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"Microbesoft" patents could put the squeeze on synthetic life
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Written by Daniel   
Friday, 14 December 2007 12:30

"Microbesoft" patents could put the squeeze on synthetic life

By John Timmer | Published: December 14, 2007 - 10:51AM CT
ARS Technica

J. Craig Venter is famous within the biological community for both his development of the "shotgun" method of genome sequencing and behavior that some view as egomaniacal. In a number of cases, he's partially sequenced his own genome (or his pet's), declared victory over public sequencing efforts, and moved on to other projects, leaving others to finish off the work. In recent years, his focus has shifted to synthetic life—cells directed by simplified genomes engineered to perform useful tasks such as fuel production or drug synthesis. But, in pursuing that goal, he's accumulating a patent portfolio that may inhibit biotech research in general... More   Comment in the Forums

 

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