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{bio,medical} informatics

Tuesday, July 18, 2000

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Individual.Com Genome Breakthrough Will Boost Net
"In the wake of breakthroughs in genetic research, Internetcentric business opportunities will explode in tandem with re search and development challenges and opportunities in biotechnology, industry executives said.

"Companies such as Affymetrix (, diaDexus (, DNA Sciences (www. and Orchid BioSciences ( are using the Net to deliver information relating the genome sequence to specific parts of the DNA that have mysterious tendencies to mutate, said Howard Goldstein, chief executive of eBioinformatics (www., which provides researchers with databases and software tools online. And high-tech heavy weights, recognizing the need for sophisticated systems to gather, store, manipulate and disseminate genome information, have also undertaken initiatives in the field. AGTC Fund's Stone cited IBM, Microsoft, Motorola, Oracle and Sun Microsystems.

""If you're dealing with a distributed applications race that's data- and computation-intensive, the Internet will clearly be a key tool in tackling that problem," Stone said. "It'll allow communication between people working in different geographic locations. It will allow access to databases that are too large to go to the software store to buy. It will allow access in an applications service provider model to the computing power necessary to manipulate those databases. In that sense, the Internet will play as big a role in genomics applications as it is already playing in other information-intensive businesses."

redux [06.06.00]
Bioinform eBioinformatics Will Put $10 Million Toward Efforts to Reach Customers
"To be sure, many industry insiders are skeptical of the bioinformatics internet portal business model. Even among vendors of the 220-plus software products available at the BioNavigator site, some told BioInform they wondered how companies such as eBioinformatics and DoubleTwist will make money. A product manager at one of eBioinformatics’ partner com-panies said, “I don’t see how either company will make the sort of money necessary to cover these costs. Scientists are used to free stuff. I’m not sure they will pay money for the not-free stuff.”"
redux [05.23.00]
The Standard DNA Detectives
"For all the "brave new world" rhetoric surrounding the recent rapid advances in genetics, scientists are only on the threshold of understanding how genes work and their role in health and disease.

So too are the DNA dot-coms in their search for success. By combining strains of Wall Street's two favorite industries of the moment – biotech and the Internet – online genomics companies have reaped valuations last seen by Net companies circa 1999. "You take the two great buzzwords, 'genome' and 'Internet,' put them together and someone will throw money at them..."

"But the rush to go public has made the DNA dot-coms vulnerable to the volatility that seems to strike biotech and Net startups particularly hard. "

Chemical & Engineering News Bioinformatics for the Masses
"As computing and biology have converged, software tools for data capture, management, analysis, mining, and dissemination have emerged. More than 40 companies, most of them small, are trying to capitalize on the development and marketing of new bioinformatics tools. Whereas the market for generated data or "content" is very lucrative, bioinformatics sales are expected to reach about $160 million this year, according to market research firm Frost & Sullivan"

"Who I really want as customers are the scientists themselves," says John Couch, chief executive officer of DoubleTwist , Oakland, Calif. "We're challenged in this field to deliver something to the scientists so that they can do their science."

[ rhetoric ]

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.


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