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The Controversy of Gene Patenting

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Gene Patenting: The Controversy

Should companies be able to patent human genes? Studies shows there are several different pros and cons of gene patenting. http://knowgenetics.org/ states that the pros are that it gives companies who patent genes time to look at the genes without competition, encourages research and development in private industry, and provides opportunities for investment in research and development. The cons listed are that it hinders research, leads to monopolization of genes, and slows down medical results. This paper will go more in depth about the pros and cons of gene patenting and both sides will be discussed thoroughly. The information in this paper was collected from http://knowgenetics.org/, http://www.theguardian.com/, and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/.

Here’s a little background information on patents. You may be thinking, what exactly is a patent? According to http://www.theguardian.com/, A patent is a kind of licence granted by a government to an inventor. It gives the inventor the right, through the courts, to stop rivals from making, using or selling an invention without his or her permission. When a patent is granted, the invention becomes the property of the inventor. However the patent can be bought, sold, rented or hired. A patent normally lasts 20 years. After that, anyone can use the invention without restrictions.

http://knowgenetics.org/ explained the many different pros and cons of gene patenting. Some of the pros are first, that it provides opportunities for investment in research and development. These companies do not have to worry that other companies are competing with them to make new discoveries. This is especially important for smaller companies that may not have the financia...

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...ization of genes, and slows down medical results. The pros are that it gives companies that patent genes time to look at the genes without competition, encourages research and development in private industry, and provides opportunities for investment in research and development. As you can probably tell, gene patenting seems to be a very controversial topic.

References:

"Patenting Genes: Pros and Cons."Genetics Generation. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Dec. 2013. .

Meek, James. "Beginner's guide to gene patents." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 15 Nov. 2000. Web. 20 Dec. 2013.

"Evidence and Anecdotes: An Analysis of Human Gene Patenting Controversies."http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Dec. 2013. .