Top US court ponders: Can human genes be patented?
WASHINGTON (AP) - DNA may be the building block of life, but can something taken from it also be the building block of a multimillion-dollar medical monopoly?
The US Supreme Court grapples on Monday with the question of whether human genes can be patented.
Its ultimate answer could reshape medical research, the fight against diseases like breast and ovarian cancer and the multi-billion dollar medical and biotechnology business.
"The intellectual framework that comes out of the decision could have a significant impact on other patents - for antibiotics, vaccines, hormones, stem cells and diagnostics on infectious microbes that are found in nature," Mr Robert Cook-Deegan, director for genome ethics, law & policy at Duke University, said in a statement.