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HUGO Statement on Patenting of DNA Sequences

The Human Genome Organisation (HUGO) has released a statement on the patenting of DNA sequences. The statement summary reads, "HUGO (The Human Genome Organisation) is worried that the patenting of partial and uncharacterized cDNA sequences will reward those who make routine discoveries but penalize those who determine biological function or application. Such an outcome would impede the development of diagnostics and therapeutics, which is clearly not in the public interest. HUGO is also dedicated to the early release of genome information, thus accelerating widespread investigation of functional aspects of genes. This statement explains our concerns."

The statement was authored by Dr. C. Thomas Caskey (President of HUGO), Prof. Rebecca S. Eisenberg (University of Michigan Law School), Dr. Eric Lander (Whitehead Institute) and Prof. Joseph Straus (Max Planck Institute). The statement was approved by the HUGO Council. It will be printed in an upcoming issue of the HUGO Europe Genome Digest and is available as hardcopy or in electronic format from the HUGO Americas office,

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Last Update: March 27, 1995

Human Genome Project 1990–2003

The Human Genome Project (HGP) was an international 13-year effort, 1990 to 2003. Primary goals were to discover the complete set of human genes and make them accessible for further biological study, and determine the complete sequence of DNA bases in the human genome. See Timeline for more HGP history.

Human Genome News

Published from 1989 until 2002, this newsletter facilitated HGP communication, helped prevent duplication of research effort, and informed persons interested in genome research.