Speaking to the Guardian's Alok Jha, John Sulston — the British Nobel Prize-winning researcher who led the UK's work on the Human Genome Project — says scientists and lawmakers mustn't allow corporations to patent human genes. Sulston says that "human genetic information must be kept in the public domain to allow researchers to analyze it and to give members of the public fair access to medical treatments," Jha writes, giving as an example the Myriad Genetics patent on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. But that's not all Sulston is concerned about, Jha adds. Craig Venter's work with synthetic life also worries the British researcher. "What that advance is being used for is an attempt to monopolize, through the patenting system, essentially all the tools for genomic manipulation," Sulston tells Jha. "It's actually the case that monopolistic control of this kind would be bad for science, bad for consumers and bad for business, because it removes the element of competition."
To Patent or Not to Patent?
Jun 28, 2010