The German company BASF has acquired nearly half of the 13,000 patents derived from 862 marine organisms genetic sequences. Companies in 10 highly-developed countries own 98 percent of patents involving marine organisms’ DNA and there are concerns of the rising of a new kind of global inequality.
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Whether a single private entity should be able to set the direction of how the genes of so many living things are used was a piece of a broader debate at the United Nations this month.

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