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Gene Patents – Helping or hurting?

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posted on Aug, 14 2006 @ 01:10 AM
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Hello all.

I noticed this article whilst in the restroom. Usually don’t think twice about Readers Digest – just something to “pass the time” if you know what I mean. But this article on Gene Patents really got to me. Seems that biotech companies can own and patent genes and do anything they want with them, including stopping all research and development towards medical advancements. I don’t like it, and I am sure some of you will feel the same. I am also pretty sure that some will chime in and tell us that there is nothing to worry about, and that these companies are only in this to better humanity. Either way, I thought it was interesting enough to discuss. I did a couple ATS searches and found 0 threads on Gene Patents. I also know that this means that someone will find one (or more) to show me how bad I am at doing internet searches. I can only assure you that I will gladly accept criticism in this area.

The way I see it, if these companies were controlled by motivators other than cold cash, there could be major implications in regard to just about every conspiracy theory I have ever heard. Holding back a medical breakthrough such as a cure to cancer or HIV/AIDS could very well be in the best interests of a lot of “secret” government groups discussed on this (and others) site. And the stonewalling/ slowing down of information by sheer bureaucratic red tape and hefty [read: intimidating) fees is pretty typical of these said groups.

Or it could be just the opposite. And the companies are just chasing that capitalist dollar. I doubt it, but I am a little jaded.



Any way, here is the link.


www.rd.com...




posted on Aug, 14 2006 @ 08:18 AM
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That is pretty worrysome. And you're right. Biotech companies could end up pulling alot of strings if they discover or patent say, a gene that stops aging, makes you immune to everthing, ect.



posted on Aug, 14 2006 @ 08:59 AM
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I think it's perfectly OK to have patent that allows a company to produce a drug or whatever that uses a gene sequence that they discovered. They found the gene that caused the problem so why not.

As to dis-allowing someone to do research on a gene or try charging someone to do a test based on their discovery, well that's ridiculous and if those people persued the matter it would have been thrown out of court.

The patent lawyers use threats all the time - even I have been "advised" not to persue something and 99% of the time the intimidation works.

The two examples of child deafness and the iron-reduction gene would be thrown out of court I believe if it went that far. I think the child deafness one wouldn't have gone to court purely because of a PR issue and the iron-reduction gene one could have argued that they were only testing for an overload of iron based on their discovery and were not providing treatments based on the discovery.

Cheers

JS



posted on Aug, 31 2006 @ 02:00 PM
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Wow, this thread has had alot of views, but no comments. I thought it was, at the very least, thought provoking. Thanks to those who replied.



posted on Aug, 31 2006 @ 09:13 PM
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As to dis-allowing someone to do research on a gene or try charging someone to do a test based on their discovery, well that's ridiculous and if those people persued the matter it would have been thrown out of court.


That's not the point. Most research scientists don't have the time nor resources to fight lengthly court battles so they always do patent checks before they start along a new line of inquery, and if they find that it is patented, the chances are that they will not pursue it due to the risks involved. They would rather spend time developing and researching then the administrative BS...




I think it's perfectly OK to have patent that allows a company to produce a drug or whatever that uses a gene sequence that they discovered. They found the gene that caused the problem so why not.


What makes a Gene sequence any different from an Algorithim? You can patent the former, but you can't patent the latter. Rediculous.

[edit on 31-8-2006 by sardion2000]



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