April 15, 2013

Myriad Genetics Owns Your Genes

Myriad Genetics owns your genes.
 
And they’d make a case that they own you because they got the patent for BRCA1 and BRCA2.

Myriad Genetics CEO claims 
If isolated DNA molecules cannot be patented, the consequences for the life sciences — and for innovation — could be devastating.
Steven Salzberg in Forbes responds
This is scientific nonsense for many reasons: for one thing, the process of isolating DNA does not create an artificial molecule. The body’s own cells isolate DNA all the time, in the process of turning it into proteins.
And 
Myriad’s test is outrageously overpriced, at $4000 per patient.  The actual costs of testing for this gene should be far lower: we can now sequence an entire genome for $4000, and this test only looks at 2 genes out of more than 20,000.
The bottom line is 
that no one invented your genes, and no private company should be able to tell you that you can’t even read your own DNA.  Today, you can get all of your DNA sequenced for less than the cost of the Myriad test. Using free software (developed by my lab), you can scan that DNA for mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2. And no company should be able to tell you not to.
Myriad Genetics is out promoting its cancer tests - Myriad Genetics Ad for its Hereditary Cancer Quiz.

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