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Creating the Market University by Elizabeth Popp Berman

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CHAPTER 4

Faculty Entrepreneurship in the Biosciences

IN NOVEMBER 1973, a scientific paper was published that would transform university-industry relations in the biosciences. “Construction of Biologically Functional Bacterial Plasmids In Vitro” described how two different plasmids—extrachromosomal rings of DNA capable of self-replication—could be split apart and then rejoined to one another to create a completely new plasmid, one with characteristics of both parent molecules and capable of reproducing on its own.1 This technique for recombining DNA from two different sources to form novel DNA sequences would provide the basis for the growth of a $360-billion industry, one that academics, to a large extent, created.2

Academic scientists have ...

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