LONDON Craig Venter's Celera Genomics is never afraid to court controversy, and a new agreement with the US journal Science has again positioned the company in the vanguard of the assault on conventional academic science. Science has agreed to consider publishing a huge paper from Celera that will announce the sequence of the human genome, without Celera complying with the standard regulations for disclosing data.

Ownership and control of intellectual property is the issue. Science has always had a policy that it will only publish a paper if the authors place their data in a publicly accessible database. This ensures free and full access to the data. Consequently, a system has evolved whereby, on publication of their work, authors place genomic data in GenBank or one of the other sister databases of the International Nucleotide Sequence Database. "There is no doubt that the use of databases by biotechnology, genomics and...

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