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What's next, will PETA denounce Google as "the biggest threat to animals" to bolster interest in their next hoopla event?
From what I read of that story there isn't any definate proof of anything. Just a lot of conjecture and supposition based on the general thought that Google wants everything in the word searchable through them.
JMHO, of course I've been wrong before.
biggest threat to genetic privacy
I didn't know that genes had privacy rights.
So I have read the article and I learned some new terms/words
monopolisation of genetic resources
Those are some good words, I wonder who came up with them.
Not sure why this is a concern for some. I don't see the harm in being able to look up the genes of the tulip, or the tazmanian devil. The scientist they are collborating with has done some real good for the planet. Erradicating pollio, smallpox, blindness.
What are they worried about protecting? How is this over the line? In countries with a low standard of education it would be nice for those without the books but with the drive to teach themselves using this data.
Do you know many people there are on this planet? It would take so long to get a sample of every person's DNA. By the time you collected half the data the other half would be dead and there would be another billion new souls to index. I can't see them getting that data. Plus I didn't see that mentioned in the artcle, even though that is the "Big Brother" thought process that people are worried about.
I think it is more likely that they will have the genetic makeup of a human, a bear, a rose. Not the exact DNA sequence of every human, every bear, every rose.
Lets hope Google invoke the right to parle before being blamed for piracy!
It appears to me that any looney who wants to get into the spotlight only has to accuse Google of something (however outragous) and they get their 15 minutes of fame.
I really cannot see how Google are going to find my genetic information and plaster it all over the web. Even if they did - would I really care?
Access to the information is not a problem for me. If someone chooses to abuse that information then we need safegaurds to prevent the abuses not prevent the access to the information which could be used for good.
If you notice, the award was issued in Brasil (Curitiba).
There has been talk and pressure from third world countries (Brasil has been one of the most outspoken on this) to somehow recognize the rights of these countries to the future exploitation of products derived of plants and animals within their territory.
They explain that, for them to have an incentive to protect rainforests and "bio-diversity", they should have some rights to the future benefits derived from this.
The next miracle drug could be in the bark of a rare tree in the Amazon basin, or in a near extinct frog in Africa.
When the developed world just takes a sample of these plants and animals and maps the entire genome, this "biological asset" goes down the drain.
It has happened before. Patents have been awarded for products and applications for plants and animals, which later prevent those countries from reaping benefits.
The developed world just moves too fast for them.
The data is being collected and managed. Google would make this process easier and faster.
But does having the genetic makeup of everything on the planet = DNA lookups of individulas?
By the time you collected half the data the other half would be dead and there would be another billion new souls to index.
Not the exact DNA sequence of every human, every bear, every rose.
Biopiracy refers to the "monopolisation of genetic resources" according to the show's organisers
"Google, in cooperation with Craig Venter, are developing plans to make all of our genomes Googlable to facilitate the brave new world of private genetically-tailored medicines," the site claims.
So Google is partnering up with J. Craig Venter. This man is almost universally disliked in the scientific community for coming up with a more efficient gene mapping technique, whole-genome shotgunning, and trying to sell it to pharmaceutical companies so that they could get the jump on researchers from less evil corporations. But he couldn't patent the technique, so now everyone has it. By contrast, his partnership with Google to make this data publicly available seems charitable.
The real threat to the future of genomics is genes being copywritten by corporations, not genetic information being released to the public. And, contrary to this article's claim, if Google places genetic information in the public domain it will be harder for corporations to copyright them. Yes, having one's own genome released to the public would be a pretty big violation of privacy, but it's highly unlikely this will happen to anybody anytime soon. It took years to map just one human genome, and this was done in hundreds of different labs and using the DNA from several individuals. The only realistic danger Google poses in serving up genetic information is to the big corporations, namely pharmaceuticals, that would like to patent them.
Something like "no-index" "no-follow" "no-cache" gen_robots.txt microchip implanted under our skin.
I wounder what spammers would do to get to the top of the serps when you look up the gens DB? hijack?
LOL, sorry couldn't resist.
[edited by: Web_speed at 3:27 pm (utc) on Mar. 31, 2006]
The real threat to the future of genomics is genes being copywritten by corporations
Yes I find that amazing, considering Helen Lane's family didn't get a penny for her immortal cell line.
Like I don't own my own code, but anyone else can.
Thanks for clearing stuff up Inuwolf. I wondered about Venter.
According to the award's Web site, Google is guilty of biopiracy because plans for a searchable database could make it easier for private genetic information to be abused.
Thank gawd these people aren't lawyers. Last time I checked, it's not a crime to "plan" a database.
I'm planning on speeding on the way home tonight. Hurry up and arrest me before I commit the actual crime. Good grief.