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Trading the Genome: Investigating the Commodification of Bio-Information

By: B Parry

352 pages, B/w photos

Columbia University Press

Hardback | Nov 2004 | #154325 | ISBN: 0231121741
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NHBS Price: £49.99 $66/€57 approx

About this book

Many suppliers of the genetic and biochemical resources from which this information is drawn come from economically vulnerable developing countries. The Biodiversity Convention obliges signatory states to ensure that these suppliers of genetic and biochemical resources receive "a just and equitable" share of the profits that accrue from the commercialization of these resources-but it is not clear that they do. In a groundbreaking work that draws on anthropology, history, philosophy, business and law, Bronwyn Parry links firsthand knowledge of the operation of the bioprospecting industry to a sophisticated analysis of broader economic, regulatory, and technological transformations to reveal the complex economic and political dynamics that underpin this new global trade in bio-information.

Parry has a clear, incisive style...making Trading the Genome a forceful, considered and thought-provoking analysis of one of the most important issues of our time. -- Adrian Barnett New Scientist 3/5/05 Trading the Genome is strongly recommended as an eye-opener to the practices of the modern pharmaceutical industry. Naturalist ? This book is a welcome addition to the literature and will be a valuable resource...Well worth the read. -- Brendan Tobin Nature 6/16/05 One of Parry's major contributions is to open this rather closed world to scrutiny. -- Felix Driver Jouranl of Historical Geography vol. 31 (2005) Maintaining a dogged grip on some very important and heretofore-unasked empirical questions, Parry leads us into ground on which it is easy to feel that no critical eye has yet gazed. -- Morgan M. Robertson Progress in Human Geography 12/2005 Parry takes a highly complex field and makes it easily accessible through her clear and incisive style. -- Gerard Porter Social & Legal Studies 15(3)


Part 1: Introduction Part 2. The Collection of Nature and the Nature of Collecting Revealing the Social and Spatial Dynamics of CollectingCollecting as Simple Acquisition: Decontextualization and ExoticizationCollection as Concentration and ControlCollection as Recirculation and RegulationNew World CollectorsPart 3: Speedup: Accelerating the Social and Spatial Dynamics of Collecting Retheorizing Life Forms: Material and Informational?The Rise of the Information and Bio-Information EconomiesEmerging Markets: The Regulation of Trade in Bio-InformationPart 4: New Collectors, New Collections "When the world was a kinder and gentler place": Early Players and Vacation Pursuits"An historic revival of collecting"Impetus for the Revival: Technological ChangeThe Biodiversity Convention: New Protocols and New RationalesGATT TRIPs: New Protections, New IncentivesThe Practice and Process of CollectingPart 5: The Fate of the Collections From Reproduction to Replication"Build it for us"Combinations and PermutationsThe Diminishing Role of in situ CollectingThe Advent of MicrosourcingRe-mining ex situ CollectionsThe Emerging Trade in Collected Genetic and Biochemical MaterialsHire Plants: Renters and BrokersTransacting Bio-Information: Licensing and "Pay-per-View"Part 6: Taming the Slippery Beast: Regulating Trade in Bio-Information Compensatory Agreements: The Rise of a Proto-Universal Culture of Regulation?Networks, Capillaries, and the Geography of Knowledge SystemsCompensatory Agreements: Investigating Terms and ConditionsInfrastructural Support and Technical TrainingFuture Benefits: Royalty PaymentsTaming the Slippery BeastRegulating the Unlicensed Copying of Bio-InformationConcentration and Control: Patenting Collected MaterialsThe Complexities of "Co-Inventorship"Part 7: Back to the Future

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Bronwyn Parry is an economic and cultural geographer who holds a senior research fellowship at King's College, University of Cambridge.

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