News & CommentGene Patenting

Scientists Attacked for ‘Patenting' Pacific Tribe

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Science  17 Nov 1995:
Vol. 270, Issue 5239, pp. 1112
DOI: 10.1126/science.270.5239.1112


Via the Internet, a small Canadian group has charged medical researchers in Papua New Guinea and at the National Institutes of Health with patenting individuals from the Hagahai tribe. Although researchers actually patented a virus-infected cell line—and arranged to share royalties with the Hagahai—newspaper headlines have painted the scientists as thieves and scientific “vampires”.