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{bio,medical} informatics

Thursday, October 09, 2003

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find related articles. powered by google. The New York Times Science Panel Urges Review of Research Terrorists Could Use
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"Despite scientists' general distaste for any constraints on research, a panel of the National Academy of Sciences yesterday recommended prior review, at the university and federal levels, of experiments that could help terrorists or hostile nations make biological weapons."

"But Dr. John H. Marburger, science adviser to President Bush, suggested that the report might not go far enough. Though it was "a very positive move by the scientific community, I am sure there are other things that will happen in the future," he said."

redux [09.20.03]
find related articles. powered by google. The Scientist Save the Lab from Patriotic Correctness
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"As exemplified by the well-publicized cases of Thomas Butler, David Kelly, and Steven J. Hatfill, the fallout from the War on Terror has been particularly hazardous for scientists. Donald A. Henderson, who was inaugural director of the US Office of Public Health Preparedness, which coordinates the national response to public health emergencies, has accused the FBI of losing "all perspective" and of being "out of control" in the Butler and Hatfill investigations.

The dangers are summed up by the case of Butler, chief of the division of infectious diseases at Texas Tech University."

redux [09.13.03]
find related articles. powered by google. Wired News Science Suffers Security Complex

"In one telling situation, 32 scientists and editors connected to some of the most respected scientific journals have agreed to self-censor any advances they think might compromise national security.

"That's a chilling example of knowing whatever you do might not get published because an editor might decide that it will look bad for John Ashcroft," said Barry Bloom, dean of Harvard's School of Public Health."

redux [05.09.03]
find related articles. powered by google. The Economist Publish and perish?

"THE rapid progress of genomics means that the publication of yet another gene sequence for one of the Earth's many millions of species is not guaranteed to raise much interest. But this is no ordinary species. Bacillus anthracis is the bug that causes anthrax. The publication, in Nature, comes two months after a group of editors of the world's leading scientific journals announced they were worried about publishing information that could be used by terrorists to evil ends. New procedures had therefore been put into place to tackle this threat. The question is, do they work?"

redux [02.15.03]
find related articles. powered by google. BBC Bioterror fears impact free science

"A group of leading scientific journals has announced measures aimed at restricting the publication of research which could be used by bioterrorists.

In a joint statement, the journals' editors say it is crucial that concerns over terrorism do not affect the release of valuable medical research.

But they say they recognise there may be occasions when new research data should be withheld from publication because it could be abused.

redux [01.14.03]
find related articles. powered by google. Genomeweb Should Bioterror Fear Make Sequences Secret? For TIGR's Fraser It's a Qualified No

"Despite fears that bioterrorists will use DNA sequence data to create 21st century superpathogens, genomic science should remain public, The Institute for Genomic Research head Claire Fraser said at a special National Academies meeting on national security and the life sciences last week.

Her explanation: genomics just isn't good enough yet to provide the kind of tools terrorists need."

redux [12.01.02]
find related articles. powered by google. BioMedNet More bad news
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"Scientific information that the US government wants to keep mum, but which can't officially be labeled "classified," has been designated "sensitive but unclassified." One example is the National Academy of Science's recent report on agricultural bioterrorism. Its chapter on bioterror case studies is available only on a need-to-know basis. Other professional groups may find themselves in the same boat, but the rules governing the category are anything but clear.

Reference: Enserink, M. 2002. Entering the twilight zone of what material to censor. Science 298(5598):1548."

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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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