The European Group on Life Sciences (EGLS) held its final workshop and plenary meeting this week (September 28–29) in Brussels. It bowed out with a discussion on the future challenges for European life sciences research.

Former EU research commissioner Philippe Busquin set up the EGLS in 2000, bringing together 15 prominent scientists to advise him about key developments and issues in life sciences research. Its work finishes with the end of Busquin's term. The new research commissioner, Janez Potočnik, will take office on November 1, subject to approval procedures now underway.

At the final workshop, Victor de Lorenzo, EGLS president, expressed concern about American efforts to sequence microbial genomes and gain commercial rights over the results. He commented: "The ongoing conquest of the global genome at the other side of the Atlantic, not matched at all by any significant European effort, will result in the ownership of massive genetic resources...

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