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Japan's scientists complain Science over human genome thesis.

TOKYO, Jan. 18 Kyodo

The Science Council of Japan has complained to the U.S. journal Science about its decision to print a U.S. biotech company's thesis about the human genome, saying the company has not shared its data with international researchers, a council member said Thursday.

Kyoto University professor of chemistry Nobuhiro Go said Science's plan to print the thesis by PE Corp.'s Celera Genomics Group in its upcoming issue ''would discourage genetic and biological experts from integrating the human genome database.''

The governmental council, supervised by the Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications Ministry, has sent a letter requesting the magazine editors to reconsider publication of the thesis, Go said.

Celera has reportedly not registered its original sequence data on the human genome with the International Nucleotide Sequence Database Collaboration organized by experts in Europe, Japan and the United States.

The collaboration consists of Japan's DNA Data Bank under the National Institute of Genetics, the Britain-based European Molecular Biology Laboratory's Nucleotide Sequence Database, and GenBank of the National Center for Biotechnology Information in the U.S.

Some leading world scientific organizations such as the Paris-based International Council for Science are questioning Science's plan, Go added.

Science's Editor-in-Chief Donald Kennedy defended the policy.

''To insist on GenBank deposition would have consigned the Celera sequence data to trade secret status...We strongly feel that this would have meant a greater prohibition on scientific progress,'' Kennedy said.
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Publication:Japan Science Scan
Date:Jan 22, 2001
Words:239
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