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English Pronunciation News: Human Genes Can be Patented

Watch the video and read along. This news report, 8/4/2011, focuses on T sounds, vowel sounds and stress. Learn the news and study American English pronunciation. Read former English pronunciation news reports.

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A federal court of appeals has ruled that human genes can be patented. The biotechnology company, Myriad Genetics, will be allowed to patent two human genes which allow them to test women to see if they have a greater risk for breast or ovarian cancer. The court ruled that DNA which is isolated from the human body is "markedly different" in chemical structure from DNA which exists inside chromosomes in the body. The patentability of human genes is good news for the biotechnology industry. Thousands of human genes have been patented, and the biotechnology executives say the patents encourage innovation. Critics say that it is unethical to patent something that is a part of the human body and the natural world. They also say that the patents allow companies to have monopolies over certain tests and this causes the costs to be high.


Study the Words

patent (PA-tent or PA'Nt)
an exclusive right to an invention issued by the government and good for a certain number of years
patented (Pa-ten-ted or PA'N-ted)
having been given a patent
patentability (PA-ten-tu-bi-li-dee or PA'N-tu-bi-li-dee)
having the ability to be patented

myriad (Mi-ree-ud)
innumerable; having a large and indefinite number
ovarian (ō-VAR-ee-un)
related to a woman's reproductive system
ovary (Ō-vu-ree)
the female reproductive gland
chromosome (KRŌ-mu-sōms)
thread-like substances that contain genes
biotechnology (bi-o-tek-NO-lu-jee)
the science of using living organisms or living systems to manufacture drugs
natural (NA-chur-ul)
formed by nature or related to the original state of the earth
monopoly (mu-NO-pu-lee)
exclusive control over a business market

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