Patent life: how the Supreme Court fell short - Boing Boing "You can't patent the building blocks of life, but you can patent a type of synthetic DNA that contains all the same information. Maggie Koerth-Baker explains how the Justices misunderstood the science and the effect that their verdict could have on future research.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia admitted he doesn’t really understand it. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote an entire court opinion implying—unconvincingly, to scientists—that he does. And, as of right now, there’s still nothing stopping you from filing patents on it. Meet complementary DNA (cDNA), the confusing molecule at the heart of the recent Supreme Court ruling on DNA patents.
The case, ruled upon in june, was hailed as a victory over efforts to turn the human genome into corporate property. But the ruling may not be the smackdown of gene patents that it appeared to be, and cDNA is where much of the uncertainly lies. Big questions remain: What is cDNA actually being used to do? Why does it matter who owns it? And what do scientists think this debate is really about?"