Researchers argue over gene patents

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: (Published 16 December 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:1593

The race to locate and identify BRCA2, a highly penetrant breast cancer susceptibility gene, has been fuelled by the publication on the Internet of a sequence of 900000 nucleotide bases on chromosome 13 (Nature;378:425). The gene, believed to be a small sequence of a few hundred to a few thousand base pairs, is responsible for breast cancer in the small proportion of women who have one of the familial forms of the disease. By putting this information in the public domain, Washington University in St Louis, Missouri, and the Sanger Centre in Cambridge have opened up a debate …

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