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1. Introduction

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Chapter Summary

On October 1, 1990, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) of the United States officially started the Human Genome Project (HGP). Its goal was to determine the sequence of the 3 billion chemical base pairs that make up human DNA and to store this information in a database. The resultant database was to contain "Oceans of Data". This chapter examines whether the "Book of Man" alias the "Blueprint of Life" as contained in the genomic databases with raw sequence data is subject to the suigeneris EU Database-right, and the ownership and commercialization issues associated with the national collections of blood, genes and data. It also examines the legal and policy pros and cons of recognizing personal property rights in bodily material in the context of a biobank.

Keywords: biobank; genomic databases; human DNA; Human Genome Project (HGP); National Institutes of Health (NIH)



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