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Readers Respond: Ethics of Human Cell Line Ownership

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While the EU is attempting to prevent patents on "parts of the human body" which could be assumed to include human gene sequences, companies in the USA are attempting to claim ownership of medically relevant sequences of the human genome. This gives rise to the question of whether the original doner of the cells is entitled to a share of the profits, should the line become a patented, commercial tool for biotechnology research or biomedical uses. If so, another ethical issue arises pertaining to the sale of human tissue for research and profit. If YOU could make money donating tissue for a cell line, would you?

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