The U.S. Supreme Court finally ruled today on patenting breast-cancer genes. The ruling found that naturally occurring genes aren't patentable. If you make a synthetic version, however, that is your own work.
"The Court's decision strikes a middle ground that likely will not be particularly disruptive," Tom Goldstein, a Harvard Law School professor and publisher of SCOTUSblog, wrote in his publication's liveblog about the ruling.
Scientists from Myriad Genetics in Utah were the first to find and isolate BRCA1 and BRCA2, two major genes that affect people's chances of getting hereditary breast, ovarian and other cancers.