Shall We Peddle Human Genes?

Eager to press on with the megaproject to sequence the human genome, molecular biologists are figuring out ways to pay for it. Some of these schemes surely qualify as the most creative financing since Ollie North decided to underwrite Central American wars that U.S. citizens don't want to fight by soaking the Iranians for weapons U.S. citizens don't want to sell them. The Washington Post reports, tongue in cheek, that the scientists have rejected car washes and bake sales in favor of several oth

Tabitha Powledge
Mar 22, 1987
Eager to press on with the megaproject to sequence the human genome, molecular biologists are figuring out ways to pay for it. Some of these schemes surely qualify as the most creative financing since Ollie North decided to underwrite Central American wars that U.S. citizens don't want to fight by soaking the Iranians for weapons U.S. citizens don't want to sell them.

The Washington Post reports, tongue in cheek, that the scientists have rejected car washes and bake sales in favor of several other approaches to getting the $3 billion they may need. It's clear those scientists have been paying attention to the Wall Street trendies. Among the ideas:

  • Cash in on the home telemarketing craze by selling small chunks of human DNA on those late-night TV shows that peddle genuine brass-plated banker's lamps and many-faceted zircons set in real simulated platinum. The DNA, embedded in sparkling, limpid plastic, becomes...

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