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{bio,medical} informatics

Sunday, July 08, 2001

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find rt skeptics saw something entirely different in today's announcement. One fund manager, an Humelated articles. powered by google. GenomeWeb Bioinformatics Patents Remain a Rarity in IP-Heavy Biopharmaceutical Industry

"Patents are undoubtedly a hot topic in biotech and pharmaceuticals. A company's intellectual property strategy is often more important than its core technology in the race to win market dominance. This, of course, is not only they case with the brass ring at the end of the pipeline - the drugs themselves - but almost every component of the drug development process, from gene sequence to chemical compounds and to the enabling technologies that make discovery possible."

"But while some areas of the biotech landscape are embroiled in perpetual patent litigation, this is not the case in bioinformatics for a very simple reason: A dearth of patents."

redux [08.26.00]
find related articles. powered by google. MIT Technology Review One-Clicking the Genome

"One entrepreneur, who requested anonymity, described a "silent gold rush" as firms move to file patents staking out methods for sharing and manipulating the enormous quantity of genetic data being put online. Such approaches will be increasingly important to genomics, as scientists begin to "annotate" the raw DNA sequence with clues to gene function and other information. The entrepreneur interviewed by TR described one recent patent application that claims the idea of using a rewards system to compensate scientists with free purchases for posting information and comments to a private gene database."

"When TR provided a sampling of similar patents to Mark Gerstein, a bioinformatics researcher at Yale University, he expressed surprise. Gerstein says the methods described didn?t appear to be new, a complaint often levied against software patents. ?These patents in a sense also represent a patenting of a scientific method-a way of doing science. Does that make sense?" asks Gerstein."

redux [04.28.00]
find related articles. powered by google. Nature Open-source work even more vital to genome project than to software

"We note with dismay and alarm the controversy concerning access, distribution and patenting of the human genome sequence (Nature 404, 317; 2000 & Nature 404, 324; 2000). We wish to point out some analogies between the human genome sequencing efforts and 'open-source' software development, which have implications for the data-release policy of the public sequencing effort."

"The reasons why the Linux project could succeed against commercial wisdom have been analysed by Eric S. Raymond in his book The Cathedral and the Bazaar (O'Reilly, 1999). Most of these findings are of relevance to academic and commercial benefits arising from human genome sequencing."


[ 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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