The sequence: Inside the race for the human genome

Rimmer, Matthew (2002) The sequence: Inside the race for the human genome. European Intellectual Property Review, 24(1), pp. 48-49.

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The human genome project was a grand scientific enterprise which attracted both hyperbole and ridicule alike. The project was lauded as “the moon shot of the life sciences”, the “holy grail of man”, “the code of codes”, and “the book of life”. Such rhetoric has also received scorn. President George Bush senior managed to deflate the pretensions of the project with the accidental slip that it was the “human gnome initiative”.

In The Sequence, Kevin Davies seeks to go beyond such metaphors, and provide a candid and honest account of the race of the human genome project. The author is indebted to the authoritative book The Gene Wars, which considered the early struggles over the human genome project. Robert Cook-Deegan observes that there was initially much debate over whether there should be a Human Genome Project at all:

The debate became one of “big” science versus “small” science. The reliance on systematic technology development and goal-directed gene-mapping efforts presaged a new style for biology, one that elicited excitement from those attracted to whiz-bang technologies but drew gasps of revulsion from those who aspired to cultivate biology on a more modest scale and with decentralized organisation. The battle was, among other things, over whose vision would control the budget and which scientific aesthetic would prevail.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 86800
Item Type: Review
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Intellectual Property and Innovation Law Research Group
ISSN: 0142-0461
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2002 Sweet & Maxwell
Deposited On: 25 Sep 2015 03:10
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2015 03:10

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