Skip to main content

Marchant comments on human genes patents


June 18, 2013

ASU Regents’ Professor Gary Marchant answered questions about a U.S. Supreme Court decision concerning patents on human genes in an interview on June 13, on ABC 15 News.

The story, “Supreme Court: Human genes cannot be patented,” describes the U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous decision that the naturally occurring isolated biological material itself is not patentable. However, a synthetic version of the gene material  as well as a gene mutation test  may be patented, according to the report.

However, Marchant said the permitted form of genetic testing most likely would be outdated in five to six years, due to current research. He added that sequencing of the entire human genome would allow the discovery of hundreds of personal predispositions or disease risks.

“The question will be, ‘Do you want to know about it? Do you want other people to know about it?’” Marchant said. “Employers, insurers and all sorts of people might be interested in that information.”

To watch the video, click here.

Marchant’s research interests include the use of genetic information in environmental regulation, risk and the precautionary principle, legal aspects of personalized medicine, and regulation of emerging technologies such as nanotechnology, neuroscience and biotechnology. He frequently lectures about the intersection of law and science at national and international conferences.