Re: DNA vaccines, pharmaceuticals and freeware

Anders Sandberg (
14 Dec 1997 15:48:50 +0100

Leevi Marttila <> writes:

> Anders Sandberg <> writes:
> > No. Guess who will sell the machines? The software? Who will own the
> > patents of the genes you download? (would you seriously want to
> > download a shareware gene?).
> No. But release version freeware with source code sufficiently tested
> by several competent people: yes.
> Something like 2.0.32 version of Linux kernel.

Why does not linux out-compete Microsoft? (Rhetorical question, let's
not start arguing about the merits of free software, please).

I have no doubt that in the hopefully-not-too-far future we will have
free genetic source code, fairly well tested (but remember, even a
very simple test of a medication is hideously expensive, not something
you can easily do without serious financial backing) and available on
the net to run in our home sequencers. But most people will not use
it, they will instead use the genes from Microgene because they are
widely advertised, widely known, well tested, comes in a convenient
packet and everybody else are using them. Why try a freeware gene
which may not meet FDA standards when you can get a plug-n-play gene?

The problem here is, beside the normal complications of the software
and pharmaceuticals industries, that testing new medications and
methods is so expensive and hard to do. Any ideas of how it can be
done more cheaply? Perhaps something like the voluntary medical
database mentioned in Halperin's _The Truth Machine_?

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y