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{bio,medical} informatics

Friday, October 06, 2000

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find related articles. powered by google. The New York Times $58 Million Race Is On to Decode Mouse Genome by February
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"With the work on the human genome essentially complete, the National Institutes of Health and others said today that they would spend $58 million to decode the genome of the mouse by February.

While this may seem a large sum to drop on a mouse, experts regard the mouse genome as an invaluable guide for interpreting the human genome sequence that is now in hand.

The initiative represents a continuation of the tussle between the public consortium that decoded the human genome and its competitor, the Celera Corporation."
find related articles. powered by google. WashTech.Com Public-Private Group to Unravel Mouse Genome
"A group of private companies and public research agencies is launching a crash program today to unravel the complete genetic code of the laboratory mouse over the next six months, a feat that would put a vital research tool into the hands of the world's scientists quickly and at no charge.

The effort could undermine Celera Genomics Corp., the Rockville company that has drawn international attention--and controversy--by creating huge gene databases as a for-profit venture. Celera has already started creating a mouse database and has been using that as a selling point to potential customers."

"Paul Gilman, director of policy planning for Celera, noted that the company can incorporate data coming out of the new venture into its own database, just as it did in creating a human gene map. That means Celera's mouse database, already under preparation for six months, will invariably be more complete than the public database--a fact the company is certain to emphasize to its customers.

"As they produce those data," Gilman said, "we can readily incorporate them into our system and it makes what we've done all that much better."

find related articles. powered by google. The Motley Fool Busy Week for Affymetrix
"The mouse genome is important to biomedical researchers because it represents a model with which to test new drugs as well as a way to further understand the human sequencing data that was recently completed. Sequencing of the human genome by the Human Genome Project (which Affymetrix was part of) as well as by Rule Breaker Celera Genomics (NYSE: CRA) was merely a first step in the marathon to fully understand where certain genes are in the DNA sequence and how they work.

Where the Genome Project and Celera differ is in what they plan to do with the data they gather. Celera licenses its data while the Genome Project thinks that basic genetic data should be as free as the air we breathe. It's not surprising to see Affymetrix in favor of the freebie model since this information is a sort of "raw goods" for their biochips and research efforts."

redux [06.29.00]
find related articles. powered by google. Forbes Celera's Worth Still Up In The Air
"Great discoveries do not necessarily make great businesses. Businesses have to sell something. Celera Genomics doesn't sell or make anything tangible. It hawks service and information. It sells access to lists of genes and computers that can sort through those messy lists. Samuel Broder, the company's executive vice president and chief medical officer, makes Celera sound like some kind of consulting company, or perhaps a library."

"In a market filled with companies that acquire knowledge and then use it to produce chemicals and drugs with immediate importance, Celera is charging an arm and a leg for a library with really nifty computers.

But the Human Genome Project, like the public library, is offering similar services for free. Certainly, its computers are less nifty. But it has a relatively good draft of the genome. A lot of companies and universities may pay for Celera's cleaner, clearer books, its faster computers, and its richer catalogs of where the genes are and what they do. But this all seems speculative. It would certainly be nice if they had an exclusive human genome to sell."

"Venter's quest could be a fable, with all sorts of morals about the power of capitalism and the importance of a single, brilliant, willful individual who used the market to shake the ivory towers of science. But those morals only hold if Celera succeeds, if business and science blend to propel the company into the future with breathtaking speed without rocketing it into the realities of the marketplace. Celera could become one of the great business success stories. It could also be a financial train wreck."

Right now, that makes it a very volatile stock."

[ 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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