CRISPR: careless talk costs patents
The CRISPR patent war
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Many players are piling into the scrum surrounding the patent eligibility of CRISPR technology. Mercedes Meyer of Drinker Biddle & Reath discusses the legal implications of CRISPR as a potential groundbreaking foundation technology.
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) revolutionised the ability of researchers to modify DNA strands and study gene action, gene mutations, and sequence the genomes of many organisms to learn more about ourselves at a molecular level. The ‘Queen et al patents’ helped pioneer human monoclonal antibody technology.
Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)-based technology may be another landmark biotechnology invention. It may open the doors for exploring not only gene transcription but also how humans can modulate gene transcription. It promises to help us explain what is ‘junk’ DNA (regions of DNA that are non-coding, but may or may not have code instructions) and whether it is really junk? More than 98% of the human genome is believed to be ‘junk”’ non-coding DNA. CRISPR, as a tool, may help to shed light on the junk DNA universe.
What is CRISPR?
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Drinker Biddle & Reath, Mercedes Meyer, CRISPR, DNA, PCR, USPTO, PGR, America Invents Act