Taq Patent

Eivind Hovig ehovig at radium.uio.no
Wed Feb 2 18:49:31 EST 2000

In article
<19C0B58EA6B0D211809400A0C9B4040A740CD3 at raumsem1.akl.roche.com>,
JOHN-F.MACKAY at roche.com ("Mackay, John-F {~Auckland}") wrote:

> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I believe that Kary Mullis had very little to do with the Taq process. It
> was suggested that he purify the enzyme (he had the idea of a thermostable
> polymerase,
> people got sick of adding Klenow every cycle) but he never got around to it
> and it was purified by others. Once it was purified, he used it but thats
> about all. 

And so when it is stated (as I read the ruling) that other researchers had
comparable enzymes at the time, one must assume he just never stopped to
compare the characteristics (purity and stability)  of the Cetus enzyme
versus others versions? Or wasn't informed of the existence of them? 
Sounds a bit strange to me. At least given his later status. Or was he
prohibited from using them? I think I will reread the paper to see the
claims they make on the enzyme.

> He left Cetus in 1988 and so wasn't involved in the characterisation of the
> polymerase. He was on the first PCR paper using Taq (referenced above) as
> the PCR inventor, rather than the one who did all the work (Saiki, Sharf,
> Erlich etc)
> ...........or so I'm led to believe

But he is a co-patentholder, is he not? I guess you should know, given
your commercial affiliation? B-)

Eivind Hovig

More information about the Methods mailing list