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{bio,medical} informatics

Thursday, March 08, 2001

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find related articles. powered by google. BioMedNet The elusive genomic peace
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"The February issues of Science and Nature, in which competing groups of scientists published their versions of the human genome, have settled nothing in the competitive battle. The Human Genome Project and Celera Corporation, which took different approaches to mapping the human genome, are still fighting. Officials of the public genome project seem to be exclaiming that the technique used by Celera failed, while Celera executives claim that the competition has no clue what it is talking about. At least one ethicist thinks that the battle is a case study of all the things besides science that go into scientific research and publication."
redux [07.05.00]
"On its surface, the genome story seems designed to illustrate one of the oldest of all American homilies: the virtues of extreme decentralization. An entrepreneur here is free to go into business for him or herself, over the objections of the chain of command, even in competition with the government.

In fact, the story points to a deeper moral, in an opposite direction. Last week's which Venter appeared at center stage with arch-rival Francis Collins of the NIH's Human Genome Research Institute, didn't just happen. There had to be some cooperation and knuckling-under.

The White House gala was brokered by the elders of the scientific establishment. The lever presumably was a piece of a Nobel Prize. The intense behind-the-scenes diplomatic effort ended with the benediction pronounced last week by President Clinton:

""When we get all this worked out and we are all living to be 150--young people will still fall in love, old people will still fight about things that should have been resolved 50 years ago--we will all, on occasion, do stupid things, and we will all see the unbelievable capacity of humanity to be noble. This is a great day."

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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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