311Re: [TdC] Re: Jerry Weinstein, asthma
- Feb 11, 2002deCode of Iceland (where they have a 1,000 years of
good genealogy and a population base of over 250,000)
has traced portions of the population with a genetic
trait (first step to locating the gene). The latest
is a propensity to live to the late 90s or 100+.
They have done so after national debate and with some
people opting not be involved for reasons of privacy.
However, the dead are seen as having no rights to
I find your anticapitalist viewpoint a bit repugnant.
A nice clean government paid effort was going to map
the human genome; spending billions or taxpayer
dollars and decades of effort. Left alone, the
"clean" gov't effort would just now be within sight of
Then an individual with a better idea (which was
rejected by the genome establishment that was
benefiting from the LONG effort), raised private money
and implemented a faster, and in some ways, better and
certainly cheaper ($0 tax money) effort that also
motivated the gov't establishment to "get the lead
The result, the benefits of the human genome for
further research are available a half decade sooner;
and quite possibly more coherent.
The NIH is QUITE capable of behavior (from personal
knowledge) that is more shameful than even, say,
Enron, would be capable of.
The profit motive is a purer motive, with more social
benefits, than what motivates many (most ?) gov't
And patents do expire; while decades long delays do
P.S. My supervising professor invented CAPD, an
alternative to hemodialysis for renal (kidney)
NIH threatened to destroy him (in a bathroom
conversation) unless he assigned the patent to them so
that NIH could claim the benefits ($1 billion/year
savings for US gov't, saving ~400 children/year who
would have otherwise been allowed to die, etc.) in
order to impress Congress. He refused.
The US Attorney sued him for 3.5 years, cost him
$250,000 in legal fees and severely restricted his
research (and lead to his early retirement). 3 weeks
before trial the US offered a deal. He would assign
his patents to NIH and then license them back for $1.
By this time, he accepted.
There was a significant loss in research during those
3.5 years and the lost years from his early
And he was pinished for doing something that was
univerally agreed to be a "good thing".
So much worse, so much more immoral than any profit
making deal !
--- jerry_weinstein <jerry.weinstein@...>
> Thanks for your reply, Diane! (and hi to everyone__________________________________________________
> I appreciate the facts, as you experienced them.
> Outcry in the sense of Sequana's motive - to patent
> an anti-asthma gene
> and to not duly compensate the inhabitants of TdC,
> who would have
> provided the genetic material that would make such
> research possible.
> There are most biotech companies who are "gene
> prospecting" indigenous
> cultures the world over, not merely hoping for a
> cure of this or that,
> but vast profits. Many of us here in the U.S. are
> ashamed of both are
> country's position that life can be patented, and
> that companies, not
> villages, will profit in the process.
> What do you think about this?
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