No patents on life

23rd June 2011 - by Ellen Teague

A Columban organic farm in the Philippines.
A Columban organic farm in the Philippines.
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I was married in 1980. Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador was martyred in 1980. Solidarity challenged the Soviet-backed government of Poland in 1980. The Iran-Iraq war broke out in 1980. Yet, perhaps more momentous than any of these was a landmark case in 1980 in the U.S. Supreme Court where a judge ruled that, for the first time, forms of life could be patented. A scientist, Ananda Chakrabarty, was permitted to patent a bacterium that he had genetically engineered to digest oil spills.

Click here to read the full article on the Messenger of Saint Anthony website.