writes in to point out that this year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to some researchers who helped uncover some of the basic building blocks of life, ribosomes. Figuring out how to model these was great, but Franklin's concern is that not only did these researchers get a Nobel Prize for it, they got a patent as well
The patent holders and licensees surely believe that these products will be life-saving, and profitable, and I hate to rain on the Nobel Prize parade. But should research so fundamental to life, such as the ribosome structure, be locked up for commercial gain -- like Dynamite? Should a private institution, such as Yale, have the only say over how ribosomes may be developed into new biomedical technologies?