-
Strategies for a discontinuous future.





Consulting & advisory, research notes, in the press, about bubblegen,
next wednesdays.





Monday, December 01, 2003
 


Open-source biotech:

"...Jefferson called for a "democratisation of innovation" based on "open source genetics". Central to this concept was a distinction between the tools of innovation and the products of innovation".

Possible? Yes. Likely? No. Why? The infrastructure costs of biotech are far, far higher than those of computing - so it's not something people can give away. Think about it this way: you can give away a snippet of code or two - because it doesn't cost you much to write it. Both fixed and variable costs are low.

But that's not true for biotech: fixed costs - like genome databases, proteome analysers, and gene sequencers - are higher. And variable costs are also higher - in terms of reagents, labor, etc. That's why biotech is so tightly protected by all sorts of IP and trade secrets.

But as costs drop, this dynamic should change significantly. A biotech lab in every home sounds ridiculous - but that's what IBM said about computers in the 50's (and 60's, and 70's). But it might be a lot closer than we think.(Via /.)

-- umair // 6:50 PM //


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