Underreported: Gene Patenting

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Twenty percent of the human genome has been patented by biotechnology companies, universities, and research institutions. The patenting of two genes associated with breast and ovarian cancer is also the subject of a lawsuit filed by the ACLU and the Public Patent Foundation against Myriad Genetics, a company that offers diagnostic tests for the genes. On today’s Underreported segment we’ll look at the controversial practice of gene patenting and the serious ethical, medical, and public policy questions it raises. We’ll be joined by Dr. David Koepsell, a philosopher, attorney, and Assistant Professor at the Technology University of Delft in the Netherlands. His book is called Who Owns You? The Corporate Gold Rush to Patent Your Genes.