You Can Buy a Piece of a Nobel Prize-Winning Discovery

How much will someone be willing to pay for a few pages of quarter-century-old bureaucratic university paperwork that have been turned into a blockchain-encoded piece of digital art?

Berkeley announced on Thursday that it will auction the first of two digital art pieces known as nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, next week. The object being offered is based on a document called an invention and technology disclosure. That’s the form that researchers at Berkeley fill out to alert the university about discoveries that have potential to be turned into lucrative patents.

The title of the invention, from 1996, is “Blockade of T-Lymphocyte Down-Regulation Associated with CTLA-4 Signalling.”

The university hopes that potential bidders will be attracted to an early description of a revolutionary approach to treating cancer developed by James P. Allison, then a professor at Berkeley. He found a way to turn off the immune system’s aversion to attacking tumors and he showed that it worked in mice.


CRISPR, Genomics


IGI / UC Berkeley



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