Dennis Crouch engages in an excellent discussion of the recent Federal Circuit case which found that isolated human genes are patentable. In Association for Molecular Pathology and ACLU v USPTO and Myriad Genetics, a three member panel of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that DNA isolated from the the genome as a whole, as the process of isolation essentially transforms the DNA molecules into something new and different.
Mr. Crouch spends time breaking down, in a fairly accessible way, the reasoning of both the majority opinion, written by Judge Lourie, and the (partially) dissenting opinion (the panel split with partial concurrence by Judge Moore and partial dissent by Judge Bryson).
It will be interesting to see whether this matter is taken up for further consideration by the Supreme Court. In any event, the implications of this ruling are a clearly quite significant in the field of bio-tech!