Who owns your DNA set? Who owns your gene set? Do you own it? Your parents created it by combining their gene sets. If you have a brother and sister do they all own the same gene set now? Was it given to you at birth, or can your parents claim it, and copyright you? That is to say can they get a patent on your genes? We know Levi Strauss has a patent on their jeans, but this is entirely a different issue. You might think that this is a rather silly conversation to be having, especially for someone that runs a think tank, however it appears that folks are trying to get patents on these things. genee
There was an interesting article in the New York Times on December 1, 2012 titled; “Supreme Court to Look at a Gene Issue,” by Adam Liptak which stated; “The Supreme Court announced that it would decide whether human genes may be patented,” and that; “The legal question for the justices is whether isolated genes are “products of nature” that may not be patented or “human-made inventions” eligible for patent protection.”
What if you decide to modify your genes and your gene expression? What if you wish to be taller, smarter, or free from various diseases? What about gene therapy? No one is going to do the research if they can’t patent the process or gene set, and if they don’t do the research, it won’t help humanity much; will it?
Consider if you will genetically modified crops, we need them because we need abundance in our agriculture to feed the world, and also drought resistant crops for areas where there is a water shortage. We also need modified crops so that they won’t get viruses, fungus, or eaten alive by insects without over spraying them with chemicals. This is a serious issue.
Of course, there is also gene flow, and often the seeds might blow to another field, or become cross pollinated by butterflies and bees for instance. Can the person which owns the fields that got accidentally pollinated receive compensation from the GMO user in the next field? Can the GMO company producing those special seeds sue a farmer which is inadvertently using them, but not of his own choosing? Well, what say you? Does the individual or company in the lawsuit with the most money get to make the case law – which might be used for future cases concerning all species, even humans? stylowakobieta
Can I get a patent on my own gene set so no one else can use it, or clone me later?
You might think that’s funny, but what if you were Einstein? I bet people would wish to grab his DNA set, and use it in the future. Maybe people would run up and pull out some of his hair and runoff, just so they could copy his DNA and gene set? Could they then patent it? With a slightly modified version could they patented then, maybe they might improve upon his hairdo for instance?