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{bio,medical} informatics

Monday, May 13, 2002

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find related articles. powered by google. The Scientist A Scrap over Sequences, Take Two
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"Science magazine's controversial decision to publish the Syngenta draft rice genome sequence without requiring the company to deposit its data in a public database is getting less than rave reviews from scientists who need to use the genome map in their work. Over the objections of leading scientists who warn that scientific publishing principles have been sacrificed to commercial gain, Science allowed the agrochemical giant based in Basel, Switzerland, to maintain control of its data when it unveiled its draft blueprint of the japonica strain of rice in the journal's April 5 edition."

redux [04.12.02]
find related articles. powered by google. GenomeWeb On the European Bioinformatics Battlefield, the New ‘Database Right’ Wields Considerable Strength

"In the United States, innovators have traditionally relied on copyright and confidential-information rights to protect their databases. In Europe, however, database owners have a novel weapon in their IP armamentarium: the database right.

But there's a catch: Database innovators must have sufficient nexus with Europe--actually, the European Economic Area, or EEA--in order for their databases to qualify for protection. Perhaps it's time for US database makers to consider how they might create sufficient ties with Europe to benefit from this powerful new IP right."

redux [02.27.02]
find related articles. powered by google. Salon Genome liberation

"For the scientists working on the Human Genome Project, the data defining who we are is too important to be left to Celera -- or any other company. David Haussler, a team leader at the University of California at Santa Cruz who helped Kent and others put the genome online, expresses the credo of a data liberator succinctly: "Information about the human genome is better in public hands than secretly locked up somewhere."

"But it's not just the research data itself that is at the center of the tug of war between corporations and scientists. When working with data as complex and vast as the human genome, the software tools necessary to manipulate that data are as important as the genetic code itself."

find related articles. powered by google. Wired News An 'Atlas' to Count the Genes

"Analysts tend to value drug companies more favorably than those that sell information, and their response to Confirmant's announcement has been lukewarm.

Other biotech company officials with experience in selling database information said that large, general databases such as the protein atlas might have a challenge in finding a market.

"What we have found out is that people ... want technologies that apply to their specific research," said Lior Ma'ayan, executive vice president of corporate development at Compugen, a biotech company based in Tel Aviv."

redux [03.10.01]
find related articles. powered by google. eCompany Future Boy: We've Mapped the Human Genome. Now What?

"With information on the genome now rapidly becoming available, the business models for companies that sell information about the genome, such as Celera and Incyte, may soon be outmoded. Biotech companies will then have to earn their stripes the old-fashioned way: by developing blockbuster drugs. Of course, proteomics companies could arise to sell information about proteins to other drug companies, but Strosberg thinks this is a flawed approach. Given his history, he should know. "Incyte's business model," he recalls, "was originally to be an information provider. That period is over. People will not pay as much for information as they used to because so much of it is now publicly available. Information is becoming a commodity." Instead of selling information about proteins, he is focusing Hybrigenics on using its proteomics information to develop drugs, either alone or in partnership with larger pharmaceutical companies."

redux [03.20.02]
find related articles. powered by google. The Scientist The Rise of Biological Databases
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"The genomics revolution and the Internet have changed science in ways impossible to imagine 20 years ago. Among other advances, these forces have allowed the latest research to be routinely gathered, organized, and disseminated, typically at little or cost, through online biological information databases.

Arduous to use and filled with mostly unanalyzed data early on, these computer databases are now packed with valuable, up-to-date information made easily accessible with improved search engines. They have become so ubiquitous and integral to science today that almost every molecular biologist consults one when initiating research projects. "It would be impossible to do molecular biology properly these days without access to them."

redux [05.09.01]
find related articles. powered by google. GenomeWeb Survey Finds Only Half of Genome Database Users Aware of Free Resources

"It may seem surprising, considering the amount of publicity the Human Genome Project has garnered over the past year, but a recent Wellcome Trust survey indicates that only half of biomedical researchers using genome databases are familiar with the services provided by Ensembl and other freely available options.

Although the number of hits on the Ensembl website has doubled since the publication of the Human Genome Project’s findings in Nature in February, a questionnaire sent to 777 individuals funded by the Wellcome Trust found that only 82 used Ensembl regularly, 189 used it occasionally, and only 50 percent of those who used DNA databases regularly used Ensembl at all.

Even more surprising was the finding that of those who didn’t use Ensembl, 50 percent had never heard of it.""

redux [02.27.01]
find related articles. powered by google. The Economist Science and profit

"ONCE upon a time, pure and applied science were the same. Sir Humphry Davy discovered seven chemical elements, and invented the miner's safety lamp. Louis Pasteur investigated the properties of molecules, and worked out how to stop milk spoiling. Everybody thought that was admirable. Somehow, things have changed. Today the feeling is widespread that science and commerce should not - must not - mix. There is a queasy suspicion that the process of discovery is in some way corrupted if it is driven by profit."

"Far from compromising science, profit in both these cases - the development of new medicines and the elucidation of the genome - has animated it, and directed it towards meeting pressing human needs. It is a happy marriage. Davy and Pasteur would surely have approved."

[ 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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