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Archived updates for Friday, October 21, 2005

U.S.Patents Claim Twenty Percent of Human Genome

According to Stefan Lovgren writing for National Geographic News on October 13, 2005, a new study in the journal Science reveals that more than 4,000 genes, or 20 percent of the almost 24,000 human genes, have been patented in the United States, primarily by private firms and universities.

"While this does not quite boil down to [the patent holders] owning our genes … these rights exclude us from using our genes for those purposes that are covered in the patent," said Fiona Murray, a business and science professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, and a co-author of the study.
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