Supreme Court says genes are not patentable

US Supreme CourtIn what is likely a landmark decision, the Supreme Court has announced its ruling that companies cannot patent human genes, a decision that could profoundly affect the medical and biotechnology industries.

This unanimous decision, written by Justice Clarence Thomas, said that laws of nature, natural phenomena and abstract ideas are not patentable. this broad ruling could have huge implications.

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Supreme Court again denies measures to protect Great Lakes

Great LakesThe Supreme Court has again rejected a request from Michigan to close two Chicago-area waterway locks to keep Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes.

The high court, along with the federal government, the state of Illinois and Chicago’s sewer authority opposed Michigan’s initial request on the grounds that closing the locks could cause massive flooding and hurt shippers by preventing the continued navigation of vessels on the Chicago waterway system.

Michigan based its second request on its discovery of carp DNA in water samples taken from the Calumet Harbor on Lake Michigan, at the mouth of the Calumet River.

Solicitor General Elena Kagan opposed the request, telling the Supreme Court an injunction could “substantially affect the regional and national economies and greatly disrupt transportation systems on both land and water on which those economies rely.”

Asian carp have already desimaed the Mississippi's marine ecology

Asian carp are already dominating the Mississippi's marine ecology

Environmentalists say the carp, already dominating sections of the Mississippi and its tributaries, could potentially devastate a $7 billion fishery in the Great Lakes and severely impact the lakes, which hold one-fifth of the world’s fresh water.

It’s this writer’s humble opinion and view that the high court seems to be unable to distinguish between protecting the initial economic benefits versus the larger picture – that the invasion of this non-native species could and will substantially damage the ecology o  the Great Lakes in a fashion that may not allow for recovery. And then watch the lawsuits fly!

Big picture – little picture. Hmm . wonder who will win this no-win game?