AMP v. USPTO

By Turna Ray
The American Civil Liberties Union and the Public Patent Foundation have decided to ask the Supreme Court to take up their case challenging Myriad Genetics' patents on the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes.

Adding large gene rearrangement analysis to Myriad's Comprehensive BRACAnalysis test could detect variants associated with increased risk for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer that occur more frequently in some populations and would otherwise be missed.

The higher court will consider whether two method patents held by Prometheus Laboratories claim natural phenomena and are therefore not patentable under the law.

Diagnostic developers and legal experts have been keeping a close watch on Prometheus since the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals' handling of diagnostic method patents in that case may impact the AMP v. USPTO gene-patenting lawsuit that is pending review by the same court.

Researchers hope to tease out the signature effects that different carcinogens leave on the genome to determine their contributions to disease, Mosaic reports.

The Wall Street Journal looks into the cost of new gene therapies.

An Imperial College London-led team reports that it was able to use a gene drive to control a population of lab mosquitos.

In PNAS this week: genomic effects of silver fox domestication, limited effect of mitochondrial mutations on aging in fruit flies, and more.