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Call for open source biotechnology

Researchers from the UN University in Tokyo, Japan have called for an “open source” approach to biotechnology to help break the intellectual property rights (IPR) “log-jam” that they claim is holding back development and diffusion of agricultural biotechnology to developing countries. Strict IPR hinders access to modern biotechnology research tools such as genetic engineering, micro-propagation and mutation breeding that could be used to improve agricultural productivity in the developing world, the researchers note. They propose an “Open Source Biotechnology Framework (OSBF)” as part of the solution that could address the challenges with IPR and help bring about sustainable agriculture. Details of the study have been published in the journal, Technology in Society.

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