Michael Crichton follows up his foray into anti-evironmentalism with an exploration of the biopunk underground in his new novel Next, which actually sounds pretty interesting.
Early on in Next, a court similarly rules that Burnet does not own his own cells. Unfortunately, however, the cell lines derived from Burnet and now growing in BioGen’s labs have been contaminated. Investments worth billions will be lost unless the cells are replaced from the only known sources – Burnet, his daughter, and his grandson. Given that this is a Crichton novel, the corporation is not overly sensitive about how it replaces what its executives regard as its property.
Crichton similarly fictionalizes reality in a subplot in which shady characters in a pathology lab harvest and sell tissue and bones from cadavers without consent. This sordid activity came to light in real life in 2005, when police discovered that bones were taken from the cancerous cadaver of 95-year-old BBC broadcaster Alistair Cooke and sold.