Friday, March 31, 2006
Google Pirates - Ahoy!
Google has received one of the highest (dis)honours in bio-piracy, a Captain Hook Award, in Curitiba, Brazil this week. The award is in honour of Google's reported plans to create a searchable database of genetic information, in collaboration with Craig Venter, president of the J Craig Venter Institute, and former president and founder of Celera Genomics. Celera achieved international notoriety when it attempted to win the race for the Human Genome and privatise the knowledge for commercial purposes.
The major concern is that such a database will in effect facilitate biopiracy on an international online scale. As well as bio-piracy, the plan raises significant questions of privacy and consumer confidence.