Genae Girard sued Myriad Genetics, and her victory may have changed the course of humanity. Genae was the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against the U.S. Patent Office and Myriad Genetics. Myriad had been allowed to patent human genes connected with breast and ovarian cancer, and also allowed to monopolize the testing procedure.

When Genae was diagnosed with having a cancer causing gene in her 30s, she wanted to get a second opinion. That was when she discovered that only one company (Myriad) could do the test, and they weren’t going to redo it. The US government had been allowing companies to patent genes, and Genae’s victory have voided many of the patents that were pending.

The UNANIMOUS Supreme Court decision declared it unconstitutional to patent anything that exists in nature. The justices also reprimanded Myriad by creating an environment that hurt every woman with the same diagnosis, and for making decisions that hurt potential healthcare for those impacted.

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