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The war for control of the century’s biggest biotech innovation has moved from the patent office to the Internet.
Spectators in the bicoastal battle over CRISPR, a revolutionary DNA-editing technology that promises to change how we treat disease, vented their grievances on Twitter, just as a high-stakes patent case for control of the technology is revving up.
The tweetstorm erupted when the leader of an institution vying for control of the technology published a lengthy historical account of CRISPR in a top scientific journal.
To critics, the big problem is that “Heroes of CRISPR” is a history told by a person with a dog in the fight over who created it. The author, Eric Lander, is head of the Broad Institute, a Harvard- and MIT-affiliated research institution that is now in an all-out patent battle against the University of California, Berkeley, with hundreds of millions of dollars on the line.
To put this in perspective for non-scientists, Lander is a powerful voice in the field — a former leader of the human genome project, a co-chair of the committee that advises President Obama on science and technology matters, and a charismatic communicator who has turned his institution from a start-up to a massive research heavyweight over a decade.
Read full, original post: A social media war just erupted over the biotech innovation of the century
See more tweets here: Eric Lander CRISPR “history” and (lack of) disclosures of conflicts of interest