Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Letter Re "Genesis redux" -- Economist

Craig Venter's recent success in developing a synthetic bacterial cell
is a promising proof of concept for Synthetic Biology. Of particular
interest might be the ability to develop affordable and eco-friendly
biofuels that rely on waste biomass or novel enzymes, instead of the
current biofuel supply supported by government subsidies and relying
mostly on the inefficient use of food crops. Venter's watermarking
and attempt to patent the new cell however, may raise concerns as to
ownership of novel synthetic biology tools. In contrast to other
clean energy sources --where public domain technology suffices in
providing clean energy -- the necessary synthetic biology technology
for feasible biofuels will likely be, like Venter's cell, someone's
intellectual property.
Dov Greenbaum & Mark Gerstein

Unpublished letter in response to:
http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=16163006
Genesis redux, Economist, 20 May 2010

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