Mike Fortun

in Promising Genomics

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2008 | ISBN: 9780520247505
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520942615 | DOI:

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How does a genomic company such as deCODE Genetics put a price on the rights to future discoveries that might be wrought from the gathered blood of the Icelandic population? The question is even more perplexing when you consider the exact wording of such deals: How does a genomic company sell the “potential rights” to future discoveries, since even if a gene of interest were to be isolated from Icelanders, it might already have been patented or otherwise claimed by a rival company? While it is tempting to ask, “How do you tell a counterfeit genomic company from a real genomic company?,” the chiasmus or reflexive two-way feedback mechanism at the voided heart of value makes a definitive decision impossible. As he did in that first September 1998 trip to Iceland, the author now opens an extended engagement with Halldór Laxness's 1948 novel, The Atom Station.

Keywords: Iceland; deCODE Genetics; future discoveries; Halldór Laxness; Atom Station; genomic company

Chapter.  2095 words. 

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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