The human genome should be patented

A large part of the human genome is owned by universities, private companies and governments. When scientists discover a gene, which human characteristic it controls, how it is activated and deactivated; they have to right to patent the gene. The ethics of gene patenting are questionable for several reasons including, a) The price of certain cells such as cancer-fighting cytokines(priced at 3 billion dollars) is just too high and it is not patients from whom the cells are extracted from who profit from the sales of these cells but doctors. b) Selling genes is like selling organs or selling people it's unethical. No one should have the legal right to extract cells from anyone's body on the pretext that those cells are owned by UCLA. c) There is little transparency in the field of genetics, doctors kill off numerous patients in gene extraction, testing and other research. There are no consequences faced by those in the medical profession for anything that goes wrong in experimental genetic trial. d) Genes are discovered not invented.

The human genome should be patented

Yes because... No because...

When entities patent genes they open doors to research that saves lives

Genes should be patented because while they are studied only after they have been acquired. And they cannot be acquired without ownership. When genes are owned their benefits, characteristics, triggers et cetera can be exploited for the benefit of mankind. [[]]

"Research scientists who work in public institutions often are troubled by the concept of intellectual property because their norms tell them that science will advance more rapidly if researchers enjoy free access to knowledge. By contrast, the law of intellectual property rests on an assumption that, without exclusive rights, no one will be willing to invest in research and development (R&D).

Patenting provides a strategy for protecting inventions without secrecy. A patent grants the right to exclude others from making, using, and selling the invention for a limited term, 20 years from application filing date in most of the world. To get a patent, an inventor must disclose the invention fully so as to enable others to make and use it. Within the realm of industrial research, the patent system promotes more disclosure than would occur if secrecy were the only means of excluding competitors. This is less clear in the case of public-sector research, which typically is published with or without patent protection." - [[]]

On the contrary, monetary/reward is an incentive for research and innovation, as is copyright protection, once a gene discovery has been provisionally patented, the institute to patent it can freely study it hiring the best professionally and selling/licensing to other able research facilities at a price. Putting a price tag on a discovery therefore means reason to make the discovery public and to sell it to those who can use it for the good of the human race.

Michael Goldman, a patent attorney with the firm Nixon, Hargrave, in Rochester, N.Y.

The purpose of a patent is to allow an inventor time to develop a salable product. During the 20 years of patent protection, another party can use the invention to develop a product only with a licensing agreement. (However, basic researchers can use it freely.) This period of exclusivity fosters commercial development of the invention by discouraging competition. "The claims section, at the back of the patent application, defines what the patent rights are. The object of a patent is to prevent others from making, using, and selling what's covered,"

therefore patenting a gene inhibits and controls research on it. Research after patenting is restricted, entitled and limited to whichever entity discovered it and to entities which pay royalties to this entity. Either way when a gene is patented by a biotech , it is that biotech that profiteers immensely for simply discovering it without making any innovation whatsoever.

The human genome should be patented

Yes because... No because...

Transgenic animals are a medium through which human lives can be bettered

Farmers have used selective breeding from time immemorial to produce animals that produce more milk or better meat for example. Genetic engineering and molecular biology offers the farmer an easy way to increase yields and animal produce quality.
Transgenic cows produce more milk or milk with less lactose or cholesterol12, certain transgenic pigs and cattle have more meat on them and there are transgenic sheep that grow more wool than their unaltered counterparts. Alternatively farmers use growth hormones to accelerate animal development but this technique leaves hormonal residue in the animal product.

"Transplant organs may soon come from transgenic animals.
a) Xeno-transplantation
Patients die every year for lack of a replacement heart, liver, or kidney. For example, about 5,000 organs are needed each year in the United Kingdom alone.25 Transgenic pigs may provide the transplant organs needed to alleviate the shortfall.9 Currently, Xenotransplantation is hampered by a pig protein that can cause donor rejection but research is underway to remove the pig protein and replace it with a human protein.25
Milk-producing transgenic animals are especially useful for medicines.
b) nutritional supplements and pharmaceuticals
Products such as insulin, growth hormone, and blood anti-clotting factors may soon be or have already been obtained from the milk of transgenic cows, sheep, or goats.3,12,23 Research is also underway to manufacture milk through transgenesis for treatment of debilitating diseases such as phenylketonuria (PKU), hereditary emphysema, and cystic fibrosis.3,13,23,25

In 1997, the first transgenic cow, Rosie, produced human protein-enriched milk at 2.4 grams per litre. This transgenic milk is a more nutritionally balanced product than natural bovine milk and could be given to babies or the elderly with special nutritional or digestive needs.4,21,23 Rosie’s milk contains the human gene alpha-lactalbumin.

A transgenic cow exists that produces a substance to help human red cells grow.
c) human gene therapy
Human gene therapy involves adding a normal copy of a gene (transgene) to the genome of a person carrying defective copies of the gene. The potential for treatments for the 5,000 named genetic diseases is huge and transgenic animals could play a role. For example, the A. I. Virtanen Institute in Finland produced a calf with a gene that makes the substance that promotes the growth of red cells in humans."- [[]]

Too risky, and at what cost?
It's not animals alone that are at stake but human beings as well. Genetically modified animals/animal-products created for the benefit of human beings can prove detrimental for human health. Take the insulin milk mentioned on the left, while it maybe be wonderful for diabetes' patients it can cause hypoglycemia , erratic blood glucose levels and therefore a number of related diseases in normal people. And this is assuming experiments such as these do "not" go wrong, which is very unlikely.
"Increased animal suffering
Genetically modified animals are prone to increased levels of suffering. Previous experiments show GM calves, for example, are more likely to be born with serious deformities. GM cows can develop gangrenous udders and mastitis and are highly susceptible to respiratory and septic conditions.
AgResearch seeks to use recipient animals as surrogate mothers to carry GM embryos. Recipient animals are often aborted at around 60 days and the foetus cells harvested to produce new embryos.
Harm to our environment
AgResearch plans to have research or testing facilities around New Zealand, including in the Waikato, Canterbury and Southland regions. The risk of a breach in biosecurity or site contamination can never be eliminated and would jeopardise New Zealand's reputation for clean, safe, natural food. Animal waste from GM animals will be used as compost or sprayed onto fields without adequate monitoring of the environmental effects.
Unethical conduct
AgResearch will genetically engineer animals with human genes. They will deliberately create sick animals as ‘models' of human disease despite the Bioethics Council calling for an ethical review of such practices.
Risk of disease
New Zealand animals are currently free of many highly contagious diseases such as Mad Cow Disease (BSE) and Scrapie, making New Zealand an attractive testing ground for overseas biotech investors. Genetic modification of animals risks creating new diseases in animals or in people consuming milk and other products made from the animals"

The human genome should be patented

Yes because... No because...

Genetic modification is inevitable and can only be beneficial in good hands

If genes were not patented all biotechnological research groups would have a free hand to manipulate genes as they wished. When genes are patented by responsible scientists who have discovered their existence, it is easier to check on their use and misuse, as it is the owners of these genes that are responsible for the effects of these where-ever they are used. Just as a company is liable when there are toxic spills, the owner of a gene is liable if the gene does not act as promised. If there is no patent on the gene, then there is no liability and therefore no controls on its use.
AG research is one group that must responsibly administer genetic research or modification.
"Genetic modification without cloning?
Although cloning trials have been abandoned, AgResearch would continue to develop transgenic cattle, sheep and goats. Suttie said new technology using embryonic stem cells to create transgenic animals was unlikely to cause the same death rates as cloning.
However, the research has only begun four months ago. In 2010, two out of 12 kids delivered at term in a trial to develop transgenic goats died at birth. One suffered from chronic arthritis in its front legs. Four other animals died or had to be euthanized in another trial to produce transgenic cattle.
Suttie said AgResearch’s work would benefit New Zealand. The trials include creating animals that will produce proteins with pharmaceutical benefits. One goal was to produce a drug like Herceptin more cost-effectively and make it readily available. Herceptin is a monoclonal antibody drug for treating certain breast cancers costing $100 000 a year, but is controversially associated with a high risk of death from heart disease [5].
The announcement to end cloning from AgResearch lacks credibility in view of its continuation with developing transgenic animals. All the signs are that GM and cloning go together, given that the original motivation for NT was to create ‘elite herds’ of GM animals to produce drugs in their milk [2]. It is also why NT cloning is continuing in the US." [[]]

"However, considerable hope has been pinned on a new method of creating pluripotent