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Supreme Court Strikes Down BRCA Gene Patent

The Supreme Court ruled today that isolated human genes cannot be patented, a partial defeat for Myriad Genetics, a company that had been awarded patents on the so-called BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes in the 1990s.

But the court said DNA molecules engineered by man — including so-called “cDNAs” –  are eligible for patents.

“Myriad did not create anything,” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote for a unanimous court.

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