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To Patent or Not to Patent?

Speaking to the Guardian's Alok Jha, John Sulston — the British Nobel Prize-winning researcher who led the UK's work on the Human Genome Project — says scientists and lawmakers mustn't allow corporations to patent human genes. Sulston says that "human genetic information must be kept in the public domain to allow researchers to analyze it and to give members of the public fair access to medical treatments," Jha writes, giving as an example the Myriad Genetics patent on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. But that's not all Sulston is concerned about, Jha adds. Craig Venter's work with synthetic life also worries the British researcher. "What that advance is being used for is an attempt to monopolize, through the patenting system, essentially all the tools for genomic manipulation," Sulston tells Jha. "It's actually the case that monopolistic control of this kind would be bad for science, bad for consumers and bad for business, because it removes the element of competition."

The Scan

PLOS Papers on Frozen Shoulder GWAS, Epstein-Barr Effects on Immune Cell Epigenetics, More

In PLOS: genome-wide association study of frozen shoulder, epigenetic patterns of Epstein-Barr-infected B lymphocyte cells, and more.

Fertility Fraud Found

Consumer genetic testing has uncovered cases of fertility fraud that are leading to lawsuits, according to USA Today.

Ties Between Vigorous Exercise, ALS in Genetically At-Risk People

Regular strenuous exercise could contribute to motor neuron disease development among those already at genetic risk, Sky News reports.

Test Warning

The Guardian writes that the US regulators have warned against using a rapid COVID-19 test that is a key part of mass testing in the UK.