Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Open Source Biology

I came across this article yesterday about the benefits of data sharing in the biomedical community. The problem with the way drug/medical research happens today is that the profit motive makes companies adverse to sharing data in which they hope to profit on. This happens to slow the innovation of medical technology.


Open Source Biology Deserves a Shot

Gene sequencing has gotten incredibly fast and cheap, and researchers around the world are pouring huge volumes of genomic data onto their private servers, in the hope they will sift through it all to make groundbreaking discoveries. Should so much genomic data be so closely guarded, or should it be poured into a free and open database that all scientists share?
The idea sounds utopian in a high-risk, high-reward industry that protects intellectual property like Fort Knox. But no one disagrees that today’s approach to drug development takes too long, costs too much, and is too unpredictable.
Stephen Friend thinks shared data would change all of that—and allow researchers to see patterns they wouldn’t otherwise see, and make insights that would never emerge any other way. So he did something two years ago that most people would consider quixotic: He quit his high-powered job as a senior vice president of cancer research at Merck to go on a mission to disrupt biology.[...]
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30 comments:

  1. I think that scientists should really work together to solve the worlds problems instead of hogging ideas to themselves in a 'race' just for the sake of making more money.

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  2. i like the post....biology is interesting...got to know some amazing facts

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  3. Great work! I love the blog style!

    $upporting BRO!!

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  4. That is so true, where I work I get to repeat many things since people don't share information, so I'm not aware that something has already been done.
    If that happens inside a company, inside the whole scientific community I can't even imagine.

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  5. They should their databases, there would be so many benefits!

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  6. that´s a great initiative... as you mentioned "drug development takes too long, costs too much, and is too unpredictable", making information available would allow more people to think of solutions.

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  7. that is a very interesting opinion you ahve

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  8. man, that could advance medicines astronomically! thanks for the link.

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  9. Open source shows that individuals aren't about taking the glory and the credit. They're contributing to a common, larger goal.

    Kudos for them.

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  10. I hope they do this eventually, it can only benefit society.

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  11. X-Men are coming for real...

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  12. This is why the pharmaceutical site I work for is shutting down a lot of it's site's because of problems in the industry like this.

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  13. Stephen Friend is definitely going in the right direction, I hope it's a success

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  14. if it was free, alot of people would lose their jobs

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  15. I've read a few articles complaining about that before. It actually isn't really fair, to hog all the helpful medication knowledge for yourself because "I WANT ZEH MONEYZ". The world is greedy D:

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  16. Until mankind can remove themselves from the concept of greed and money we will always find it difficult to share even the most important things.

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  17. Very interesting read. It's always profit first, right?

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  18. yea i hope this will improve medicine

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  19. Anything biology related is worth a shot. Thats for sure, and this is no exception.

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  20. this stuff has always interested me

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  21. so open source biology hmm this seems interesting

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  22. hopefully something good comes out of it :D

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  23. This obsession over intellectual property was one of the reasons I left doing research...how can you patent nature!
    Open source all the way!!!

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  24. Very interesting article. It's definitely a hot button issue in the scientific community. It's especially important in medical science. If it's about the money and not about helping people, what does that say for humanity?

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  25. great post, this just shows how the selfish competitiveness of some people, especially in the sciences, can prevent useful progress

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  26. the problem is that they are scared that other companies are going to make more profit of the same as them

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  27. shared data is a great idea i think..

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