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Taq patent

Dr. Duncan Clark Duncan at nospam.demon.co.uk
Mon Jan 31 04:49:10 EST 2000

In article <ehovig-3101000239030001 at pcdnr83.uio.no>, Eivind Hovig
<ehovig at radium.uio.no> writes
>In article <20000125091147.26423.qmail at web3403.mail.yahoo.com>,
>yilao at yahoo.com.cn (=?gb2312?q?sam=20wayne?=) wrote:
>> What will happen to the scientists (?) who cooked and
>> massaged their data for the Taq patent?
>> I mean scientifically, in addition to anything the
>> court will dish out accordingly.
>> Anything like this took place before?
>I wonder why the Nobel price winner in chemistry of 1993, Kary B. Mullis,
>is not implemented in the fraud, as he worked at Cetus in the same period,
>and published with them on the subject matter (Science 1988 Jan
>29;239(4839):487-91 -Primer-directed enzymatic amplification of DNA with a
>thermostable DNA polymerase.) Anybody with worthwhile opinions?

Because the alleged fraud was in a patent application using results of
experiments solely by the applicants, of which Kary Mullis was not one.
Guilt by association is not justified.  

I think this is possibly being blown up out of all proportion. If
someone was to go through anyone's lab books of 10-20 years ago could
they remember the exact circumstances about what and why they did such
and such an experiment. You must also remember that the final patent
application evolved out of previous applications over a number of years
with umpteen changes over time including applicants etc. 

As Roche is appealing (and if they lose that there is yet another higher
court to appeal to), it will take years to get a final decision,
possibly even after the patent has expired.    

Without PCR and it's spin off's e.g. cycle sequencing, the genome would
be many many years off completion and the techniques we take for granted
would not exist.


The problem with being on the cutting edge is that you occasionally get 
sliced from time to time....

Duncan Clark
DNAmp Ltd.
Tel: +44(0)1252376288
FAX: +44(0)8701640382

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