Myles W. Jackson

The Genealogy of a Gene

Patents, HIV/AIDS, and Race

MIT Press 2015

New Books in MedicineNew Books in Science & TechnologyNew Books in Science, Technology, and SocietyNew Books in TechnologyNew Books Network May 18, 2015 Jasmine McNealy

What happens when you allow human materials to become property? More specifically, how does granting monopoly rights over genetic material affect the potential for...

What happens when you allow human materials to become property? More specifically, how does granting monopoly rights over genetic material affect the potential for innovation and research on treatments of disease related to those genes? In his new book, The Genealogy of a Gene: Patents, HIV/AIDS, and Race (MIT Press, 2015), Myles W. Jackson (NYU) considers this question by examining the history of the sequencing and patenting of the CCR5 gene, which was found to have an important role in HIV/AIDS viral infection. In doing so, Jackson chronicles the challenges to the granting of property rights over materials that occur naturally, and the legal and policy arguments both for and against allowing patents on these materials.

But the book is more than just an examination of the instability of patent law. On the contrary, Jackson provides an interdisciplinary examination of the history of CCR5, which analyzes the role of race, culture, medicine and other fields, to examine of the wider impact of science and science policy on society. Just listen.

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