Negotiating the Human Genome

On February 12, amid considerable international fanfare, Rockville, Md.-based Celera Genomics and the International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium jointly announced the publishing of long-awaited papers detailing the human genome.1,2. Although the two groups jointly announced the sequencing of about 90 percent of the human genome at a White House press conference last June, drawn-out negotiations delayed the publishing of initial genome data until now. "It would be fair to say that Palestini

Eugene Russo
Feb 18, 2001

On February 12, amid considerable international fanfare, Rockville, Md.-based Celera Genomics and the International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium jointly announced the publishing of long-awaited papers detailing the human genome.1,2. Although the two groups jointly announced the sequencing of about 90 percent of the human genome at a White House press conference last June, drawn-out negotiations delayed the publishing of initial genome data until now. "It would be fair to say that Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations have nothing on private-public publication negotiations," says University of Pennsylvania bioethicist Arthur Caplan, a member of Celera's scientific advisory and institutional review boards.

The two groups had to discuss not only how to coordinate simultaneous publication, but how to handle data access in light of Celera's intellectual property concerns. Celera published in Science; the public effort chose to publish in Nature. According to Science's data release policy,

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