Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Genomes For Sale Cheap

Hurry, hurry step right up
On Sale Cheap

One wonders if there anything that will escape the "used car salesman psychology" (which is an offshoot of the root of all evil):

"But what if it had instead remained in the hands of a small number of private entities who made it their business to sell exclusive, “early access” insights on emerging variants to Wall Street trading firms? There are no doubt strong incentives to divine the signal from the noise in freshly generated variant sequencing data, and knowing first could make all the difference. Or what if the genomic data for omicron hadn’t been available at all, because the researchers who found it had little incentive to share the information?

Unfortunately, in the rapidly evolving genomic surveillance landscape, neither of these negative scenarios is out of the question for future variants."


"Public domain repositories. But what is public domain sharing? And why isn’t it the preferred way to share coronavirus sequence data? Public domain databases such as the US National Center for Biotechnology Information’s Genbank or the European Nucleotide Archive are instrumental for biology research, and almost all genetic sequence data is, in fact, shared in the public domain. But public domain sharing—whether it’s music, software, photography, art, or genetic data—means exactly that. When you put your work into the public domain, it is now owned “by the public.” This means anyone can use it for any reason without attribution or any obligation to share benefits.

There are virtues to public domain sharing of genetic sequence data. The public domain is a fantastic way for society to extract the maximum value of genetic data once it has already been generated, for instance by taxpayer-funded research, because the products, in principle, can be used for the benefit of everyone. But its virtues are inextricable from its drawbacks. A major problem with public domain sharing is that scientists do not have any incentive to generate or rapidly share viral genome data via this mechanism. Instead, they often allow their data to sit on computers until they get a manuscript accepted or a grant funded. This reticence to rapidly share genetic data is a recipe for disaster in public health emergencies like pandemics, because fresh viral sequence data from many geographies are needed to discover new variants, to determine which ones are growing faster than others, and to keep diagnostics and vaccines up to date."

(Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, emphasis added). You have probably noticed that virus pandemics are becoming viral marketing pandemics.

It is too big to fail (On The Origin Of The Home Of COVID-19, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27).

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