Book Thoughts: Next by Michael Crichton

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I don’t actually think it was that great of read. I read it because my dad liked it and said it would freak me out. And to some extent he was right.

The part of the book that actually stood out to me the most was the end where Mr. Crichton outlined his conclusions about the current environment of genetics and their study. The idea that someone can (and some do) own genetic code is rather crazy. It’s like being able to patent carbon and then anyone who wants to use that material has to give you some sort of royalty or stipend. No one should be able to own the laws and materials of nature.

And the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980, to quote directly from his summary…

“Bayh-Dole was always of uncertain benefit to the American taxpayers, who became, through their government, uniquely generous investors. Taxpayers finance research, but when it bears fruit, the researches sell it for their own institutional and personal gain, after which the drug is sold back to the taxpayers. Consumers thus pay top dollar for a drug they helped finance.”

Does that seem like a good idea? Not to me as taxpayer.

And this book was written in 2006, seems like I need to do some research and more reading. I wonder if the legislation on genetics has gone more in favor of the consumer and taxpayer or the corporation and institution.

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