[Editor's note: Joint research relationships between university and industrial scientists, when successful, can lead to rapid research advances such as those described in the following essay. On the other hand, collaborative efforts have their potential problems and pitfalls. Thorny issues that arise include conflicts over ownership of research data and publishing priorities, as well as ideological differences between scientists representing commercial and academic institutions.

Below, biologist Roger N. Beachy describes how a team of academic scientists from Washington University and a group of industrial scientists from the St. Louis-based Monsanto Co. tackled these and other issues during a six-year research project in the field of plant biotechnology. It was during this collaboration that Beachy produced the world's first genetically engineered food crop resistant to disease.]

After joining Washington University in 1978, I embarked on research projects based in large part on postdoctoral experience in molecular biology and along the lines...

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