Russia's national gene pools need backing

The Russian Industry, Science and Technology Ministry proposes creating a normative base to regulate the turnover of gene resources, deputy minister Vladimir Knyazhev told journalists on Tuesday. He said that the lack of gene legislation on some kinds of genetic resources leads to serious materials losses. For example, Americans are trying to sell genetic materials developed in Russia to Russian enterprises, said he. According to the Industry, Science and Technology Ministry, the world market of medicines developed on the basis of microorganism collections is estimated at 30 billion dollars and Russia accounts for a negligible portion of it. At the same time, Russia has the richest collections of microorganisms, numbering up to 30,000 cultures. The lack of a legislative base determining the legal status of genetic collections and the rules of access to them prevents researchers from attracting extrabudgetary means for the upkeep of these collections. The deputy minister said that within a month the Russian Industry, Science and Technology Ministry will submit to the government a report on the mobilisation and preservation of national genetic resources. The ministry also develops a governmental draft resolution on support for national collections of genetic resources. The lack of funds leads to irretrievable losses of resource collections, said Knyazhev. His ministry backs the demand of Russian scientists to give more state backing to the national collections of genetic resources,

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