Should human genes be patentable? That's the central question in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., a case argued before the U.S. Supreme Court this week. The lawsuit was organized by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of several professional organizations that have long opposed such patents, which the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has been granting since the 1980s. The plaintiffs claim that patents impede rather than speed vital research and development. Reason Science Correspondent Ronald Bailey considers the evidence.
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