Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Give It Away Now

The Baltimore Sun announced today that Celera Genomics, the private company that was part of the race to sequence the human genome, will allow free access to its DNA sequence data via the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Celera had been trying to sell access to this information, for use in drug discovery and other potentially profitable ventures, but, as you can see from a chart of their stock price, they failed. It seems like people would pay for the human genome, right? Not when the Human Genome Project, a cooperative effort funded by the US Department of Energy and the US National Institutes of Health were giving the information away. Sure it's great that Celera has now opened access to their database, but if they had cooperated from the beginning, lots of duplicate efforts could have been avoided (which is a benefit now, actually, since comparisons can be made to insure accuracy, etc.). Let's hope that this serves as a lesson to people trying to sell what should be free.

See also: This Data Just Wants to be Public []


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