The patents granted to Myriad give the company the exclusive right to perform diagnostic tests on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes and to prevent any researcher from even looking at the genes without first getting permission from Myriad.
I don't know the ins and outs of patent law, but the idea that this kind of patent was even granted makes me want to tear the whole damn thing down.
I'm still boggled by the idea that human genes have been allowed to be patented. I mean, if the general public really knew that this was happening I feel like there would be at least a moderate uproar.
The interesting bits start on page 96 (have to type this in by hand from the PDF):
"The rule that the discovery of a law of nature cannot be patented rests [...] they are not the kind of discovery that the status was enacted to protect."
Where it does get trickier is that it seems that said physicist might be able to patent a particular kind of new machine that took advantage of their discovery, and analogously, someone might be able to patent a particular kind of chemical or device that uses this gene.