Monday, November 21, 2016

DNA and Biopiracy

Biopiracy involves commercializing and profiting from local knowledge and biological resources, without crediting or compensating those who provided that knowledge or resource. Genetic information can be obtained by many people around the world, as it exists in the natural world around us. Over time, this information has been made available digitally. This has been possible because of countless collective efforts from scientists and indigenous people alike. For example, a company of researchers may be studying certain plant life in a specific area and the people indigenous to that are can provide their knowledge of that plant life. A lot of genetic information is stored in public databases where everyone can have access to them. This gives opportunity for biopiracy to occur and can cause many issues. This article gives insight on this from different perspectives and also discusses different policies that are in place. 

Because it is such a widespread issue I think it will be very hard to control, although in an ideal world I would want everyone to get credit and compensation for their work, not just big companies. Some solutions that are being suggested are having big companies track the origins of the gene or data that they are profiting from and coming up with agreements for compensation and who can use this data to avoid infringing on anyones rights and making the situation more fair. 

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