Four Color Face-Off

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Granted, when word emerged some weeks ago that MJ Research was legally challenging the validity of Caltech and Applied Biosystems' four-color sequencing patents, it hardly elicited a gasp of shock from the industry. People have debated for years which of the names listed on the patents — Lee Hood, Lloyd Smith, brothers Mike and Tim Hunkapiller, and Kip Connell — actually belong there. Similarly, there have been murmurings for some time that Henry Huang, a little-known virologist at Washington University who used to work in Hood's Caltech lab, was the real inventor.

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