For those who thought space was the final frontier, here’s news - it’s actually life. And the conquistadors are
Life Science' multinationals who are hell-bent on owning it. But should natural resources, living creatures and our very genesbelong’ to corporate players? Or should they belong to us all?
Intellectual property rights clauses stitched into trade agreements are making it virtually impossible for countries to opt out of and oppose patents on life. And yet the patents themselves are nonsense - if life cannot be created, it clearly cannot be owned.
Whilst the debate on the dangers and benefits of genetic modification rages on, a clear stand must be taken: research in this field must not mean ownership of the living `product’.
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There is little tolerance in Pakistan for alternative ideas, says Aasim Sajjad Akhtar, but squatters can still be a match for generals and financiers.
Filmmaker Jacquie Soohen talks about her time inside Bethlehem’s besieged Church of the Nativity.
Geneticists are playing Russian roulette with life, believes Jordi Pigem.
Australian biotech company Autogen dangled a big carrot in front of the people of the tiny Pacific islands of Tonga. Lopeti Senituli for one lost his appetite.
Women brick-kiln labourers, by Vietnam’s Nguyen Huu Tuan.
The US leads in the push for patents. But it wasn’t always that way, says Beth Burrows.
The very stuff of life itself is for sale. Dinyar Godrej tells us what we need to know in order to confront the high bidders.
A plant that holds out hope for people with aids in South Africa remains in the public domain. But that’s not where the story ends, as Ferial Haffajee discovers.
Live at Town Hall by Laurie Anderson
Tactically brutal, pragmatically treacherous: Afghan warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum.
My grandparents’ grave and the rancour of civil war, by Reem Haddad.
Trade unions: rebuild, renew, resist
For Facebook, Amazon and Google, we have traded our privacy for something we find useful and put on hold our support for ethical shopping in exchange for the ease of low (or no) price and almost-instant gratification. This month's magazine looks at just how far down the line we are and asks how deeply exploitative and anti-democratic is this new ‘surveillance capitalism’ under which we now live. This month’s contributors include security expert Bruce Schneier, psychologist Robert Epstein and engineer and software activist Prabir Purkayastha.
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