/30gene.html Chahine filed an amicus brief on the side of Myriad Genetics, which held the patents for the genes in question, BRCA1 and BRCA2. About 20 percent of human genes have been patented, and currently support billions of dollars worth of industry. linkurl:A study published earlier this month;http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6WG1-4YK2F2W-1&_user=10&_coverDate=03%2F10%2F2010&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=37b70c97b21342dc6d1086d01d75a2af in Genomics argued that one of the patents should linkurl:never have been granted;http://www.the-scientist.com/community/posts/list/925.page in the first place. The 1998 patent for BRCA1 is too broad, according to the study -- containing more than...


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