"The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) is currently the only learning institution in the state that possesses an accredited bioinformatics program. UIC offers 12 credits in bioinformatics through a program called BiTmaP.
"It's a well-kept secret -- this program -- because the tuition is free," BiTmaP program director Ann Reed told ePrairie.
BiTmaP is a free training program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor through a $3 million grant awarded to the Chicago Technology Park. The program was created with the intent to bridge the growing gap between unemployed or underemployed IT professionals and the booming life sciences community."
"The use of computers to advance human disease research – known as bioinformatics - has received a major boost from researchers at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology (LIAI), who have used it to successfully predict immune response to one of the most complex viruses known to man – the vaccinia virus, which is used in the smallpox vaccine. Immune responses, which are essentially how the body fights a disease-causing agent, are a crucial element of vaccine development."
"While bioinformatics – which uses computer databases, algorithms and statistical techniques to analyze biological information - is already in use as a predictor of immune response, the LIAI research team's findings were significant because they demonstrated an extremely high rate of prediction accuracy (95 percent) in a very complex pathogen – the vaccinia virus."
"Nature is undertaking a trial of a particular type of open peer review. In this trial, authors whose submissions to Nature are sent for peer review will also be offered the opportunity to participate in an open peer review process (see below for explanation). The trial is optional for authors; it will continue in parallel with Nature's usual procedures, and does not affect the likelihood of eventual publication of the submitted work. At the same time as the trial, Nature is running a web debate on peer review, to which we welcome comments from readers."
"The web debate contains a range of perspectives about peer review from those who believe it is working well, to those who prefer other options. What is the value of peer review, and how does it ensure quality? What are the ethical concerns? Are there viable alternatives, either technical or in terms of management of the process? And above all, what is the scientists' experience of the process, either as authors or as reviewers themselves? Nature's web debate provides a lively range of views, updated weekly."
The New York Times For Science's Gatekeepers, a Credibility Gap
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"Recent disclosures of fraudulent or flawed studies in medical and scientific journals have called into question as never before the merits of their peer-review system."
"Virtually every major scientific and medical journal has been humbled recently by publishing findings that are later discredited. The flurry of episodes has led many people to ask why authors, editors and independent expert reviewers all failed to detect the problems before publication."redux [03.02.06]
The Scientist Is Peer Review Broken?
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"Despite a lack of evidence that peer review works, most scientists (by nature a skeptical lot) appear to believe in peer review. It's something that's held "absolutely sacred" in a field where people rarely accept anything with "blind faith," says Richard Smith, former editor of the BMJ and now CEO of UnitedHealth Europe and board member of PLoS. "It's very unscientific, really.
Indeed, an abundance of data from a range of journals suggests peer review does little to improve papers. "redux [08.15.05]
The Boston Globe Flaws are found in validating medical studies
"Now, after a study that sent reverberations through the medical profession by finding that almost one-third of top research articles have been either contradicted or seriously questioned, some specialists are calling for radical changes in the system."
In advance of a world congress on peer review next month in Chicago, these specialists are suggesting that reviewers drop their anonymity and allow comments to be published."
""It would be lovely to start anew and to set up a trial of peer review against no peer review," Rennie said. "But no journal is willing to risk it.""
“Bioinformatics will be at the core of biology in the 21st century. In fields ranging from structural biology to genomics to biomedical imaging, ready access to data and analytical tools are fundamentally changing the way investigators in the life sciences conduct research and approach problems. Complex, computationally intensive biological problems are now being addressed and promise to significantly advance our understanding of biology and medicine. No biological discipline will be unaffected by these technological breakthroughs.”BIOINFORMATICS IN THE 21st CENTURY
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