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Geek hero:

The publication in Genome Research gives details of (Jim) Kent’s algorithm as a demonstration of openness, which has been a hallmark of the public Human Genome Project.

“Instead of being a black box it details how it was done,” said John McPherson, co-director of the genome sequencing center at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., one of the many labs that contributed to the Human Genome Project.

The free exchange of information is a testament to why Kent became passionate about the public Human Genome Project in the first place.

“I thought it would help to get as much information about genes and the genome in to the public domain to help discourage people from patenting it wholesale,” Kent said.

“I was afraid that if the only people who had access were the people who could afford Celera’s (subscription) database, it would tie things up.”

Sorry, it’s old bits, but I hadn’t read it before.

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