Innovation and Hindrances

A Nature Methods editorial discusses gene patents.

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It actually seems as if the

It actually seems as if the $1000 genome might offer an end-run path around ridiculous patents that cover naturally occurring aspects of our own physiology (which certainly we, as the end products of the genes in question, technically "own"... unless perhaps as a creationist one wishes to ascribe ownership to a deity). Patents are for the use of things for specific purposes, and those purposes are usually publically available in the form of the patent materials themselves. This means that a person should be able to pay to collect their own genomic sequence (agnostic to purpose), then "decode" it, in a biomedically relevant fashion, themselves by simply looking at the patents that describe observed correlations between genotype and phenotype. After all, you don't need a company to make an associative connection for you if the association is published and the data comes in a readable form (and certainly, a 4-letter alphabet makes for a pretty simple form of reading!).