Court ruling may open up breast cancer gene tests

FILE - A technician loads patient samples into a machine for testing at Myriad Genetics Friday, May 31, 2002, in Salt Lake City. DNA samples are moved from one tray to another by the eight-needle apparatus at left. The Supreme Court ruled Thursday, June 13, 2013 that Myriad Genetics Inc. cannot patent the BRCA genes, which are tested to check a woman’s risk for breast and ovarian cancer. Mutations in these genes are what led Angelina Jolie to have both her breasts removed because she had such a high cancer risk. Some experts think the court ruling may lead to lower cost testing because there could be more competition. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)A ruling by the Supreme Court that human genes can’t be patented is expected to increase access and drop the cost for tests for gene mutations that greatly raise the risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer.

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