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{bio,medical} informatics

Monday, July 24, 2000

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The New York Times The Microsoft (and Gates) of the Genome Industry
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"Much as Cisco Systems did with the Internet, PE Biosystems -- which is changing its name back to Applied Biosystems -- has emerged as by far the leading supplier of equipment to the exploding genomics industry."

""There used to be a saying in the computer business that no one ever got fired for buying I.B.M.," said Lawrence S. Schmid, president of Strategic Directions International, a market research company in Los Angeles that tracks the analytical instrument industry. "The same is true with PE."

"The real game is not more sequencing," said Michael McKenna, vice president for operations at the CuraGen Corporation, a genomics-based drug development company. "The real game is seeing which genes are drug targets. It's a completely different set of tools.""

"And technology is evolving rapidly: start-up companies have developed chips as small as postage stamps that can analyze thousands of genes at a time or perform complex chemical analyses. Such chips could undermine PE's bigger instruments, just as personal computers undermined I.B.M.'s mainframes and the Internet threatens Microsoft's dominance."

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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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