3 years ago

Implications of biological information digitization: Access and benefit sharing of plant genetic resources

Implications of biological information digitization: Access and benefit sharing of plant genetic resources
Stuart J. Smyth, Diego M. Macall, Peter W. B. Phillips, Jeremy de Beer

The decoupling of biological information from its material source has changed debates about global access and benefit sharing (ABS) of genetic resources. What does the digitization of biological information imply for genetic resources of proven and potential value? What implications does digital sequence information (DSI) have for individuals and groups, who have invested time and effort in augmenting and refining valuable characteristics in genetic resources? Stakeholders discussing this issue in various international fora unanimously acknowledge there are currently more questions than answers. Online digital publicly accessible resources represent a transformative technological shift, resulting in intellectual property governance gaps. This article provides interdisciplinary perspectives on options available to governments to continue advancing the goals of ABS, when physical access to genetic resources is no longer needed because DSI is readily accessible. It envisions four governance scenarios.

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