Comparing mainstream and independent media content led me to AlterNet, and this article about private corporations patenting human genes and bodily tissues.

All I can say is that I’m glad I read it earlier in the afternoon: It’s unbelievable enough to get the mind wandering, and terrifying enough to give anyone nightmares.

The article is several weeks old, but still relevant nonetheless: It also goes hand-in-hand with point 14 in my previous post’s list about the Top 25 underreported stories in Canadian media from 2010-2011.

In a nutshell: Because the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it is possible to patent living things, Big Pharma has for years been acquiring a monopoly on human gene and tissue patents for the purposes of research and the development of new drugs. This means independent research teams cannot work on patented genes without the consent of the patent-owning corporations, or without paying a hefty fee.

The consequences of this are definitely worth thinking about.


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