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Who Owns Your Genes? The Gene Patent Quiz
by Staff
You inherited your genes from your parents, and they’re the building blocks of who you are. So how could someone patent them? Test your knowledge in our gene patent quiz.

The four general purposes for patenting a gene are:

  • research, marketing, profit and publicity
  • diagnostics, functional use, process, composition of matter
  • novelty, repurposing of matter, utility, body of knowledge

The first gene patent was granted in:

  • 1905
  • 1974
  • 1982

Approximately how many patents are there on human genes?

  • 75 to 200
  • 3,000 to 5,000
  • 12,000 to 13,000

Approximately how many patents are there that involve genetic material?

  • 14,000
  • 32,000
  • 47,000

What was the first recombinant genetic product to get a patent?

  • Diet Coke
  • insulin
  • human growth hormone

To date, how many protein-coding genes have been identified by the International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium?

  • 19,599
  • 124,943
  • 1,293,288

Approximately what percent of human genes are patented?

  • 20 percent
  • 40 percent
  • 80 percent

Roughly how many gene patent applications have been filed?

  • 150,000 to 300,000
  • 500,000 to 1,000,000
  • more than 1 million

What three conditions must exist for something to receive a patent? It must be:

  • temperate, arid and humid
  • useful, non-obvious, describable
  • inoffensive, nonlethal, organic

How long does a patent protect an invention?

  • 20 years
  • 99 years
  • forever

The most widely publicized gene patent controversy involved genes that predicted the risk of what?

  • hoof and mouth disease
  • breast and ovarian cancer
  • lung and throat cancer

Which celebrity became involved in gene patent legislation around 2007?

  • Natalie Portman
  • Michael Crichton
  • Moby

The Plant Patent Act, which allowed products of nature to be patented for the first time, was issued in which year?

  • 1856
  • 1930
  • 1997

What famous court case set the stage for patenting living organisms?

  • Plants v. Zombies
  • Diamond v. Chakrabarty
  • Franco v. Curry

The Human Genome Project began in what year?

  • 1962
  • 1974
  • 1987

What percentage of human DNA creates proteins that function as genes?

  • 1.1 to 1.4 percent
  • 12.7 to 21.2 percent
  • 27.8 to 30 percent

How much did the National Institutes of Health (NIH) spend on genetics research from 2003 to 2007?

  • more than $5 million
  • more than $14 billion
  • more than $1 trillion

Approximately how many genes are there in one human chromosome?

  • 100
  • 1,000
  • 10,000

If all the DNA in your cells was stretched out, it would go to the moon and back about how many times?

  • 50
  • 50 million
  • 1 million

About how many DNA molecules are found in the complete human genome?

  • 65 million
  • 125 million
  • 300 million