The dawn of genome trolling

The following is an excerpt.

Last week European scientists were shamed into cutting off public access to a genome sequence. As far as I know, it’s the first instance of a genome pulled from the public record.

It’s also a bad precedent.

Part of what bothers me about this situation is that we’ve seen similar kerfuffles over old Indian bones and bio-prospecting in the Amazon. The outcome in both instances has been laws that restrict science for unscientific reasons. These stories always begin the same way: some researcher in yellowing photographs who didn’t tell anyone why he wanted those cells, seeds, or funerary urns. But later, someone conversant in both science and local causes of aggrievement (say, superstitious beliefs) puts two and two together and … I gotcha!

View the original article here: The Dawn of Genome Trolling

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