Incredible as it sounds, you can actually patent a naturally occurring gene or genetic variant or allele that occurs in nature. Most of the patents generated so far have been on human genes. The BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have been patented, and the Alzheimer’s Foundation has patented a genetic allele that predisposes one to Alzheimer’s.
Lawsuits have been filed by temporarily decent capitalists against capitalist scum who have patented human genetic variants. The lawsuits argue, in accordance with the philosophy of the commons, that the isolated genes are “unpatentable products of nature.” How the Hell can you patent a gene. If I discover a rock, plant or animal out in the wilds somewhere, can I patent it because I was the first to find it. Can you patent a waterfall if you were the first one to find it? Can you patent certain types of clouds or dirt because you figured out how they function and operate.
Patents have been granted for other things. A company made a purified form or adrenaline and marketed it. Since this is a modification of a natural product and not the product itself, I’m not necessarily opposed to this.
A company made a newly-created organism, a bacterium that eats oil to clean up oil spills. As a purely man-made product, though a living thing, I have no objection to this.