1 Molecular biologists are sensitive to the fact that calling 95 percent of the human genome “junk DNA” undercuts the rationale for sequencing the whole genome. As a result, some are suggesting that the scientific community was over-hasty in coming to the unanimous conclusion that DNA sequences with no known possible function are “nonsense.”
2 Watson, James B., “Looking Forward,” Gene, vol. 135 (1993), pp. 309–15.
3 Collins, Francis and Galas, David, “A New Five Year Plan for the U.S. Human Genome Project,” Science, vol. 262 (1993), p. 46.
4 Roberts, Leslie, “Taking Stock of the Genome Project,” Science, vol. 262 (1993), p. 21. It is worth noting that unless the 1 percent error areas are identified, the entire genome will have to be resequenced to locate the areas to be double-checked.
5 In particular, two discoveries make this procedure possible. A viral enzyme, reverse transcriptase, has been isolated, which will build a complementary DNA chain onto a single-stranded DNA or RNA template. Polymerase chain reactions, chemical processes which can be fully automated, enable another enzyme to build up vast numbers of copies of a sequence of DNA bases quickly and cheaply.
6 See Arrow, Kenneth, The Economics of Information (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 1984), pp. 142–43.
7 For further discussion, see Hirshleifer, Jack and Riley, John G., The Analytics of Uncertainty and Information (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), ch. 7.
8 Eisenberg, Rebecca S., “Patent Rights in the Human Genome Project” in Annas, George J. and Elias, Sherman, Gene Mapping (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), p. 227. See also Sgaramella, V., “Lawyers' Delights and Geneticists' Nightmares: At Forty, the Double Helix Shows Some Wrinkles,” Gene, vol. 135 (1993), pp. 299–302.
9 Eisenberg, , “Patent Rights in the Human Genome Project,” p. 227.