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On Patents

There is little evidence for all the concern over gene patents hurting basic biomedical research, writes Timothy Caulfield at Science Progress. Caulfield, who studies health law and policy at the University of Alberta, says the justification makes logical sense and has some anecdotal evidence, but there is a lack of hard data. Furthermore, he says this debate overshadows the effect that "commercialization pressure" has on academic research. Namely, he says that the involvement of industry limits collaboration and data-sharing and can lead to distorted research and the release of technologies before they are ready.