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Supreme Court Throws Out Human Gene Patents

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the klingon-gene-patents-still-ok dept.

Patents 91

thomst sends this quote from an Associated Press report: "The Supreme Court on Monday threw out a lower court ruling allowing human genes to be patented, a topic of enormous interest to cancer researchers, patients and drug makers. The court overturned patents belonging to Myriad Genetics Inc. of Salt Lake City on two genes linked to increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer. The justices' decision sends the case back down to the federal appeals court in Washington that handles patent cases. The high court said it sent the case back for rehearing because of its decision in another case last week saying that the laws of nature are unpatentable. In that case, the court unanimously threw out patents on a Prometheus Laboratories, Inc., test that could help doctors set drug doses for autoimmune diseases like Crohn's disease."

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COOL!!! (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 2 years ago | (#39478791)

Now the patent trolls can't sue me for violating a megacorps' 'patent' because I'm still breathing!

Re:COOL!!! (4, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 2 years ago | (#39479015)

Now the patent trolls can't sue me for violating a megacorps' 'patent' because I'm still breathing!

Crap! I was told to resolve the "jamstar7 is still breathing" problem before the Supreme Court made their decision - now I'm not going to get paid!

Re:COOL!!! (0)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about 2 years ago | (#39479805)

Was he going to be involved in a hit-and-run accident with a '93 Ford Escort station wagon?

Re:COOL!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39488787)

No worry.. just continue sending legal threats and mess around with him until he settles...

Re:COOL!!! (4, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#39479027)

Now the patent trolls can't sue me for violating a megacorps' 'patent' because I'm still breathing!

We are now free to mutate without fear of lawsuit. To the Transmogrifier!!!

Re:COOL!!! (3, Funny)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#39479083)

We are now free to mutate without fear of lawsuit. To the Transmogrifier!!!

Scientific progress goes 'Boink?'

Or is that only when you turn the Transmogrifier on its side?

Re:COOL!!! (3, Interesting)

Endo13 (1000782) | about 2 years ago | (#39479139)

I carry my trusty transmogrifier gun with me. That way, should I happen to accidentally get carried several miles into the air by a balloon I'm still safe!

Re:COOL!!! (1)

mcneely.mike (927221) | more than 2 years ago | (#39480529)

I carry my trusty transmogrifier gun with me. That way, should I happen to accidentally get carried several miles into the air by a balloon I'm still safe!

Santa Claus: "You'll shoot your eye out, kid."

Re:COOL!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39480995)

We are now free to mutate without fear of lawsuit. To the Transmogrifier!!!

Hello, I'm the 1 o'clock AC, who are you?

Re:COOL!!! (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#39479461)

We now need to expand on this throwing out any patent on any gene at all. GM foods may or may not be a good idea, but to patent anything alive is definitely a bad and dangerous thing when it puts a tiny minority in control of the world's food supply.

Re:COOL!!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39482153)

Uhmm. These patents are for the BRCA genes. The genes that indicate you are likely to get breast cancer. These are naturally occuring genes. The genes in GM are manufactured and chances are any rulings won't apply to them.

Re:COOL!!! (1)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482777)

Manufactured? No. Transplanted.

Re:COOL!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39484145)

Indeed, the genes for GM food are simply grafted from one organism to another, the genes are not manufactured. They simply say, hey, this insect has a gene for X, wouldn't it be great if our corn had that too? There, done!

Not exactly... (5, Informative)

Theaetetus (590071) | about 2 years ago | (#39478795)

"The Supreme Court on Monday threw out a lower court ruling allowing human genes to be patented, a topic of enormous interest to cancer researchers, patients and drug makers. The court overturned patents belonging to Myriad Genetics Inc. of Salt Lake City on two genes linked to increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

Not quite. The Supreme Court overturned the Federal Circuit ruling that the patents were valid and infringed, and remanded back for reconsideration based on the recent Prometheus v. Mayo case. Basically saying, "take another look." They did not however "overturn patents" nor did they "throw out human gene patents" as the headline states.

We can make predictions and argue about what the Federal Circuit will likely decide on remand, and what the Supreme Court might then do if re-appealed, but it's not nearly as over as the headline or summary say.

Re:Not exactly... (4, Insightful)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | about 2 years ago | (#39478815)

Thank you for fighting the good fight on irresponsible journalism, good sir.

Re:Not exactly... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39479057)

The headline gave me hope. Patenting human genes or any naturally occurring genes is insane. You might as well patent blue eyes. Just because you are the first one to see it and identify it doesn't make it personal property especially when most of us have it in our bodies already. This was always about controlling whole lines of research. We have people dying from breast cancer, and yes men die from it too, while a corporation pisses all over the gene that causes it to prevent others from working on a cure that involves the very gene that causes it. Who cares if thousands and potentially millions die when there are corporate profits at stake! The whole system is insane.

Re:Not exactly... (0)

Blindman (36862) | about 2 years ago | (#39479149)

You may get your wish, but not today.

Re:Not exactly... (2, Insightful)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 years ago | (#39479153)

First off, I agree with you, patenting genes is stupid.

Who cares if thousands and potentially millions die when there are corporate profits at stake!

However, just because something can save the lives of millions is not a reason to not allow it to be patented. Pretty much every safety feature in cars is covered by numerous patents. Many may have expired by now but ABS, Traction Control, Seat belts... were all covered by patents at some point.

Re:Not exactly... (4, Insightful)

Sique (173459) | about 2 years ago | (#39479299)

But why should the gene be patented? The patent seeker in question didn't invent the gene, nor did he invent the way it expresses into proteins, nor did he invented the proteins synthesized. Someone discovered what role the gene plays in the metabolism, but that's a discovery, not an invention.

Re:Not exactly... (-1, Redundant)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 years ago | (#39479663)

I didn't say it should. Please re-read and comprehend my previous comment.

Re:Not exactly... (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about 2 years ago | (#39480001)

So accurately the only patents that should apply is upon the equipment used to uncover the nature and function of genes, which of course they already are.

Re:Not exactly... (2)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#39481097)

No, you could also specific non-obvious applications of the knowledge.

A drug that mimics the action of the gene would be a non-obvious application. (All drugs being non-obvious.)

A test that measures an enzyme regulated by the gene would be an obvious application, unless there was something novel about how the test works.

Re:Not exactly... (4, Informative)

pepty (1976012) | more than 2 years ago | (#39480287)

But why should the gene be patented? The patent seeker in question didn't invent the gene, nor did he invent the way it expresses into proteins, nor did he invented the proteins synthesized. Someone discovered what role the gene plays in the metabolism, but that's a discovery, not an invention.

That's not what the patents cover.

They usually cover:

1. Adding or removing genes from an organism to give the organism a useful new phenotype (corn that makes bt toxin).

2. A process for manufacturing a protein that includes taking it out of the original organism and expressing it in a different one so that you get a higher yield.

3. A diagnostic based on the presence of a particular version of a gene or protein (what this case was about)

4. A new version of a protein that is more useful than the natural one.

Some are still pretty obnoxious though.

Re:Not exactly... (1)

almechist (1366403) | more than 2 years ago | (#39481551)

That's not what the patents cover.

They usually cover:

1. Adding or removing genes from an organism to give the organism a useful new phenotype (corn that makes bt toxin).

2. A process for manufacturing a protein that includes taking it out of the original organism and expressing it in a different one so that you get a higher yield.

3. A diagnostic based on the presence of a particular version of a gene or protein (what this case was about)

4. A new version of a protein that is more useful than the natural one.

Some are still pretty obnoxious though.

But none of the things you list actually require that a gene be patented, they are all more or less processes that happen to involve genes or make use of genetic information. For instance, in principal there is no reason that a genetic diagnostic test manufacturer has to patent the gene that is being tested for, they could just patent the test, except that their lawyers told them it would be a good idea to include the gene itself in the patent application, and geniuses down at the patent office have gone along with this insanity. IANAL, but it seems to me the types of patents you list could all in theory exist in some form without granting anyone exclusive ownership of a naturally occurring gene.

Re:Not exactly... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39481597)

But why should the gene be patented? The patent seeker in question didn't invent the gene, nor did he invent the way it expresses into proteins, nor did he invented the proteins synthesized. Someone discovered what role the gene plays in the metabolism, but that's a discovery, not an invention.

That's not what the patents cover.

They usually cover:

1. Adding or removing genes from an organism to give the organism a useful new phenotype (corn that makes bt toxin).

2. A process for manufacturing a protein that includes taking it out of the original organism and expressing it in a different one so that you get a higher yield.

3. A diagnostic based on the presence of a particular version of a gene or protein (what this case was about)

4. A new version of a protein that is more useful than the natural one.

Some are still pretty obnoxious though.

Please mod the parent up, these are crucial details here, and as always, the devil is in the details.

To clarify some more, in the pharmaceutical world, the simplest standard for patent-ability of a novel chemical compound is that it does not exist in nature. So penicillin itself, for example, cannot be patented because it occurs naturally in mold. A process for purifying it from mold, however, is quite patentable. Or, if you chemically modified penicillin slightly by adding a doohickey bit to one end such that it even works on penicillin-resistant bacteria, that would also be patentable since penicillin doesn't exist in nature with the doohickey bit. Sure, that may seem like cheating, slightly, but there is undeniably much value added in figuring out exactly how many ways you can tinker with penicillin and make new antibiotics.

In the biotech world, this simple and commonsense criteria has been ridiculously abused. The argument, summarized briefly, is that when you isolate a gene you have to snip it out of the rest of the DNA before you can run a test on it, and that isolated snippet doesn't naturally occur in the universe (only the whole honking genome does). Semi-magically, the gene is not patentable inside a genome as it naturally exists, but if you cut it out, it's a "different molecule" that is now patentable.

What about the whole test aspect, you say?

There is some language in the patent law that the details of your innovation must be "non-obvious to a person skilled in the art".

Once you know the sequence of the gene involved, the mechanics of doing a test is pretty much something you could do yourself in a high school biology lab. The principles are taught in intro biology textbooks, you can order all the reagents you need and use a mail order sequencing lab for probably under 50$ a pop. So there's really no value added in providing the details of how to make a test for a gene once you've isolated it. Any idiot could teach themselves how to do it over the weekend, it requires no particular expertise whatsoever once you know the sequence of the gene. So defending the process of designing a test once the gene is known clearly does not pass that test for patentable in and of itself.

Proponents of gene patents argue that it would be the most equitable mechanism to help recoup the massive expenses involved in figuring out exactly what genes are involved with disease and how to design a treatment plan based on the results of specific, targeted gene tests. Which would be great if there was anything in the patent code that ensured the people who figured out how a gene works and why you would care to test for it end up with the patent for it. But as it stands now, there are no standards on what level of detail must be provided for the "how" and "why" aspects in a gene-test patent application, just the raw sequence itself.

In the Myriad Genetics case, for example, the company with a monopoly on test for a major breast cancer gene was not the same group of people who first isolated the gene and figured out what it did. Academic researchers using tax dollars did, Myriad was just the first to file a patent for a test on that exact gene sequence (in fact, the academic collaborators refused to patent first because they thought it was unethical to do so).

So while this is still going around and around in the higher courts, it is now standard operating procedure whenever any new gene gets sequenced (many millions per year) to simply send in a cookie-cutter patent application for a diagnostic to test for this gene. In case someone finds out later that it was actually important for something and then, hey, profit!! The sad thing is that, under current rules, the USPTO ends up granting most of these patents. It's literally gene patent trolling. And the courts will eventually have to take an intro molecular biology course before they realize exactly how much they have been duped.

Re:Not exactly... (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483121)

There is some language in the patent law that the details of your innovation must be "non-obvious to a person skilled in the art".

Once you know the sequence of the gene involved, the mechanics of doing a test is pretty much something you could do yourself in a high school biology lab.

But that's an argument that these should be invalid under 35 USC 103, not under 35 USC 101. While I don't disagree with your post, I feel that these arguments about patent-eligible fields (including whether even the most novel, innovative, nonobvious software in the world should be patentable) seem to be looking at the wrong solution to the problem of too many obvious patents being granted.

Re:Not exactly... (1)

reve_etrange (2377702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39481367)

The patent seeker in question didn't invent the gene

Indeed, but what if they had? Enzyme design is already big business, but it's mostly been restricted to in vitro evolution rather than true, "rational" design. Better computational and biochemical tools are changing the situation, though.

If someone designed a protein structure which achieves a novel function (read: a new, molecular machine), should it be eligible for patent? What about the gene that encodes that protein? Is another form of IP more appropriate?

If such an enzyme or its nucleic acid sequence is protected, can I circularly permute it to get around the law (typically circular permutation of DNA sequence leads to the same folded protein structure, which the individual pieces in a different sequential order)?

I wish that these questions could be resolved by science and empiricism instead of a slavish devotion to profit motives and the interests of the power elite.

Re:Not exactly... (1)

MrKevvy (85565) | about 2 years ago | (#39479331)

"However, just because something can save the lives of millions is not a reason to not allow it to be patented. Pretty much every safety feature in cars is covered by numerous patents. "

This comparison is invalid. A car is already an expensive, in many cases unnecessary, and arguably luxury item. Patented safety features add a small fraction to its cost, so it's likely if the car can be afforded then so can the safety features. In contrast, alternatives to patented pharma, tests, procedures etc. may not be available to lower-income people in any form, and may be life-or-death necessary.

Re:Not exactly... (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 years ago | (#39479679)

Unless you live in a country with free heath care...

Re:Not exactly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39483323)

Unless you live in a country with free heath care...

There's no such thing as free health care.

Re:Not exactly... (3, Informative)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#39481079)

No, it's not a reason not to patent it. The reason is that the gene existed and did what it did before you discovered what it did. It doesn't matter that you just discovered the gene that makes me able to regulate the insulin in my blood. I've been using that gene for that purpose and so has almost everybody else. If you now use that new knowledge to make a drug that helps diabetics, good for you. You can patent THAT DRUG. But you shouldn't be able to patent the gene or the mechanisms by which it operates. Those are simply facts of nature. Those facts belong to nobody even though you discovered them.

Now if somebody else figures out how to make the same thing happen with a different drug (that works better than yours or is easier to produce) THAT person should own the rights to their drug. I consider every drug to be non-obvious, because it's never obvious that a novel substance when introduced into the body will be safe and effective. Often all the indications are that a candidate drug will work, only it proves to have unsafe side effects or doesn't work because of some factor that the inventors couldn't know about without trying it in real patients.

As for patenting genes in living organisms, it shouldn't be allowed unless all of the organisms are to be contained in a secure environment under your physical control. Once it escapes control, only the original maker should be held liable for its propagation and any economic damages that it caused.

Re:Not exactly... (1)

P-niiice (1703362) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485907)

Yes but seatbelts don't occur in nature.

Re:Not exactly... (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#39479655)

The headline gave me hope

Too bad it was almost completely wrong. Back to dark despondency for you. Tell you what, wander over to this thread [slashdot.org] and really get depressed.

Give up.

Re:Not exactly... (1)

mikael (484) | more than 2 years ago | (#39480097)

Could you imagine what would happen if these corporations were able to not only patent these genes but also derived works from random combinations of these genes. Allowing parents on detection processes and chemical formula seems fair enough.

Re:Not exactly... (1)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#39480993)

It's not the blue eyes themselves that are the subject of the patent. It's the business process wherein the person with blue eyes is photographed and used to advertise a product.

Re:Not exactly... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39488139)

I doubt any head of any big multinational corporation give a rat's ass about anyone's life except their own. Otherwise there would have been doors on Purina's elevator in 1959 and my grandfather wouldn't have been a vegetable for the next fifteen years until he died, and the Sago Mine [msn.com] wouldn't have exploded in 2006, killing two dozen men.

Do you really think a 1%er cares about anyone but himself and close friends and relatives? If your death will make him richer, you'll die. Damed hard to become a multimillionaire unless you're a sociopath. Possible, yes, but damned hard.

Re:Not exactly... (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#39480631)

Not quite. The Supreme Court overturned the Federal Circuit ruling that the patents were valid and infringed, and remanded back for reconsideration based on the recent Prometheus v. Mayo case. Basically saying, "take another look." They did not however "overturn patents" nor did they "throw out human gene patents" as the headline states.

In typical fashion, the summary glosses over the technical procedure. Thanks for setting that straight.

Nevertheless, its pretty much over, because to get around Prometheus, the lawyers lower courts are going to have to do some fancy dancing, and they are unlikely to do this anytime soon. In the meantime Prometheus settles, and becomes the standard by which all of these bio/genome patents are litigated.

Like , these decisions tend to put a significant change in momentum into the legal system, and in the present case its long overdue.

Re:Not exactly... (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 2 years ago | (#39480685)

Nevertheless, its pretty much over, because to get around Prometheus, the lawyers lower courts are going to have to do some fancy dancing, and they are unlikely to do this anytime soon. In the meantime Prometheus settles, and becomes the standard by which all of these bio/genome patents are litigated.

Not necessarily, or at least, I wouldn't hold my breath... They can gloss against Prometheus by saying that isolated DNA doesn't exist in nature and therefore is not a "law of nature" itself, same as the Supreme Court found vulcanized rubber to be patentable in Diehr, even though rubber itself existed.

Doesn't mean that the Supreme Court wouldn't reverse again, but that's certainly one possible take.

Re:Not exactly... (2)

pepty (1976012) | more than 2 years ago | (#39480951)

Not necessarily, or at least, I wouldn't hold my breath... They can gloss against Prometheus by saying that isolated DNA doesn't exist in nature and therefore is not a "law of nature" itself, same as the Supreme Court found vulcanized rubber to be patentable in Diehr, even though rubber itself existed.

But if "isolated DNA" is the anchor they're holding onto, they're also screwed. There are plenty of ways of running the test without creating Myriad's version of isolated DNA, some of them have the benefit of being useful for running hundreds of DNA tests at once. Even worse, the price of sequencing your genome is expected to drop to 1/3 of the cost of Myriad's test. Once you have that data, there is already free software out there that will score the test for you (or your doctor).

Cheap sequencing is basically the ball game when it comes to charging for individual DNA diagnostics. They can't charge the sequencing company a licensing fee if all they do is give you your genome. They can go after someone who distributes software that does the analysis ... but not in the EU (if the software is free), and probably not after the Prometheus decision.

Basically, after ~2014 you will be able to pay $1K for your genome and after that every DNA test you ever want or need is free*..

*So long as your doctor accepts them.

Finally (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 years ago | (#39478797)

Some good news about stupid patents.

Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39478805)

Sudden outbreak of commonsense. Nature made it- if nature can't patent it, what right should we have to? NONE. It's nice to
see the original prior art argument hold up.

Re:Finally (1, Interesting)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 2 years ago | (#39478849)

I wonder if one could rule the patents invalid because of abundant previous art?

Re:Finally (1)

Loughla (2531696) | about 2 years ago | (#39478939)

I don't often side with the Church, but I would LOOOVVVEE to see some Catholics or Hindus or someone file copyright infringement against medicine companies on behalf of God/Creator Spirit/what-have-you.

Re:Finally (2)

registrations_suck (1075251) | about 2 years ago | (#39479415)

I don't often side with the Church, but I would LOOOVVVEE to see some Catholics or Hindus or someone file copyright infringement against medicine companies on behalf of God/Creator Spirit/what-have-you.

Any such lawsuit would be dismissed on lack of standing to file such a suit. One would need to have some acceptable proof of power attorney provided by said supernatural sky friend.

Re:Finally (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 2 years ago | (#39481741)

Depends on the weight the courts ware willing to give the dogma, but the Pope might have a shot...

Restoring the Faith (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39478837)

As someone with an auto-immune disease (Crohn's) who deals with Prometheus Labs every so often, I say this is a very good thing!

WOW... (5, Insightful)

El Fantasmo (1057616) | about 2 years ago | (#39478871)

Nature is unpatentable, something everyone knows and understands until you get a law degree.
Please, please, please let this ruling stick!

These same justices also need to decide that Monsanto's GMO crop products are WILLFULLY contaminating other people's property. If Monsanto can stop their GMOs' pollen from being carried by the wind, then they can lay claim to all plants with Monsanto genes, until then...

Re:WOW... (4, Interesting)

garyebickford (222422) | about 2 years ago | (#39479033)

Yes. Someone should prosecute Monsanto for criminal trespass. (No joke, it's a valid legal principle - companies and people have been prosecuted criminally and also sued for damages for allowing their critters, fumes, liquids, waste etc. to escape their property and cause damage on others' property. With respect to Monsanto, it's a bit more complicated because Monsanto is essentially allowing, encouraging and forcing their customers to do the trespassing. I suppose that could be considered conspiracy?

Re:WOW... (0)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#39480313)

If you open that bag of worms it means any farmer could sue any other farmer for insects and pollen going across a property line.

It would be a hoot for sure.

Re:WOW... (1)

garyebickford (222422) | more than 2 years ago | (#39480417)

That bag of worms has been open for many years. It's not unlike a complaint that the slob next door has allowed his trash to build up to the point where it's sliding down the pile into my yard, or that he continues to encourage his dog to poop in my yard. A single, casual instance isn't usually (AFAIK, IANAL) grounds but obviously, intentionally and especially repeatedly offending in these ways is more likely to be grounds.

Re:WOW... (2)

andydread (758754) | about 2 years ago | (#39479963)

The fact that you can take a gene from one life form, insert it into another life form and patent the result, and sue others when your genetic combination contaminates their property is totally ludicrous. However it is the law as Monsanto has purchased it and we all have to live by the law. Unless we the people lobby to get the law changed Monsanto will continue unabated until all food staples become Monsanto's "intellectual Property" and you wont be able to plant anything useful without paying a license fee to plant and purchase seeds that bring a risk of you getting sued for re-using them. Did you know that when you "license" Monsanto seeds you must allow the Monsanto police force on your property for up to 3 years after ceasing using their seeds? That's one gem from their "Round-UP Ready " EULA. The Monsanto EULA is ridiculously comical but its dead serious and their lawyers are brutal. Fun times ahead. Lets hope the "You can't patent nature" rule sticks and this applies to Monsanto and other litigation happy patent abusers that try to own life.

Re:WOW... (1)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 2 years ago | (#39481439)

The fact that you can take a gene from one life form, insert it into another life form and patent the result, and sue others when your genetic combination contaminates their property is totally ludicrous.

If that ever happened, it would be. That's just an internet myth though. There have been a handful of lawsuits (17 per year on average IIRC) but in all those cases in was more than just cross pollination involved. And please, contamination is when you get contaminants. Pollen is not pollution.

Lets hope the "You can't patent nature" rule sticks

You must really like Red Delicious apples. A lot of people prefer other varieties like HoneyCrisp, but since you don't want patents on life, you must be opposed to all things developed as a result of those patents. People who work with plant improvement, including genetic engineering, deserve to make a living too. Patents help them do this, and have been in play for years after pushing from old time breeders like Luther Burbank.

Re:WOW... (1)

andydread (758754) | more than 2 years ago | (#39481627)

If people are planting non-Monsanto crops and Monsanto seed pollinates their crop then the Monsanto trans-gene will be in the pollinated crop and therefore the non-Monsanto crop is contaminated with the Monsanto trans-gene. This is a fact. Only industry types are pushing back against that fact because the world "contamination" is not favourable just like labelling foods GMO is not desirable by the industry and their lobbyists.

It has nothing to do with Red Delicious apples however I would like to know which ones of those "Red Delicious apples" are not ripened with ethylene gas you know?
The assumption that the motivation for genetic engineering is because of patents does a dis-service to many who spend their lives in the field. It's like claiming software exists because of patents. Its laughable. Farmers have been developing and saving their seed for replanting the next crop for over 2000 years and for a company like Monsanto to come along and systematically shutdown that practice through the use of patents and litigation happy lawyers and contamination of farms that refuse to license their product and suing them out of existence you are saying that this is good? It's good that Monsanto controls the "intellectual property" of most of the corn and soy planted in North America? Its good that Monsanto found problems with their product in the labs and hid them from the public? What about all the fertility problems with animal tests that were swept under the rug? You cheer for this? I have no problem with genetic engineering I have a problem with the current practices of Monsanto in the marketplace and not only that they have a terrible history. They said PCPs were safe. It was not. Agent Orange was safe it was not, Round-up was biodegradable, it is not. and on and on and they are fighting tooth and nail to stop any effort to label products that have a trans-gene from a frigging bacterium inserted in them. It's just best that we not allow patents on life-forms.

Re:WOW... (1)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483359)

If people are planting non-Monsanto crops and Monsanto seed pollinates their crop then the Monsanto trans-gene will be in the pollinated crop and therefore the non-Monsanto crop is contaminated with the Monsanto trans-gene. This is a fact.

That describes every variety on the planet, GE or not. If I'm growing Blue Bonnet rice and you're growing a modern, non-GE, not-from-Monsanto hybrid, I can still get, say, the sd-1 gene from your rice. What if I don't want that gene?

Only industry types are pushing back against that fact because the world "contamination"

Industry types and those of us who know enough about agriculture to know what the word means.

If people are planting non-Monsanto crops and Monsanto seed pollinates their crop then the Monsanto trans-gene will be in the pollinated crop and therefore the non-Monsanto crop is contaminated with the Monsanto trans-gene. This is a fact.

Mandatory labeling of food as non-vegan, non-Kosher, or Haram is also not favorable to industry, nor is labeling if something is produced via embryo rescue, mutagenesis, induced polyploidy, somaclonal variation, or any other plant improvement method.

If people are planting non-Monsanto crops and Monsanto seed pollinates their crop then the Monsanto trans-gene will be in the pollinated crop and therefore the non-Monsanto crop is contaminated with the Monsanto trans-gene. This is a fact.

But it does. If you think patents are unique to genetic engineering I suggest you pick up a wholesale catalog and see how many plants have royalty fees, their existence brought about by the protection of plant patents.

Its good that Monsanto found problems with their product in the labs and hid them from the public? What about all the fertility problems with animal tests that were swept under the rug? You cheer for this?

I'm saying that never happened. Yes, there have been lawsuits. The notion they were over simple cross pollination is an internet myth.

The assumption that the motivation for genetic engineering is because of patents does a dis-service to many who spend their lives in the field. It's like claiming software exists because of patents. Its laughable. Farmers have been developing and saving their seed for replanting the next crop for over 2000 years

Ant there's a reason we say the rise of hybrid seed in the last century. You think that even involves genetic engineering? Read up on the history of breeding.

Its good that Monsanto found problems with their product in the labs and hid them from the public? What about all the fertility problems with animal tests that were swept under the rug? You cheer for this?

GMOs cause fertility problems like vaccines cause autism. There a few studies associated with that. They all fall into one of three categories: very poorly done, never published, or good studies that are completely misrepresented by anti-GE groups (like the time they went around telling people that livestock fed GE feed went sterile, while conveniently neglecting to mention that the feed was contaminated with sterility causing mold...such honest people).

they are fighting tooth and nail to stop any effort to label products that have a trans-gene from a frigging bacterium inserted in them.

What do you mean, Monsanto does label their seed. It is the next group in the supply chain, those who process the food, who do not label. And if they don't want to, why should they?

Re:WOW... (1)

andydread (758754) | more than 2 years ago | (#39484217)

That describes every variety on the planet, GE or not. If I'm growing Blue Bonnet rice and you're growing a modern, non-GE, not-from-Monsanto hybrid, I can still get, say, the sd-1 gene from your rice. What if I don't want that gene?

The difference here which you neglect to mention is that Monsanto actively trespasses onto farmland and collect samples in an effort to sue any contaminated non-Monsanto farmer out of business through the use of patents.

Industry types and those of us who know enough about agriculture to know what the word means.

Read lobbyists and public relation departments of massive multinationals like Monsanto that aim to own all the "intellectual property" behind all food staples throughout the world. Not the actual people on the ground. Farmers that are getting battered with patents from Monsanto. People like Troy Roush the VP of the American Corn Growers Association Troy Roush has said as much and he is a 6th generation soy and corn farmer.

Mandatory labeling of food as non-vegan, non-Kosher, or Haram is also not favorable to industry, nor is labeling if something is produced via embryo rescue, mutagenesis, induced polyploidy, somaclonal variation, or any other plant improvement method.

Industry attempts to equate selective breeding with genetic modification is madness. The scope here is totally different and they know it. Its a cynical attempt to mislead the public into thinking that "oh its all the same" just like "sugar is sugar" right? Its not the same. In the case of Round Up Ready products you have genes that are taken from a bacterium and randomly inserted into the genome of soy and corn in order to make them Round-Up resistant. Selective breeding is totally not the same as that.

But it does. If you think patents are unique to genetic engineering I suggest you pick up a wholesale catalog and see how many plants have royalty fees, their existence brought about by the protection of plant patents.

Patenting life forms should not be allowed. And the supreme court is correct that just rearranging genes is not an "invention" Also randomly inserting a gene from a bacterium into a plant is not novel and non-obvious.

I'm saying that never happened. Yes, there have been lawsuits. The notion they were over simple cross pollination is an internet myth.

So you are saying that the leaked and verified Monsanto internal documents are a myth? They said that about PCBs too remember? And oh its a myth that Dioxins are linked to some cancers.

Ant there's a reason we say the rise of hybrid seed in the last century. You think that even involves genetic engineering? Read up on the history of breeding.

I understand the history of breeding. So tell me how do you cross-breed a specific set of genes that exist in a specific bacterium into a plant naturally?

Re:WOW... (1)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 2 years ago | (#39481421)

There's a big difference between patenting something you found and patenting something you made. Ignoring the difference is just disingenuous.

And contamination? If I grow open pollinated crop variety A, and someone else grows variety B, the pollen of variety B, although it will cross with mine and thus cause me damage if I wish to maintain my variety, is not 'contamination.'

Re:WOW... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39481909)

Nature is unpatentable, something everyone knows and understands until you get a law degree, or a big biotech venture capital injection, or a 6 figure biotech job, or get some timely campaign contributions from biotech or invest your IRA in biotech.

FTFY

Genes have been patented for years (4, Funny)

ozduo (2043408) | about 2 years ago | (#39478893)

didn't Levi patent Genes years ago or did he just invent them?

Copyright (1)

Frankie70 (803801) | more than 2 years ago | (#39484275)

Like most slashdotters you are getting confused between patents and copyrights. Levi copyrighted it.

Re:Copyright (1)

ozduo (2043408) | more than 2 years ago | (#39490493)

Correct: but you missed my other mistake that I confused Genes with jeans, or was I making a pun and I needed to confuse those two facts to brighten your day? The first law of journalism "Never let the facts spoil a good story!"

I'll take "Let's corner the market" for $900 Alex (2)

schrodingersGato (2602023) | about 2 years ago | (#39478897)

It just seems like they have set up new ground rules by which an army of lawyers will translate into a high-cost-of-entry market (jn a market with an already bloated cost of entry). I would not hold my breath in hoping that corporations will change their practices...

/. car analogy (2, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#39478903)

Please rate my standard /. car analogy:

Last week they overturned a patent on painting a car such that it reflects light with a spectral peak at 650 nm, in other words, its painted red, with the justification that red being a certain wavelength is a fairly obvious natural fact rather than a patentable invention. Today they kicked a patent on "a car cooling system that cools by accepting cool air at the radiator intake, heating it, and exhausting the heated air thus cooling the engine" back for further review based on last weeks overturning because the laws of thermodynamics are also mere laws of nature.

Re:/. car analogy (3, Insightful)

mellon (7048) | about 2 years ago | (#39478969)

So basically what you're saying is that there's no obvious distinction to draw between things being red and things being hot, and so either both should be patentable, or neither should. This is entirely correct. Patents are a bad idea. We should just get rid of them entirely. Okay, now, back to the real world. In the real world, we aren't abandoning patents altogether, so courts have to litigate these stupid angel-dancing-on-the-head-of-a-pin questions, and they have to come up with plausible-seeming justifications for invalidating patents that are clearly bogus, while still pretending that these same justifications don't apply to less glaring cases to which, as you have pointed out, they really do apply. Sux2bus.

ABOUT TIME! (5, Interesting)

quixote9 (999874) | about 2 years ago | (#39478925)

I'm a biologist and I watched the whole evolution of PCR and the mad scramble to patent every bit of human DNA with stunned disbelief. Did the legal beagles not understand that they were allowing the equivalent of patenting somebody else's books in a library?

Apparently, they didn't.

But, after a generation or so, and a festering swamp of patents, the truth seems to be dawning on them. I shall watch our future progress with considerable interest.

Re:ABOUT TIME! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39479301)

This mess is highly profitable for the legal beagles. What I want to know is where all the anti-lawsuit conservatives went. After funding a frivolous lawsuit against a sitting president, they seem to be ignoring the real problems.

Re:ABOUT TIME! (4, Interesting)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 2 years ago | (#39479491)

Well Myriad's been making a TON of money charging people $3500 for a $200 test all because they patented the gene in question (not the test which is standard DNA profiling).

Re:ABOUT TIME! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39480439)

B.S. The weighted average for the gene test is below $100. Look it up.

"I'm ALL out of GUM!" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39478933)

"I mean the people when you look at them or talk to them it's like there clueless and their mind is off in outer space.And even a simple conversation seems like something their not capable of,whats up with them."

I swear there is another, even larger thread about this same issue. Maybe more people are just waking up to this. When you're in a place where people are waiting or in transit in large groups, a Subway, a Bus station, etc. in checkout lines in stores, at amusement parks in long lines, etc.

(I am not promoting or suggesting you or anyone watch one or any of the following films. I haven't since I've awoken and I intend to avoid them from now on):

Films that have always bothered me when considering what you've said, in the real world:

* They Live: but what if he was going *too* far and these *aliens* were just possessing the people and he saw the evil which was front and center while the human was "asleep" (Matrix possible connection) in the background of the mind?

* Truman Show: if not "one" individual, what of "millions" all duped by another race?

* Dark City: what if not only the "dead" were/are being used as vessels, but living ones
as well? (remember "Dax" from ST:DS9? and her "parasite" like being inside her?)
Something interesting if you should ever watch Dark City, potential spoiler,
one guy who "woke up" was concerned about "them" getting to him, so he found
a way out, and he jumped in front of a train to his death..
if you go frame by frame around the time or after he jumps in front of the train,
or press pause exactly at the right moment (it's difficult to spot if you use
pause) there is a poster on the wall, where one normally wouldn't be in real
life, and it mentions HELL, I forget what it says exactly, but HELL is mentioned
on the poster. It's been a long time since I've sat down with Dark City, and
honestly I won't again, it's too jarring to the mind once you've explored all of
this Illuminati crap.

* Matrix: In my opinion the movie is a lie, IMOthe red pill symbolises the opposite, being
pushed into a frame of mind or (sub)reality in which you are a puppet and controlled.
vs. "awakening" to truth, instead you are "deceived" through lies. Symbolism of
the creature taken from Neo could be related to a soul or more likely a protective
(holy) spirit, extracted by Satanists. The whole "Matrix" world, when viewed in
reverse (no, I don't mean watching it from ending to beginning) and perverted *for*
Satanist world-view/goals is eye opening, the same with Dark City. This movie only
bothers me, not for the fake/real awakening/reality concepts but in that I feel
the whole movie, IMO is a lie and the real meaning is perverted, kind of like..

* Fight Club: On many levels this movie bothers me, but I see the dark female character in the
movie as an evil angel which is involved in the split of the two identities of
the one leading role. In the same way I perceive her role in the film I see the
same, or feel the same vibe for the role of the female evil creature in the movie..

* The Ninth Gate: both the "odd" female role in this and in Fight Club shout out to me in
that they are both playing a similar or the same role. Please don't watch
this movie, I'm sorry I ever did.

---
This one, not so much as the method of alien attack as for how it sometimes "feels" for the person played by NK, in public once they've awoken to the aliens around them and how they act, or rather what actions the aliens DON'T display:

* The Invasion (I) (2007) | Nicole Kidman in lead role
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0427392/ [imdb.com]

Tucker: When you wake up, you'll feel exactly the same. (possible tie-in to the movie, "Dark City")

"As a Washington psychiatrist unearths the origin of an alien epidemic, she also discovers her son might be the only way it can be stopped."

Yorish: I say that civilization is an illusion, a game of pretend. What is real is the fact that we are still animals, driven by primal instincts. As a psychiatrist, you must know this to be true.
Carol: To be honest, ambassador, when someone starts talking to me about the truth, what I hear is what they're telling me about themselves more than what they're saying about the world.
---

* The Arrival (1996) | Charlie Sheen in lead role
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0115571/ [imdb.com]

"Zane, an astronomer discovers intelligent alien life. But the aliens are keeping a deadly secret, and will do anything to stop Zane from learning it."

Zane Ziminski: I come to you with what may be the preeminent discovery of the 20th century, the possibility of extra-solar life, and I get shit-canned for it?

[right before he kills an alien]
Zane Ziminski: Do you want to see the ruins, my friend?
----

* Starman (1984) | Jeff Bridges in lead role
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088172/ [imdb.com]

"An alien takes the form of a young widow's husband and asks her to drive him from Wisconsin to Arizona. The government tries to stop them."
---

* The Last Starfighter (1984) | Lance Guest in lead role

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087597/ [imdb.com]

A video-gaming boy, seemingly doomed to stay at his trailer park home all his life, finds himself recruited as a gunner for an alien defense force.

--

Starman
and
The Last Starfighter,
when compared together,
is interesting.

In Starman, the "alien takes the form of a young widow's husband"

In The Last Starfighter, the character Alex Rogan goes into space to do battle while a clone,
Beta Alex, is left behind. Notice the lizard reference:

Alex Rogan: Teriffic. I'm about to get killed a million miles from nowhere with a gung-ho iguana who tells me to relax.

(it's all just a clever "mistake"):

Centauri: The amusing thing about this, it's all a big mistake. That particular Starfighter game was supposed to be delivered to Vegas, not some fleaspeck trailer park in the middle of tumbleweeds and tarantulas. So it must be fate, destiny, blind chance, luck even, that brings us together. And as the poet said, the rest is history.

Alex's "twin" or "clone":

Beta: Wait a minute, what are you doing back?
Alex Rogan: Are you kidding? It's war up there!
Beta: Oh, save the whales, but not the universe, huh?

[Beta is about to sacrifice himself]
Beta: [grimly smiling] You owe me one, Alex.

Alex Rogan: Hey, you look like me!
Beta: Of course I do. I'm a beta unit.
Alex Rogan: What the hell is a beta unit?
Beta: A beta unit is a simuloid. An exact duplicate, only not as loud!

Did you read that? "An exact duplicate" - so one tie to the "Starman" movie.

(Ask yourself, have YOU ever had "something", notice I didn't say someone, as to suggest
a human being, ask YOU if you wanted to FIGHT in SPACE? Be honest, now, and you don't have
to tell us, just know inside that that "voice" was of evil) In many "space" themed and
science fiction stories there's often this "split" personality or "other" being involved
somewhere, usually with the leading role.

----

Hebrews 13:2
"Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."

Are they ALL good angels? Are some bad?

Are some people possessed? Do some of these people have their true nature/soul either
extracted from them and the "walk in evil being" is in control or what?

Or are we simply more "self aware" and notice differences in people around us who
are not as self aware? Have we isolated ourselves too much playing games, using computers,
being nerds, etc. and simply notice people aren't as fully animated as television and movie
characters?

I believe there's more to it, and I believe it's spiritual. One crazy commercial had a ton of people riding a train with the "shh!" finger at their lips. I've seen a lot of ads with the "shh!" sign and trains and cars of different colors being used as "spiritual" symbols as vehicles in a spiritual way, colors having their own defining characteristic.

If you watch much television, you've probably noticed the increase in evil themed shows,
if people aren't simulated as killing other humans it's zombies, vampires, or showing
vampires and other "evil" creatures as "good", which is a Satanic lie.

---
One thing is for sure, whatever the truth is: I cannot wait for this "ride"
to end.

THEY dine on human FLESH? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39478945)

HUNGER GAMES FOR REAL: THEY WANT YOUR MIND, SOUL, AND BODY!

"Wow this is a fact when I see people in public transports and all, most of them especially the young are glued to their mobile handphones and tablets staring zombie-like into their tiny little screens without a care about the environment and people around them. Total brainwashed freaks, why do we want to live in this kind of emotionless world it really baffles the mind."

We are fast marching down the road to implantation of chips and or hardware components into our bodies and or mind which will eventually have total control over our minds.

* Johnny Mnemonic
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0113481/ [imdb.com]

Johnny Mnemonic: Yeah, the Black Shakes. What causes it?
Spider: What causes it?
[points to various pieces of equipment throughout the room]
Spider: This causes it! This causes it! This causes it! Information overload!
All the electronics around you poisoning the airwaves. Technological fucking
civilization. But we still have all this shit, because we can't live without it.

Johnny Mnemonic: What the fuck is going on? WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON? You know, all my life, I've been careful to stay in my own corner. Looking out for Number One... no complications. Now, suddenly, I'm responsible for the *entire fucking world*, and everybody and his mother is trying to kill me, IF... IF... my head doesn't blow up first.
Jane: Maybe it's not just about you any more.

* Google: Targeted Individual(s) aka Ti
* Visit: http://www.thehiddenevil.com/ [thehiddenevil.com]

* Freejack
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104299/ [imdb.com]

Alex Furlong: Man, if it's come down to this. What's the point?
Eagle Man: He Riddles me. The ancient riddle: "What's the point?" Have you ever seen an eagle flying back to his home with dinner for the Mrs. and all the little eagle babies. And he's flying against the wind and he's flying in the rain and he's flying through bullets and all kinds of hell, and then right at that moment when he's about to get back to his nest, he says, "What the fuck, it's a drag being an eagle" and right then two little x'es comes across his eyes just like in the old fashion cartoons. And he goes plunging down, and down and down and BAM. He's just a splatter of feathers and then we don't have the national bird of America no more. Did you ever see that?
Alex Furlong: No.
Eagle Man: Me Neither. Eagle's got too much self-respect. How's yours?
Time Travel Technician #1: I wouldn't dance to it, but that's a pulse.

* Neuromancer
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuromancer [wikipedia.org]

"Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts⦠A graphic representation of data abstracted from banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding..."

After we've been "tricked" into accepting this "false" man-and-machine technology, I believe:

* Revelation 9:6
"And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them."

The implanted chip was too jarring for most, so it's been put on hold, for now, unless we're receiving it through some vector like injections or other means. They tried to make it appear cool, but it flopped. Now they're working on pushing tattoos which can store information, this may be the poisoned doorway through which we spiral down through the trap door into Alice's world of man turning into machine through the perversion of so called "science".

They may "work" on us for awhile, to break us down and condition us for implants of chips and or
other electronic devices, through "external" devices like computerized "glasses" or "goggles", which they've tried in the past but will now be much more techno-geek oriented and tied to
the net, again with the external tattoos which will be made to look "cool" so people accept them.

Down, down, down, we'll slide as they make all of this technology appear harmless and cool,
much of us already are spending a great deal of our lives with this external technology in
the form of computers getting smaller by the day and trendier.

* "Star Trek: The Next Generation" The Game (1991)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092455/ [imdb.com]

Ensign Lefler: [about her childhood] I spent all of my time around technical equipment. My first friend was a tricorder.
Wesley Crusher: Really? My very first friend was a warp coil.

Commander William T. Riker: What is this?
Etana Jol: It's a game. Everyone here's playing it. It's fun!

Wesley Crusher: Maybe there's more going on here than we thought. What if someone's trying to use the game for some purpose other than pleasure?
Ensign Lefler: Then Data would be a threat to that plan. And only with Data out of the way would everyone become addicted.
Wesley Crusher: And everyone has... except us.

(A majority of the humans enslaved, "friendly" to human resistors shut down?)

Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge: Personal logs... diagnostics... duty logs, they all appear normal; there's no evidence of anything that could lead to Data's shutdown.
Commander William T. Riker: Maybe we should ask his cat.

http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/The_Game_(episode) [memory-alpha.org]

"The characters only become addicted because they were getting the game from people they trusted,"

(how many times a day does your local or national news pound into your head statements like,
"news from the people you trust", "from the team you trust", "the channel you trust" "the news you trust") -- This invasion of bastard technology will likely be a peer process, through a delivery vehicle called, "Trust". Witness how smartphones are becoming "the norm". See how popular sitcoms, just as with cigarettes in the past, has driven us towards their use. Science is still squabbling, and possibly through corrupt collusions between scientists and techno giants, like we see happening in the world of big pharma and some educated and respected minds and schools, whether or not cell phones are bad for us. Look how many years it took for Big Tobacco to finally cave in to the dangers of cigarettes. How many slick deals were there to cover it up?

If "they" don't like you, they can always give you cancer or a heart attack. Look at Bill Hicks and George Carlin. With their messages before their deaths, can you honestly tell me their deaths were of natural causes? Perhaps you've heard of Russian spies who have died quickly of cancer following being "poisoned".

* Silkwood
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086312/ [imdb.com]

Karen Silkwood: You think I contaminated myself, you think I did that?
Mace Hurley: I think you'd do just about anything to shut down this plant.

* The Plutonium Files
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Plutonium_Files [wikipedia.org]

"The Plutonium Files: America's Secret Medical Experiments in the Cold War is a 1999 book by Eileen Welsome. It is a history of U.S. government-engineered radiation experiments on unwitting Americans, based on the Pulitzer Prizeâ"winning series Welsome wrote for the Albuquerque Tribune.

The purpose of the experiments was to assess the effect of radioactivity on the human body. For example, between April 1945 and July 1947, 18 people were injected with plutonium by doctors associated with the Manhattan Project. None of these men, women, and children were told what was being done, and none gave informed consent. Most of the subjects, Welsome writes, "were the poor, the powerless, and the sick -- the very people who count most on the government to protect them".

These medical experiments were covered up for 40 years. When they became public, the government apologized but not a single doctor or hospital was publicly blamed."

And what human experiments are being carried out as we speak which we may or may not ever find out about?

** I want you to read that again:

"These medical experiments were covered up for 40 years. When they became public, the government apologized but not a single doctor or hospital was publicly blamed."

Resist the mark, in whatever form it comes in. You won't be able to buy or sell but remember, and go read about the people who have been called Saints, though you may disagree about their canonization and the process itself, read how many of them endured until the very end and did not surrender their fate to evil.

Remember this if "they" come for you: (and "they" may not come in a form you may expect, instead they may "hide" visually because "they" are cowards)

* Matthew 10:28
"And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."

At least one movie has lampooned the idea of "the mark" for everyone. Movies like this make me believe even stronger they will use "cool" methods and "dumb the people down" to this idea so they will accept it through least resistence:

* Idiocracy
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0387808/ [imdb.com]

IPPA Computer: Confirmation is complete. Please wait while I tattoo your new identity on your arm!

(A version of what we're hearing right now, why can't we have leaders of nations who write their own speeches instead of allowing others to put words in their mouths? Check this out:)

President Camacho: Shit. I know shit's bad right now, with all that starving bullshit, and the dust storms, and we are running out of french fries and burrito coverings. But I got a solution.
South Carolina Representative # 1: That's what you said last time, dipshit!

(dumbing down through television continues:)

Ow! My Balls! Guy: Comin' up next on The Violence Channel: An all-new "Ow, My Balls!"

(What we're headed for in the world of film:)

Narrator: The #1 movie in America was called "Ass." And that's all it was for 90 minutes. It won eight Oscars that year, including best screenplay.

They're biting down hard now on Internet freedoms. People will continue to laugh until they are swindled into taking the mark, and or merging their minds with machine.

Science is working hard on manipulating memories, do a Google search and see. I am of the opinion that many in the world of Science, and if not them, those who may fund them or are in total control, are like the world of MKUltra, not looking for promising drugs to help us, but rather to control us and if not eliminate us, reeducate or retrain our minds through eventual enslavement through electronic and chemical means.

The "Borg" in ST:TNG is an example, probably planted on purpose, of the eventual melting of minds into one big gang bang of shared thought.

Remember the signs and wonders the Bible warns about about the evil one to come.

Whatta world, whatta world (5, Insightful)

Cazekiel (1417893) | about 2 years ago | (#39478955)

Love this from the article... The justices' decision sends the case back down for a continuation of the battle between the scientists who believe that genes carrying the secrets of life should not be exploited for commercial gain and companies that argue that a patent is a reward for years of expensive research that moves science forward.

A reward for doing their jobs, what they're paid to do. Isn't that what their paycheck is for, the money they get from the medications/equipment/etc. they develop? Would they seriously stand in the way of a group of lower-on-the-totem-pole scientists for actually coming up with a cure, claiming "No, you can't cure this strain of ovarian cancer, since it involves such-and-such gene--we own that."? The fact that I lean toward 'yea, they would, wouldn't they?' makes me feel ill. We live in a world where we can be sued for posting a kid's birthday party on youtube with the 'Happy Birthday' song in it, and screw us all if we get cancer and can't rely on different, smaller companies that were on the brink of discovering cures but didn't have the dough to fight the C&D orders.

Re:Whatta world, whatta world (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 years ago | (#39479259)

A reward for doing their jobs, what they're paid to do. Isn't that what their paycheck is for, the money they get from the medications/equipment/etc. they develop?

Their argument is, if they can't get a patent on it, anyone can use their hard-earned research to make their own medication/equiptment and those who paid to do the research are not reembursed. The scientists themselves may have been paid, but the company that paid them will will have essentially thrown the money down the toilet.

The alternative to patents is not publishing the results of anything that cost you money to produce.

Re:Whatta world, whatta world (2)

dgatwood (11270) | about 2 years ago | (#39479547)

No, the alternative to patents is public funding grants.

Re:Whatta world, whatta world (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#39480285)

So I guess that means complete politicization of scientific inquiry. That will work just great.

Re:Whatta world, whatta world (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#39480575)

Public funding need not be controlled by politicians. The government could just as easily spin off nonprofit organizations to make the decisions....

Re:Whatta world, whatta world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39481285)

Public funding to cover all scientific research would be wonderful. However, public funding levels for science are *far* too low to cover the cost of developing and testing all drugs, diagnostics, etc. This is why, for instance, we allow big pharma companies to patent drugs and charge far more than manufacturing cost during their period of exclusivity. The R&D costs, followed by the costs of animal and human testing, that go into just one drug candidate can total in the range of $1-2 billion. The NIH budget is about $31 billion, and much of that goes into studying the basic science that initially leads to drug candidates - there's no way you can cover the cost of late-stage drug development, or diagnostic development, with that.

In the case of gene patents, patenting a gene (or a mutant variant of a gene) should absolutely not be allowed, but patenting a diagnostic test to check for the mutant variant of the gene (or a synthetic drug that interacts with the gene) is just fine with me.

Re:Whatta world, whatta world (1)

reve_etrange (2377702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39481335)

just one drug candidate can total in the range of $1-2 billion

That's true, but it's not just the R&D and trials costs - it includes marketing. There are a lot of reasons why drug development costs /and/ attrition rates have increased, including over-reliance on target based assays over phenotypic screens (which have higher rates of success but require actual effort and expertise).

Oh yeah, and PORK.

Re:Whatta world, whatta world (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#39531349)

Non profit GSEs don't have a good track record.

mod Down (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39478971)

These early are almost work that you and the Bazaar whole has lost other 8embers in Posts. Therefore

how much outrage is this worth? (1, Flamebait)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | about 2 years ago | (#39478985)

i mean, can we get the death penalty for these fuckers? waterboarding/toenail torture, at least?

Software Patents still work right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39479087)

I mean, that's just math. And if math can be patented my plan to sue everyone in the world ever for violating my "use of a series of visual indicators representing logical units to produce corresponding logically valid results" is still a go! I'm go be sooo rich and.. and hey, hey you, you trying to see how much gas is at that gas station! I see that, you'll be hearing from my lawyers!

Wrong Reading of Decision (2)

Blindman (36862) | about 2 years ago | (#39479131)

The Supreme Court didn't rule on the patentability of genes. The Supreme Court sent the case back down to the Federal Circuit with instructions to try again in light of a different and recent Supreme Court case, Prometheus v. Mayo. Ordinarily, this would be RTFA, but since the article is wrong, it would be RTF(case), but I'm guessing the writer isn't here.

Patent Pornography (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39479157)

At some point the patent office may ask for a clarification so that their stuff doesn't end up dying in SCOTUS. I do hope that at least one of the justices simply says, "stop producing obscene patents". We all know obscenity and junk patents when we see them.

A bit slanted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39479177)

I found the final statement in the /. blurb to be a bit slanted. It could just as easily have ended with... "throwing open the doors for any number of companies to create tests that could help doctors set drug doses for autoimmune diseases like Crohn's disease." The wording makes it seem like a death sentence for the test, when the exact opposite is true.

Common Sense Prevails (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39479243)

Genes were not "invented" or "created" they were only discovered. They should never have been patentable.

If you could patent a gene then you would be able to patent a river if you discovered it first.

Doesn't make sense.

Re:Common Sense Prevails (2)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 2 years ago | (#39479351)

Technically they never have been. Applications of genes are what have been patented. Of course it is easy to create a broadly scoped patent that covers every conceivable application for a specific gene.

Patent on Test, not Gene Sequence (1)

whatnever (1028390) | about 2 years ago | (#39479417)

The Yahoo article seems to talk about patenting the gene sequence fragment used to detect the sequence in a human. The company that isolated that gene sequence wants patent protection so they can sell the test without competition from another company that reads the patent to generate a similar test without the R&D costs. This sounds similar to Drugs vs Generic Drugs.

I think they can patent their test, but not the genes they are looking for. If they do have a patent on the gene sequence, then can't they do a cease and desist on all humans with that sequence of genes? Doesn't make sense to me. Of course, if there is a generic test that can look for any gene sequence, then that test can't be patented either. e.g. Invent a device that can look for any sequence, enter the sequence GATTACA = some specific disease. Oops, you're not allowed to look for that sequence because it's patented by XYZ Corp.

So, how do you protect an initial company's R&D investment (finding that sequence of genes)? Should it just be kept secret until they find a therapy or drug or test? If the tests are easy to replicate, then there's no first mover advantage and the drug company has to keep the gene sequence a secret and sell tests without a patent and just say "Trust Us" without peer review.

If another company independently finds the same sequence, then shouldn't they be allowed to use that sequence? I think Yes.

But how do you know if they found the sequence themselves or reverse engineered a competitor's test?

Turn it around. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39479737)

Yes allow methods to test for the effects of having the gene to be patented. BUT TIME LIMITED THE PATENT

Here is a really good example why time limits are necessary: And why the Disney Laws are so evil in the field of medicine!

the shape of the HCV virus is patented and anyone who uses a computer algorithm to search for the shape with electron microscopy must pay a drug company for the right to do so. The end result is that a crucial test to count the virus that could be done inexpensively is now prohibitively expensive as the software to search and enumerate the individual virus particles costs a ridiculous amount per seat. And it is illegal to write and use code that will search for the virus shape. The computer technology to do this is approaching 20 years in age and had the old laws applied I am sure that the costs of the tests would finally start to come down.

Essentially what this does is make it so that only rich with HEP C can get accurate up to date info as to their viral load status if your insurance company will not pay for it more than once. In Canada the Doctors are instructed by the Provincial health authorities to limit access to this test as the cost is so prohibitive that it would bankrupt the system. Yet this only because of the fact that on a provincial basis there is on average only one facility capable of the test for a population of 4 million. So to say that the drug companies have the public interest at heart is not a true statement.

There are people who are getting rich beyond our wildest dreams because the patent laws favour the rich to such an extent that real effective public health care for all has become impossible. All because of the Reagan-Bush era and the continuous stream of payola the drug companies send to the GOP. Essentially Medicare for all on an equal basis in the United States is impossible. And the bastards are going after and successfully screwing over the system in Canada as well with their greed!

What about Monsanto? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39481837)

Doesn't Monsanto - and other, similar companies - have patents on seeds, like corn? Also, I know they've done a lot of work with other potentially creepy stuff like modified pigs and bees?

Re:What about Monsanto? (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483311)

I think that's a little different. They're not patenting a law of nature. They're patenting a change they made to it.

I attended a seminar on the safety of GM corn at Clemson University (a well known agricultural university near me) a while back. The guy had obviously done his homework and demonstrated convincingly that we have nothing to fear from GM corn. But, there is still a problem, and that is how to maintain disease and pest resistance.

It was quite informative, and I'll try to sum it up, but it has been a while. Basically, GM corn growers are required to maintain a certain acreage of non-GM corn to breed non-resistant bugs into the population. If you only have GM corn, the bugs will develop resistance, and the GM corn becomes useless. The idea is to pollute the gene pool of the bugs with non-resistant code from these adjacent non-GM fields. The problem arises when farmers don't want to have lower-yielding acreage, and do not plant the non-GM buffer. The gene pool then purifies with resistant code and the pests become immune to the corn quite quickly.

This method and process is what Monsanto patented. They didn't patent "The Corn Gene." They just patented "We made these changes to the corn gene to kill these bugs." Where they turn into a bunch of unconscionable shitheads is when they start suing non-GM growers out of existence because of pollen pollution from nearby GM crops that contaminates their fields.

"the laws of nature are unpatentable" (1)

sqldr (838964) | more than 2 years ago | (#39488397)

indeed. If they could only extend this to "algorithmic solutions to conceptual problems", since if the concept exists, then the solution derives from it, we can throw out software patents for good.

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