While Japan is bearish on the potentially lucrative field, American government and industry fail to show enthusiasm or backing
WASHINGTON -- To promoters of U.S. competitiveness, Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry sometimes seems invincible. MITI has an enviable reputation for helping industry develop new products - often based on United States discoveries - that eventually dominate global markets. So MITI's decision to spend almost $200 million in the next decade on marine biotechnology (The Scientist, March 19, 1990, page 1) has raised eyebrows at the U.S. laboratories where this science was conceived.

But some U.S. researchers are confident that they can hold their own against this Asian Goliath. They are "the American answer to MITI," says Ronald Cape, board chairman of Cetus Corp., of Emeryville, Calif. But they say they need the backing of the U.S. government and industry.

Rita Colwell is one such scientist....

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