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Talkscience: Patently obvious?

Scientists have long used patents to protect their inventions and allow them opportunities to commercialise their work. However, recent attempts to patent human gene sequences have raised questions over whether a sequence of DNA is an invention or a discovery and highlighted some of the challenges in assessing the patentability of biomedical developments. Proponents argue that we need biomedical patents to provide the incentive for innovation but others believe that they could stifle scientific progress. Recent controversies in cancer and stem cell research have highlighted the social and ethical, as well as the economic implications of biomedical patents.

Join our chair Professor Jackie Hunter (Chief Executive of the BBSRC) with expert speakers, Professor Alan Ashworth (Institute of Cancer Research), Dr Nick Bourne (Cardiff University) and Dr Berwyn Clarke (Biomedical Entrepreneur), as we investigate the role of patents in biomedical discovery and invention.

MP3 file, 31 mins 34 secs, 12.64 MB