US awards patent for tribesman's DNA

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: (Published 02 December 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:1452

The US government has awarded itself a patent for a cell line resistant to cancer that has been found in a man from a remote hill tribe in New Guinea. The patenting of a foreign citizen's DNA has provoked an international outcry from indigenous peoples' organisations and groups opposed to commercial ownership of genetic material.

Although the patent was granted on 14 March this year, it came to public notice only recently, when a …

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