Popular Science

The genes of many marine creatures are patented—and one company owns half of them

Regulation is lagging behind industry.
the ocean

Who owns the ocean's genetic diversity?

From the tiniest microbe to the biggest whale, the ocean is teeming with life. For corporations and researchers, that biodiversity is a veritable gold mine of genetic potential—but in the unregulated environment of the high seas, those corporations may delve too deep.

“It’s kind of a treasure hunt,” says Robert Blasiak of Stockholm University’s Stockholm Resilience Centre. The search for genetic sequences that allow microbes to produce Omega 3 fatty acids or other beneficial compounds has been going on for 15 years now, he

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Popular Science

Popular Science2 min readScience
Lavender Might Actually Help You Relax
Lavender Fields You can almost smell the serenity through the computer screen. Pixabay Having a bad day? Light a lavender candle and let all your stress waft away. Immersing yourself in a lavender cloud may actually help reduce anxiety, according to
Popular Science4 min read
Hurricanes Destroy Beachside Homes, But Not This One
On October 10, Hurricane Michael spun Category 4 winds around the upper reaches of the Sunshine State. With sustained winds of 155 miles per hour, the tempest was the strongest to ever hit the Florida Panhandle—and the fourth worst to make landfall i
Popular Science4 min readScience
We Can Save Coral Reefs By Putting Them On Ice
A rare bright spot for coral reefs. DepositPhotos The planet’s coral reefs are in trouble. Thanks to warming and acidifying oceans, the animals that make up coral reefs are dying, turning the reefs themselves into algae-covered ghost towns. This repr