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US, Indonesia spar over virus samples

The Indonesian health minister has criticized an American scientist for taking tissue samples from a man suffering from a severe viral infection and exporting them out of the Southeast Asian country. The minister, Siti Fadilah Supari, said that foreign drug companies could use the samples, taken from the man named Dede, to develop profitable pharmaceuticals without remuneration for Indonesia. "We are offended because the samples were taken from Dede without our permission," she told British ne

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob Grant is Editor in Chief of The Scientist, where he started in 2007 as a Staff Writer.

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The Indonesian health minister has criticized an American scientist for taking tissue samples from a man suffering from a severe viral infection and exporting them out of the Southeast Asian country. The minister, Siti Fadilah Supari, said that foreign drug companies could use the samples, taken from the man named Dede, to develop profitable pharmaceuticals without remuneration for Indonesia. "We are offended because the samples were taken from Dede without our permission," she told British newspaper, the linkurl:__Telegraph__.;http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/11/26/wtree126.xml "If they are taken abroad, they could become lucrative commodities." But linkurl:Anthony Gaspari,;http://www.umm.edu/doctors/anthony_a_gaspari.html the University of Maryland dermatologist who took blood and tissue samples from Dede, said his intentions were purely medical and not commercial. "We did take samples, and the reason we did was to render a diagnosis," he told the __Telegraph__. "We did it for humanitarian reasons, to help the patient." Dede, 35, suffers from a linkurl:human papillomavirus;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/15712/ (HPV) infection...

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