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Genome Researchers Take the Pledge

Science  26 Apr 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5261, pp. 477-478
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5261.477b

Summary

When the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently awarded grants to six U.S. groups for large-scale sequencing of the human genome, it added an important condition: Researchers were asked to publish data rapidly and not to apply for patents on raw sequences. Although the principal investigators all agreed with the goals, some are concerned about how this will work in practice. In particular, they worry that if data are to be released on a weekly or even a daily basis, there will be little time for checking the accuracy of sequences. Some also believe the new policy reduces sequencers to the status of “scintillation counters.” These qualms suggest that NIH will have a hard time negotiating the details of the new policy with its grant recipients.

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