Week #11 - Social and Ethical Issues (due 4/8)

  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.

Several companies were formed in the 1990s with the purpose of sequencing portions of the human genome and using this information to devise new drugs. These companies sought to patent each bit of DNA sequence that they decoded even if they did not know wether it encoded a gene product. Their justification was to ensure that any use of the sequence would yield payback for their research. This strategy failed as shown by the failure of most of these companies. Do you think patents should be granted for each gene sequence that has been determined? Do you think patents should be granted for entire genome sequences even if we do not know what the gene does? What criteria do you think are compatible with facilitating private-industry drug development, encouraging research, and protecting intellectual property? See this recent story in the New York Times describing the invalidation of patents for testing the BRCA genes we discussed in an earlier post. Judge Invalidates Human Gene Patent http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/30/business/30gene.html

Comments

Blog 11

I do not think that patents should be granted for each gene sequence that has been determined. Mainly because I do not think that people should be able to patent something found in another persons body. So that means that there should not be a patent for an entire genome sequence if we do not know what the gene does. Especially, if the only reason why the companies want to patent the sequences is that theu wanted to ensure that any use of the sequence will have positive payback for for that particular groups research.

I am not saying that the genome sequences should not be used for research and drug development, I am just saying that research companies should not be able to patent them.

Week 11 Comment - AT

Patenting portions of the human (or any) genome, especially where genetics is booming and so many new discoveries are at our fingertips, is counter-productive. It would be too easy for a company to sequence, patent, and have exclusive rights to far more data than they can use. However, it is important to encourage companies to study the genome and that they feel they have some gain from doing so- Grants would work well here. Perhaps if there was a variation on a patent where the company who discovered something was paid x reasonable amount by anyone else who wanted to study that part of the genome, but they were guaranteed to be able to do so, and they received any money they got from /their/ work exclusively. Something like that seems fair.

-Alice Trei

Week 11

Patent should not be granted for each gene sequence or entire genome sequences regardless of whether or not it encodes a gene product. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a patent as "A government authority to an individual or organization conferring a right or title, esp. the sole right to make, use, or sell some invention." The keyword is 'invention' here. Gene sequences are not invented by any scientists or these companies, they are merely discovered. Hence, patents are not even applicable in this case. Gene sequences should be available to any and everyone for research. Yes, if they discover information about gene product etc. and use that to create new drugs/techniques then they can definitely patent that creation, but not gene sequences.

Blog Entry #11

The patenting of human genetic material shouldn't be permitted. Whether or not found sequences or entire genomes have the potential to increase payback to the sequencing company, this information is found in nature and should be available for everyone. I believe that the genes discovered / genomes sequenced should serve as blueprints for drug-industry companies to use in developing new drugs to combat disease and should be available to everyone. The protocols and methods developed further downstream may be patented under certain circumstances but the genetic material cannot.

Week 11 Response

Patents should definitely not be granted to gene sequences as stated in the article, the gene is not invented but it is discovered. Following the same logic even the entire genome sequences should not be patentable. Patenting curtails the acceleration in research and development. If a company was to develop a drug based on a particular gene they had previously sequenced they should be able to patent the drug but the decoded gene sequence should be accessible to everyone. I think a compromise needs to me made in the patenting rules for such discoveries. A regular patent lasts for 20 years rather than lasting for 20 years a patent of this nature should last for a period of 3 years which will give the privately held company enough head start. After the period of 3 years their discovery should be made freely available irrespective of what further strides they have made based on the sequenced gene.

I believe that patents should

I believe that patents should not be granted for part of a genome, but rather the whole genome. This is because a lot of effort and time is put into sequencing the whole genome and it should not just be giving out with out any money benefits to the scientist who has sequenced it. It may take a year or even 5 years just to sequence a genome and just because it'll improve medicine doesn't mean that the person who sequence the genome should make money. If people are developing drugs off the bases of the genome sequence and they successfully develop a drug, most likely they'll patent and profit from it. the world we live in is a monopolist world and anyone is profiting, its just a matter of how you do it.

week 11

I do not believe that patents should be issued for sequencing any part of the genome whether or not it encodes a product. These companies were sequencing portions of the human genome for medicinal purposes, and if one of those companies were to develop of drug that could treat a disease related to that sequence then that would be patentable but not the sequence itself. Having a patent on a portion of the human genome would only delay or even prevent progress; if one company can’t develop a drug based off the sequence they decoded maybe another company could. These genes are not being made, they’re natural as the article states, thus a patent shouldn’t be granted.

4/8 blog

In some sense, it's beneficial because research is being enhanced. However, it would not be a valid excuse to make this patentable if no gene product is found in the results. The company working with the gene sequence will make a lot of profit off of the product found. It will be unfair that only this company is exposed to the gene sequence whereas others cannot get a hold of it. It will eliminate competition and create a monopoly. Placing a patent on the issue would ignite a huge controversy.

Week # 11- Social and Ethical issues

I didn’t even think that something like this existed, but oh well, I don’t think patents should be given for any genes whether sequenced, known or not yet known. I think this can really hinder research such that companies may not want to improve their innovations to make them more affordable. Additionally, researchers cannot exchange ideas or work together on existing and new problems if patents are put on genes, which will really hinder scientific progress. I am sure there are other ways that companies can make money perhaps on the drug products but even than, I am a little bit skeptical.

Blog 11

No I do not think that patents should be granted for any part of the genome. These sequences are important to medicine and patents on them will result in delays and unnecessary money spending. If these companies are concerned about making a profit off decoding the human genome, they could use the sequence to develop drugs or other therapies that have medical implications. These developments would fall in the realm of ideas that could be patented. The example of the genetic test that costs $3000 is ridiculous because that test could be essential in saving lives and this company, which probably doesn't need more money, has a monopoly on this test and is profiting off of sick people. I think something that is shared by the entire human race, our genomic sequence, should not be patented and should be available to everyone to utilize.

week 11 blog response

Under no circumstances should any gene or other DNA sequence be patentable. If biotech companies were to synthesize some sort of man-made drug that worked to block the action of a disease causing mutation, then the drug itself is of course patentable. But how can anybody rationalize patenting the actual sequence? As mentioned in the article, products of nature are not patentable, so there shouldn't even be an argument about this, really. Lawyers and slimy money-grubbers are simply trying to find a loophole in the system. The fact that they would stall the advancement of science and let sick people die is utterly despicable. I'm confident that the world has a way of balancing itself out, so hopefully no DNA sequence patents will be upheld in the future.

Week 11 Blog Entry

Companies should not be allowed to hold patents on gene sequences because this allows them to withhold valuable science from the public. The same goes for genome sequences. In the attached article, a company is noted for charging $3000 to assess one's genetic risk for 2 kinds of cancer. What if this test was instead $300 and health insurance companies were willing to cover the cost? By making the test only affordable to the wealthy, Myriad made their health care breakthrough extremely inaccessible. Private industry drug development can be profitable in the field of genetics without patenting genetic sequence. Companies could share ownership of sequences with the government. Thus, patient accessibility would be government regulated, testing would be affordable for most, and research would still be profitable.

Week 11

I don't think DNA sequences of any kind should be patented whether or not we know if these sequences encode specific gene products. Just as the NY Times article states, genetic sequences may provide us with unlimited amounts of information and patenting genes creates barriers to the free exchange of ideas. I believe that patenting DNA sequences may stunt progress in the field of medicine. The whole idea of patenting genetic sequences seems to be fueled by monetary motivations rather than medical progress and benefits to wider society. Although the article does raise a strong point that prohibiting companies ability to patent DNA sequences or genes may stunt research, I believe that it may create more incentive for companies to find genetic sequences and then work to create drugs that they can patent. The idea of patenting a genetic code is flawed because it allows for monetary gain before a final and helpful product is made.

I agree with the judges

I agree with the judges decision and do not think that entire genome sequences should be able to be patented. I think that, while it could be argued that not being able to patent such findings may decrease incentive to do research in this area, eliminating such patents opens up the opportunity for these and other companies to use this information to do addition work in medical research. It also increases competition in that multiple companies can use the same information. This competition inevitably would cause improvements in drugs and tests being produced while reducing the costs, which means they can be more accessible to the wider public. I do not think it is an issue of protecting intellectual property because as the article points out these genes are not being made they are merely being found and therefore the intellectual property is really the products that are made using this information, which I do believe should be able to be patented.

week 11 reply

The problem with giving patents to certain genes that have been sequenced through extensive research is that that particular company not have the capabilities to come up with the resulting drugs. What I believe could be a resolution for both the company and humanity is that if they undertake research on a specific genome sequence they are given a window to perform the research and deliver the first drugs into the market. Once the first drug is introduced they should be required to submit the results of their research, not the drug, to a national database that other companies can access. This then would give the private company the first crack at capitalizing on their initial investment in the research and would give other companies the data to perhaps further the advancements. By granting a window of operation from the time a company decides to undertake research it would entice companies to input their money into research that is becoming more expensive in today's world.

Blog 11

This seems very strange to me. I can understand patenting on a synthetic protein or product made in the lab that will make the company money. I dont understand halting scientific progress and patenting something that you didnt create and something that doesnt belong to you just for the sake of slapping a patent on it. These genes have unknown functions and could be worthless to this particular company. However a different company may have discovered its function and have great use for the sequence. But because of the patent, they cannot communicate in a constructive way, and the progress of discovering more and more about the human genome is stopped.

Week 11 Response

Patents should not be granted for each gene sequence that is determined. The company did not create the gene and as a result, they cannot restrict access to it. If they could in fact prevent other companies from investigating the given sequence, then there would be no competition or incentive to promote more rapid progress. Companies would also be limited in their ability to connect their research to other regions of the genome. For example, a company may discover that their gene has a strong interaction with a neighboring gene. The neighboring gene may be “patented” by another company, hampering their ability to move forward in their research. On the other hand, companies should be able to patent new drugs or diagnostic procedures relating to the gene as they would have actually developed a novel concept.

Week #11 Response

Patenting portions of the human genome does not make any sense to me. Obviously, I am in full support of sequencing genomes and using this research to benefit progress on treating diseases, but using their research to make money for discovering something which hasn’t necessarily been used to make any substantial difference seems unethical. If a group’s research leads to a big beneficial discovery, then they will be paid for access to that information and they can use that to strike deals with pharmaceutical companies like they do now. Based purely on the fact that these companies failed makes it seem like there wasn’t an adequate benefit from this strategy.

Week 11

I personally find this absolutely ridiculous. When I first heard about patenting genes, I assumed it was for gene sequences that had been synthesized in the laboratory that coded for novel proteins, or for methods of manipulating/sequencing DNA. This I can completely understand and will show a limited amount of support for. However patenting a gene that already exists? I can't even begin to grasp the rationale behind that. There was nothing created, nothing novel or original at all. Given the right tools, sequencing DNA is simply a matter of time. I don't understand how an entity can be granted exclusive rights (which is what a patent is I think) over something simply because they pressed a button quicker. Sure, it can be expensive for companies to do, but companies in the private sector are also free to keep the sequenced information to themselves, giving them a head start over competitors to develop and patent novel treatments/inventions involving the sequenced gene.

Week 11

I do not believe that patents are beneficial for research. By giving research privileges of a genetic sequence to only one company greatly limits chances of drug development, or even identifying what the sequences’ function. Once a patent is granted, there is no competition and not as much incentive to continue research. The technology and techniques of researching these gene sequences may be patented, but not the sequence itself.

Say No to Patents

In my opinion patents should not be granted for anything having to do with scientific research. It would be extremely difficult to advance any study if patents were the norm in science. The people who want a patent are usually the people who are discovering everything for money. Those people shouldn't be allowed in the field of science. There isn't any criteria I would suggest that would make it okay for anyone to be allowed to patent.

Week 11 Comment

Its is not right nor beneficial for humanity to put a patent on genetic sequences. Patenting genes gives that one company full power over researching and developing drugs that involve using that gene sequence. It is more beneficial for society that every bio company has the opportunity to do a particular research rather than just one company. I can understand the companies view; it kind of stink they can invest time and money into finding out something new first and another company later can have this information. I guess this is something these bio companies are going to have to deal with because it is not fair that the study and development of medicine should be limited to a company here and there.

Week 11

To grant a patent on a gene is absurd. If all of these companies have the same ability to discover the gene sequence in a genome there is no reason one company in particular should be allowed to patent that portion of the gene and not alllow others to use and study it. Especially in cases where we do not know what the gene does is this absurd as many times it is difficult enough for one company to determine what it does and even more so develop a drug for it. I think that private companies should have the right to not share what they know if they choose, but outside companies should still be allowed to fully research the genes and encourage research and drug development that could save countless lives.

week 11 blog

I don’t think it is a good idea to grant patent to gene sequences that occur naturally especially if it is human genome. These pharmaceutical companies aren’t making an entire new gene sequence and only finding the pre-existing genes so they shouldn’t be given patent to these gene sequences. By giving the patent of gene sequence, we are slowing down the scientific development that could help all humans. Information about the gene sequence should be made public for everyone so researcher can crack those gene codes faster.

Blog 11 Entry

In my opinion I would have to say that naturally occurring DNA sequences should not be granted to be patent by individual pharmaceutical companies. These genes are naturally sequence they are not being synthesized by these pharmaceutical companies to give them the right to patent specific gene sequences that they have determined. I also don’t agree that patent should be able to be granted for entire genome sequences even if we don’t know what exactly it does. This information should accessible for everyone not only the pharmaceutical companies. A way in which to facilitate private-industry drug development and research is by patenting different techniques and drugs that they develop. In this way it help promote for more research and development of more advance research.

Week 11 Blog

I don't think that naturally occurring DNA sequences, especially in the human genome, should be granted patents. Pharmaceutical companies that are looking to profit from drugs synthesized using DNA can make their money through the drugs themselves. The companies aren't creating novel genes or changing existing genes to make useful products; they are merely finding the sequence of genes that have existed for thousands of years. The sequence for the human genome should be open to everyone. It is up to the researchers to develop clever and innovative ways to use the genome's information to firstly, benefit the most people and secondly, fuel an industry.

Gene Patens

I agree with everything that has been said so far-- I don't think that gene sequences, something that is created by nature, should be allowed to be patented. I understand the concept of "intellectual property" as described in the article, but I don't think that laws should be written to include a human genome sequence. I think that if companies are given the ability to patent genes, that the only thing that this would result in would be adverse effects for the development of genome technology. By making the human genome free information that cannot be patented, more companies are provided with the ability to access information that could help them to find cures for genetic diseases. By limiting the patent information to one company, the potential for scientific development and advancement is greatly diminished.

Week #11 - Social and Ethical Issues (due 4/8)

Patents should not be granted for genome or gene sequences. The patenting of the genome or the gene sequence would cause damage to the research industry. If a lab has to pay a fee to use a particular gene sequence or genome then they would be more likely to look at other, less expensive genes. Furthermore there would be the possibility that a patient would not be able to afford a gene therapy if the gene or genome involved was patented. What should be permitted is the patenting of techniques, drugs, and unique research. This would promote private industry to research and develop drugs because they could obtain pattens and still make money.

Week 11

I don't believe that any part of the naturally occuring genome or proteome should be allowed to be patented. There is no intellectual property here, just physical discovery. Synthetic proteins would be permissible. I would most definitely agree to a patent on the test that screens for the genetic mutations that caused the breast ovarian cancer. I find that a compatible paradigm for drug development, research and intellectual property is to see genes and such as materials that we direct, screen, manipulate, etc. what we do may be patentable, but not the starting material. Thats like patenting the Dead Sea water cause it happens to be extra salty. Granted industry wants to make money. I think they should pursue means of analyzing and using our DNA for therapeutic or diagnostic purposes.

Week 11 Blog

I don't believe patents should be granted for genome or gene sequences. This gives too much power to private industries. If they have control of the entire genome sequence, they have a monopoly on research and development for that genome. They essentially have a 20 year head start on research, making other companies obsolete. Whatever this company has decided to research on or specializes in will be done on this sequence, where as if another company had sequenced it with a different specialty different information or products could have been obtained.

There should be free distribution of the genomes that have been sequenced, however, research and drugs stemming from those sequences should be allowed to be patented. This encourages research and protects intellectual property to a point.