The Gene Hunters (1995)

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    United Kingdom Germany

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    Non Fiction


For ten years, scientists in Bogota have been travelling to remote spots in Colombia to collect the blood and store the DNA of isolated tribes for the Human Genome Diversity project. This programme explores the commercial and ethical issues at the heart of the project, and raises fundamental questions about morality, profit and native rights. The blood of the Guayami Indians in Panama contains a rare parasite - the Human T-lymphatrophic Virus (HTLVZ) and a US government scientist applied for a patent on the cells of an unnamed woman. Similar applications have involved individuals from Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. The patenting of human genes is legal in the US.

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