Are My Genes My Own Property?

I have just read the book on genomes (Genomes: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters by Matt Ridley), where the author, convinced me that I owed it all to my predecessors. Twenty-three pairs of chromosomes that make up the human genome is an intersection of my mother’s and my father’s genes. Thus, I owe the copyrights to my mom and dad, right? The same way I inherited property from my deceased father?

Now, this article (Can Genes be Patentable?) puzzles me! Can genes be claimed as property in the world of technology? Can biotech companies, like Myriad Genetics follow the  Gene patents‘s rules and claim the patent on the presumption that: “Gene Patents can consist of ways to isolate, synthesize, or alter a particular gene or gene product, as well as diagnostic tests that detect the gene’s presence. Notably, they can also consist of the sequence of the gene itself, if the patent office finds that it was arrived at through an act of ingenuity.“

I can not and will not deny the fact that any research should me employed to find cures on the current diseases …

And some of the comments below the article reassured me that: “Molecules and compounds from the human body or human cells, as long as they are altered somehow or took some ingenuity to extract, have been patentable for more than 100 years.” — you’re conflating two ideas. In the scenarios you mention here, you can patent the PROCESS. But you’re not legally allowed to patent the actual, natural thing. That is, if someone came up with a different way of extracting the same molecules or human cells, you shouldn’t be allowed to sue them just because they were “your” molecules. Not only does it fly in the face of reason, it’s anti-competitive.“

All in all, I think my genes should remain mine! And I should be granted the sole discretion of conducting an intimate dispute with my mother as often as I want and as vigorously as I want (in correlation with my current dissatisfaction with any of my traits) on: “how come the worst ones were passed on to me :)?“


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