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Nearly Half the Patents on Marine Genes Belong To Just One Company

A creature as majestic as a whale, it’s possible you’ll assume, shouldn’t have any proprietor. Yet it seems that positive snippets of the DNA that makes a sperm whale a sperm whale are in fact the topics of patents — that means that personal entities have unique rights to their use for analysis and building. From a file: The similar is going for numerous different marine species. And new analysis presentations that a single German chemical company owns 47 percent of patented marine gene sequences. A just-published paper in Science Advances reveals that 862 separate species of marine existence have genetic patents related to them. “It’s everything from microorganisms to fish species,” says lead creator Robert Blasiak, a conservation researcher at the University of Stockholm who was once stunned to learn how many genetic sequences in the ocean have been patented. “Even iconic species” — like plankton, manta rays, and sure, sperm whales. Of some 13,000 genetic sequences focused by means of patents, just about part are the highbrow assets of an organization known as Baden Aniline and Soda Factory (BASF).

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