Bringing science and development together through news and analysis

  • Microbe hunt raises biopiracy fears

Controversy is likely to follow an international consortium of scientists — including researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences — as it embarks on a search for commercially useful microbes in the politically contested areas of Tibet and Inner Mongolia.

The scientists will be searching for previously unknown microorganisms that live in inhospitable environments such as salt lakes and hot springs.

But it is unclear if the two regions will benefit from any discoveries that are made, leading some commentators to urge the European researchers involved in the project to make sure that local people are engaged.

Link to Nature news story

Reference: Nature 420, 109 (2002)
We encourage you to republish this article online and in print, it’s free under our creative commons attribution license, but please follow some simple guidelines:
  1. You have to credit our authors.
  2. You have to credit SciDev.Net — where possible include our logo with a link back to the original article.
  3. You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on SciDev.Net” containing a link back to the original article.
  4. If you want to also take images published in this story you will need to confirm with the original source if you're licensed to use them.
  5. The easiest way to get the article on your site is to embed the code below.
For more information view our media page and republishing guidelines.