No Company Has the Right to Own Our DNA!

The Supreme Court ruled that human genes cannot be patented, because they are a product of nature. However, the offered a compromise which allowed synthetic, complementary DNA, known as cDNA, to be protected by patent law, because it is not naturally occurring.

The case, Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, challenged the biotechnology company's existing patents on two genes associated with high risks of breast cancer, known as BRCA1 and BRCA2. Cancer researchers argued that the patents prevented other groups from developing more effective and less expensive methods to test for gene mutations. Myriad claimed that the patents protected billions of dollars in research and investment.

In the ruling, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote, “it is undisputed that Myriad did not create or alter any of the genetic information encoded in the BRCA1 and BRCA 2 genes,” but in the case of cDNA, a genetic technician “unquestionably creates something new.” Myriad investors were obviously happy with the compromise, as company shares jumped eight percent after the ruling was issued.

Today's Supreme Court decision will open the door to new scientific research and testing methods, which could provide breakthroughs in diagnosing and curing breast cancer. It's great to know that scientific research will continue, and that no company has the right to own our DNA.


ckrob's picture
ckrob 11 years 1 week ago

Technology, whether bio or computational, has the tendency to concentrate more and more power into fewer and fewer hands. This concentration leads to the prospect of the "absolute power" referred to by Lord Acton. The process guarantees the demise of any residual form of democracy we may have left. Please check out the Youtube video of a Tedtalks by Daniel Suarez titled "Kill Decision". I think it would likely be the most important 13 minutes you will spend this week. Then think of Prism churning thru your online life.


C. Krob

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 1 week ago

Before there was PRISM...there was UKUSA and then ECHELON.
Nicky Hager wrote a book in 1996 exposing the information on these government spy networks.

I bought and read this book back in about 1998 but now it is free as a pdf here:

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 1 week ago

Hypocrisy and lies from the US government reminds me of when Eisenhower was telling the world that the US wasn't spying of the Russians using high altitude fly overs..and then he was totally embarrassed when Gary Powers' U2 got shot down over Russia.

Quote Wikipedia:Tao is a Chinese concept signifying 'way', 'path', 'route', or sometimes more loosely, 'doctrine' or 'principle'"

"Tao is not a 'name' for a 'thing' but the underlying natural order of the universe whose ultimate essence is difficult to circumscribe."

But there is another Tao that is an acronym for a top secret NSA program of spying...hacking into computers, breaking passwords, etc. The NSA TAO program stands for Tailored Access Operations(TAO).

The Whitehouse leaked, a couple of weeks ago, that Obama would question the new Chinese Leader about Chinese government hacking, and stealing very sensitive military and business data from Americans. But, America has been spying on the Chinese government for over 15 years...hacking into their computers and stealing their data.

Quote article:Senior Chinese officials have publicly accused the US government of hypocrisy and have alleged that Washington is also actively engaged in cyber-espionage. When the latest allegation of Chinese cyber-espionage was levelled in late May in a front-page Washington Post article, which alleged that hackers employed by the Chinese military had stolen the blueprints of over three dozen American weapons systems, the Chinese government’s top internet official, Huang Chengqing, shot back that Beijing possessed "mountains of data" showing that the United States has engaged in widespread hacking designed to steal Chinese government secrets. Last week’s revelations about the National Security Agency’s Prism and Verizon metadata collection from a 29-year-old former CIA undercover operative named Edward J. Snowden, who is now living in Hong Kong, only add fuel to Beijing’s position.

But Washington never publicly responded to Huang’s allegation, and nobody in the US media seems to have bothered to ask the White House if there is a modicum of truth to the Chinese charges.

It turns out that the Chinese government’s allegations are essentially correct. According to a number of confidential sources, a highly secretive unit of the National Security Agency (NSA), the US government’s huge electronic eavesdropping organisation, called the Office of Tailored Access Operations (TAO) has successfully penetrated Chinese computer and telecommunications systems for almost 15 years, generating some of the best and most reliable intelligence information about what is going on inside the People’s Republic of China.

bobcox's picture
bobcox 11 years 1 week ago

Original Patent and Copyright laws said that mathematical procedures, natural things and previously published things could nto be patented.

Since computer programs are arrtangements of mathematical logic, it is my opinion that they should not be patentable either. Also, one cannot copyright words. Yet the trademaark interpretationo f cop0yright laws allows "Big Mac" to be trademarked and any food with "Mac" has been intrepreted as violation of the trademark procedures.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 11 years 1 week ago

Palindromedary ~ Great to see you back! You've been missed. You should review last Friday's blog. It was all about Edward Snowden and the question of privacy and the constitutionality of The Patriot Act. Thanks for bringiing up those other little privacy tidbits. I intend to go back and review your contributions after writing this "salutations post".

By the way, Thom Hartmann has posted a poll as to whether or not it is time to repeal The Patriot Act.

Fortunitely, he did not insult our intelligence by posting a yes or no answer; but, rather a YES, because it never should have been written in the first place; or, YES, because it has gotten way out of hand. LOL

Thom can really shine when he want to.

I placed a comment there too.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 11 years 1 week ago

Palindromedary ~ I've just reviewed UKUSA and ECHELON. These appear to have been top secret, illegal, and unconstitutional spy networks. (Henceforth the need for secrecy.) It is true that spying is nothing new. The government breaking its own laws is nothing new. However, spying legally and openly compelling private industry to aid and abet, on all private US citizens without reason, and using no bid private contractors certainly is. Please correct me if I'm wrong. PRISM sounds like a private corporate spy ring hiding behind the US Government. I can't help but feel that all this information they are gathering are earmarked for nefarious uses that we can only begin to imagine. I certainly feel less safe under these conditions than I did before The Patriot Act. We only know who is providing these private industries with this information. We have no idea where it is being stored, who has access to it, or how it may be used. This is completely preposterous.

Without the Constitution to protect us, We the People have no course for redress of any grievances resulting from this compromise of our privacy. This must stop!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 11 years 1 week ago

Palindromedary ~ Here's an excerpt from last Friday's blog you might enjoy ;-)

BMetcalfe wrote:What I say, personally, doesn't jeopardize me. I know better than to say stupid or dangerous things on the internet. Apparently our teens and young adults who have grown up in the information age, have no idea how much they are jeopardizing their future jobs, relationships, healthcare, etc.

Isn't that precisely the point in question. All this collection of data is reminiscent of J. Edgar Hoover, the former head of the FBI, who did exactly the same thing and used that information to blackmail anyone--including Presidents of the United States--into doing anything he wanted. Everyone should listen to what BMetcalfe is saying--just because this poses no threat to ourselves doesn't mean it won't come back to bite our children in the future. Imagine a J. Edgar Hoover today in the digital information age. That's blackmail on steroids! Imagine a future where our grandchildren are participating on a blog such as this and are afraid to say anything that isn't positive about the government. I heard one story on a recent documentary on the History channel that once a newspaper reporter did a story critical of J Edgar Hoover. The next day all the competitor newspapers received in the mail high resolution photos of that reporters wife engaging in sex in a car with someone else. It is believed that was to send a message to the other papers not to repeat that mistake in the future. Now imagine the power if that same message could have been sent out with a simple email. There is a good reason that the founding fathers wrote privacy into our Constitution. They understood the vital importance of privacy to the security of the nation.

Laura Enright wrote:What I don't understand is where was this passion about being spied on when this stuff was implemented in 2005/06.

The media downplayed the passion, but it was there. It is still there as is evident by this topic. Don't you remember that in 2008 we elected the first black man in history to the office of the President of the USA? Is it no coincidence that this same black man had the background of a Constitutional scholar. Do you think a black man with a PHD in economics would have won? I think not. I think it was his background in Constitutional law and the fact that this country was experiencing a Constitutional crisis and cried out to the best qualified person to fix it. I think people were more concerned about the fate of the Constitution than their own economic plights. That is how much passion the people of this country have about the Constitution. It makes them color blind.

- See more at:

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 11 years 1 week ago

Palindromedary ~ TAO! Now that is as spiritual as God. Two different three letter words with the same meaning as far as I am concerned. I find that you can find TAO (God) in every culture in the history of the world. What the doctrine of truths are based on varies; but, the truth remains the same.

Quite frankly, I'm not surprised that the US Government would usurp the name given to the Chinese belief in the Sacred to undermine their security. For some time now I have suspected the US as embodying the Revelation description of the Anti-Christ. Unfortunately, every day and in every way, the more I learn seems to support that theory. I'm afraid we all live in the belly of The Beast!

Bravo for Edward Snowden! A Saint of the highest order! May God (TAO) Bless and help him!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 1 week ago

Thank you, DAnneMarc, it's good to be back ...for a little while anyway... been pretty busy lately. Yes, I've been interested in the Snowden affair. But my news on that matter has been rather sketchy as I rarely have much time to watch TV or read much on the internet. Yes, I agree, Bravo for Edward Snowden!

Here's a map of the internet:

Can you find your ISP in this mess?

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 11 years 1 week ago

Palindromedary ~ To answer your question-- Yes! LOL What difference does it make? We are all compromised. There is no discrimination in the digital age. It all hinges on the ability to store the information. Nothing else. Welcome to 1984!

arstarobin's picture
arstarobin 11 years 1 week ago

I had that genetic test. I had to wait long before it was approved. Medicare Medicaid approved. I was lucky that my problems were not due to the gentic problems but my family has problems from a gene not nown yet.

Amy in Madison

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 11 years 1 week ago

The Twain Report

All The News That Mark Twain Says He Would Report If He Was Alive Today

6-14- 2013

Early this morning, The Twain Report received intelligence that a farmer in Kurgistan is said, with varying degrees of certainty, to have maybe told someone, "I know that pigs love Shostakovich music. They're not crazy about Beethoven, but they love Shostakovich. Everybody knows this. But I will not play Shostakovich music for them! They are pigs. However, I do play Shostakovich music for my cows and goats."

The New York Times received this piece of intelligence from the same source as The Twain Report, and published an article on it.

When our editor in chief heard about the Times article, he picked up our copy of the Times from the floor, tried to squeeze some of the puppy pee out of it, and read the article.

While obviously the Times has far better uses than reading it, we must make an exception in this case, so here is the New York Times story, in its entirety:

"Early this morning, the New York Times received incontrovertible evidence that Palestine has weapons of mass destruction all over the place, and they are planning to invade Israel."

When President Obama read this article in the Times, he quickly realized that based solely on that article, America has to decide whether we should invade and occupy Syria, or whether it would be more patriotic to invade and occupy Iran."

President Obama's press secretary spoke with the press, saying, "Hang on just a second while I turn down the Shostakovich music on my iphone. Ok, just remember the key points here: we Americans are a peaceful people, so let's have another war!"

In The Twain Report's weekly seance in a heavily-fortified bunker under the Snohomish County Landfill in which we solicit editorial guidance and spiritual pithitudes from our Founder, the spirit of MarK Twain possessed the body of The Twain Report's lawyer and said, "Hey, what's that smell? Oh, I'm in a lawyer's body. Anyway, I have always loved corgi dogs. Ok, gotta run, so long, goodbye, dosevedanya, ciao, see you later."

After hearing about this, the New York Times immediately ran another article with this headline: "Mark Twain says that literati everywhere have risen up, demanding war- any war."

When Obama read this story in the New York Times, he realized how severe the situation is, so he immediately authorized corporate security contractors to invade Kurdistan, because those Kurds are not from around here.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 11 years 1 week ago

Representative Alan Grayson (D-Fl) is passing around this petition to repeal the NSA spying program and restore The Constitution:

I urge everyone to sign it immediately. This spying technique make me feel less safe.The intelligence community pre-911 had done its job and provided President Bush in ample time all the information he needed to prevent that attack. They knew who, where and how. 911 happened because President Bush chose to ignore that intelligence. We don't need this illegal, unconstitutional, ridiculous and indiscriminate mass collection of data. No Government agency, or private company, or system of computers is capable of making heads or tails out of all this mostly garbage. Garbage in garbage out. Meanwhile this only poses a threat to the security of the nation by telling would be terrorists that they cannot communicate remotely. This drives them off the radar chart completely. In addition, it ties the hands of our investigators by making them look for a needle in a haystack instead of focusing on probable cause and likely suspects. Eventually, because of ignoring The Constitution and trying to do their job the easiest way possible, we will be hit again. It is only a matter of time. This nonsense will not work to defend our nation and will only accomplish destroying The Constitution and the rule of law--the only thing this nation really has of timeless value. Destroying our Constitution, fundamental principles of human rights, and our way of life is the most damage any terrorist can ever hope to achieve! Yet, we are doing that for them!

Like President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said and we keep forgetting, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself!"

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

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