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The Boston Globe

Health & wellness

Eric Lander weighs in on gene patenting case

Late last year, the nation’s highest court said it would consider a legal challenge to patents that biotechnology company Myriad Genetics holds on genes linked to risk of breast cancer. Now, Eric Lander -- a leader in the human genome project, a scientific adviser to President Obama, and the head of the Broad Institute in Cambridge -- has weighed in, filing an amicus brief.

The document, carefully described as Lander’s personal view, argues that Utah-based Myriad has patented products of nature, which are ineligible for such protection. The patents, Lander argues, are an “insurmountable barrier” to studying the DNA, with serious repercussions for medical progress.

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