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Supreme Court Deciding DNA Fates

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April 18, 2013 by Turn The Page

dna-genetic-testingIt’s not every week that the subject of DNA is national news. But, thanks to Myriad Labs, the organization that’s patented genetic mutations, now the entire U.S. is getting to know a little bit more about genes and genetic research.

The Genetic Supreme Court Case

In case you’re unfamiliar – here’s a Cliff Note’s version of what’s happening in the Supreme Court right now:

  • Myriad Labs is arguing that they have every right to patent genetic mutations. They employ researchers who discover why cancers and other diseases occur when “bad genes” are involved.
  • For example, they discovered the BRCA breast cancer gene. They’re saying they hold patent to this genetic mutation discovery (so another organization cannot also test for it.)
  • Patient groups contest that Myriad wants to patent something of nature – which is un-patentable. They’re concerned if Myraid holds a patent on genetic mutations, other researchers will be stunted from finding discoveries that lead to cures.
  • The Supreme Court is debating if a genetic mutation and research discovering it is an “act of nature” or if Myriad has the right to place a patent. There’s not a clear-cut answer.

Read the CNN report: Justices at odds over patents for human genes

Genes Determine Everything

While the Supreme Court debates the issue of patent law in regards to genetic mutations, one thing that’s not up for debate is the power of understanding DNA. Not only does DNA testing have a place in determining issues of paternity, immigration and ancestry/genealogy … the role it plays in the medical community is huge.

When someone knows they have a “bad gene” that can cause cancer or disease down the line, they have a shot at saving their life.

Now THAT’S a pretty powerful use of DNA research if there ever was one.

Do you understand YOUR DNA?

This verdict from the Supreme Court will determine what the future of DNA testing looks like for everyone involved in profiling someone’s genetic makeup. It will eventually hit home for everyone … no family is immune to disease.

We encourage you to keep an eye on the Supreme Court with us as time goes on – the future of DNA is at hand.

Although our friends at ARCpoint Labs cannot run a test for a genetic mutation, they can do paternity testing and an ancestry DNA test that lets you know parts of the world your ancestors came from. Find an ARCpoint Labs nearest you if you need DNA testing.

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5 comments »

  1. DNA Testing is quite a process, and is very interesting for anyone looking to know more about their history. If genetic mutations allow the future to help stop cancer before it starts, it’s a shame only one company will be able to do this. It’ll be interesting whether they determine it an “act of nature.” Good stuff.

  2. It’s pretty amazing what we can tell from DNA these days. I hope that all scientists are able to continue their research in finding cures for our ailments without having to jump through hoops.

  3. What an awkward argument. You would think that if we had the chance to study a genetic defect for the benefit of cancer patients, we’d all chip in. It will be interesting to see what happens.

  4. Its hard to determine what the correct answer to this should be, but I would hate for something to be done that would prevent further DNA research in the future.

  5. It’s pretty amazing what scientist can do with all this information.

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